Charles’s Crazy Life

Chances are that people have very specific opinions on Charles Bukowski and his writing. I appreciate that and will not dissuade someone from their opinion. And if you haven’t formed an opinion yet, the collection of stories in The Bell Tolls for No One provides a variety of his writing to educate you.

An interesting collection of Bukowski’s stories woven together, pulling from overly sexed stories and some darker, more depressing or contemplative narratives. It’s reminiscent of a horny, dirty old man and the understated, simplistic yet beautiful writing style of Ernest Hemingway. There is plenty of sex, humor, and reflections on relationships throughout this collection. Many of the stories included seem overly familiar, and almost repetitive, as, in Bukowski fashion, he reworks a basic narrative into something a little different.

Toward the beginning of the collection, I found it difficult to see a theme for the collection, but it soon became apparent that the theme would be no more than the sex and outlandish ideas that are prevalent in many of Bukowski’s writings. The way in which he mixes reality with fantasy creates something grandiose and can leave readers pondering, searching to find a meaning or truth applicable to life.

Overall, I’d give it a 3 out of 5 stars.


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