Currently reading

Tales of Ordinary Madness
Charles Bukowski
Progress: 237/238 pages
Invisible Cities
Italo Calvino
Jesus' Son - Denis Johnson Jesus' Son was a rather interesting read. The stories contained within the volume all appear related, yet there doesn't seem to be any order as far as the timeline goes. Then again, the stories are from the point of view of a "fucktard".
Reading the praise on the back cover, given by various publications, I was expecting something entirely different from what I've got. The review snippets mention Twain, Burroughs, Kerouac, Whitman, Blake. I did not see it.
Nonetheless, to give praise where praise is due, Mr. Johnson does write a compelling story with well-rounded characters and interesting settings. What I saw in this book, once you look past the drug-induced self-destructive behavior, was a man grasping at straws. I've read a few other books that addressed issues similar to what Mr. Johnson writes about; however, most of them lacked the character depth seen here. The seemingly uncaring individual lost in a drug haze is actually a conflicted human being with dignity (albeit not the first choice when it comes to character), internal conflict, aspirations, and flaws. Yes, there are flaws, but humans are flawed. Our "fucktard", at times, just wants to be left alone, undisturbed, just be. Unfortunately, that is almost impossible.
So, while I did not get the promised aforementioned authors' influences, I did get a dose of reality (not mine, fortunately), a nice serving of emotions, well-crafted characters, good scene depictions, and a large portion of despair sprinkled with a little bit of hope. A read certainly worth its time, especially if you enjoy uncompromising honesty.