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Publisher's Summary

"He loads his head full of coal and diamonds shoot out of his finger tips. What a trick. The mole genius has left us with another digest. It's a full house - read 'em and weep." - Tom Waits

Inspired by D.H. Lawrence, Chekhov, and Hemingway, Bukowski's writing is passionate and extreme - his life was as weird and wild as the tales he wrote. His first work came from the 1960s Los Angeles underground press, and yet he became regarded as one of one of America's greatest poets and realist novelists.

This collection of Buk's grimmest diaries gives an insight into the noir and brutal Los Angeles that Bukowski observed and lived so well. He was a legend in his time: a madman, a recluse, a lover...tender, vicious...never the same. These are exceptional stories that came pounding out of his violent and depraved life - horrible and holy. You cannot listen to them and come away the same again.

Tales of Madness includes iconic stories "A .45 to Pay the Rent" about drug dealing, fatherhood and love on the other side of the law, and "The Great Zen Wedding" in which Bukowski goes off the rails as best man at a wealthy Hollywood affair.

OBIE winner Will Patton (Remember the Titans, The Good Wife, Armageddon) recreates Bukowski in his visceral prime, along with every eye-popping character in his life, each adversary, lover, and stranger in a lost city.

©1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1972, 1983 Charles Bukowski

More about the author:

Charles Bukowski is one of America's best-known contemporary writers of poetry and prose, and, many would claim, its most influential and imitated poet. He was born in Andernach, Germany and raised in Los Angeles, where he lived for 50 years. He published his first story in 1944, when he was 24, and began writing poetry at the age of 35. He died in San Pedro, California on March 9, 1994 at the age of 73, shortly after completing his last novel, Pulp.

©1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1972, 1983 Charles Bukowski (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

What the critics say

"Bukowski...a professional disturber of the peace...laureate of Los Angeles netherworld writes with crazy romantic insistence that losers are less phony than winners, and with an angry compassion for the lost." ( Newsweek)

What listeners say about Tales of Ordinary Madness

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Martin W
  • 2018-01-09

Patton nails this.

The sample audio was way out of context and made the reading sound off. But finally I bought this and found that Patton knows his Bukowski. I never did believe the snideness that some narrators give Bukowski's writing. Recordings of Bukowski himself don't have that tone of forced irony. He means what he's saying. Patton gets it and gives us a lively but straightforward interpretation. I'm getting the whole Bukowski by Patton set.

12 people found this helpful

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  • CalEd
  • 2019-09-18

Bukowski by Will Patton is my morning coffee

Will really gives a unique tone to Bukowski's writing, only Bukowski would do better reading his work. it has become one of my favorite things to do on long drives and when at home while drinking a glass of whiskey and smoking a cigar.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Billy White
  • 2018-11-29

Wonderful

The narrator is astounding. If you've read this before you won't be wasting a cent by listening.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2020-09-24

Not a good use of a credit.

I’ve been doing audiobooks for a few years now and have come across some very good ones, average ones, then ones like this. The narration, Will Patton, was excellent as he always does when reading books. The story leaves a lot to be desired. I found much of the language and sordid details of sex, rape, and crime unnecessary and filthy to the point of disgust. I had a very hard time finishing this one and if not for the narrator I’d have given up 2 hours into the book. This one was hard to follow, jumps around all over the place, and just became flat nasty with the language and descriptions of what was going on. I WOULD NOT recommend this book to anyone I personally know. There are way too many good ones out there to choose from.

1 person found this helpful

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  • EvilShredder
  • 2018-08-06

Just a case of ordinary madness

Will Patton is a wonderful narrator. He sounds like how I think Buk should sound. 1950s noirish in a smoked filled bar. If you like Buk's short stories this is a no brainer. Patton does not disappoint.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Carol
  • 2018-02-07

Riveting stories and "in your face" revelations

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

yes, because it is written and narrated by masters of storytelling

What did you like best about this story?

a look into the life on Skid Row... and of Charles Bukowski during the 60's

What about Will Patton’s performance did you like?

He is the most spell binding narrator I have ever heard.. his acting and inflections and passion seethes in each character. I cannot find words to praise his reading ability. I will listen to him read the phone book!

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

what it is like to be an "Alcoholic"....

Any additional comments?

bought every book I could on this author and this narrator

1 person found this helpful

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  • mike
  • 2020-12-02

Dated

Dated ,opinionated with lots of vulgar language. Says a lot about the mindset of the author. If your sensibilities are not easily injured then it is something different to listen to that you may enjoy.

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  • M. Hernandez
  • 2020-10-18

Fanboy of Charles B

I love just about all of Charles work. So I’m a little bias. The reading gets better as you listen and now I’m used to the narrator Will Patton.

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  • william d johnson
  • 2020-07-09

amazing

as always a great performance by a once in a generation writer. thanks for the narration

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  • Audible CS Test
  • 2020-06-26

Test

Test purposes. Please disregard this review as it is used for testing. Thank you. Test.