Shadowboxing with Bukowski – Darrell Kastin

Book number six and a first DNF, hopefully also the last one. I got this book from Netgalley ages ago, so long ago that it is really shameful I am only reviewing it now, but it is stuck on my Kindle together with 25 other books I requested in some fit of  craziness. Hence my Netgalley ban too, I do think it is unfair to request books and not review them, so until I catch up on my Netgalley backlog no more requesting. I actually stopped checking what’s there not to be tempted.

Ok, so the review time, as I mentioned it was a DNF, I tried to start this book several times, I got it because my Bigger Half is an adamant Bukowski fan and convinced me to read some of his things, which I appreciated, but never to a point of becoming a believer, yet here I was requesting this book purely based on the title and the fact that it was about a bookseller, thinking what can go wrong here? I turns out quite a lot, I mentioned a few times before I really rarely give up on a book, I’m persistent that way. This time I tried, convinced I will finish, I was on holiday, I had more time to read, I could focus. It turns out it was not about any of those things, the book is just not very good.

It is a story of a bookseller, as advertised, he runs his bookshop in San Pedro where Bukowski lives, so he gets to see him almost daily, but is always star struck. Like a little boy he believes Bukowski to be some kind of super human, because he was able to live the life he did and survive it. I noticed that my Bigger Half also tends to find Bukowski’s personal story impressive on some level, he would never admit it flat out, but when he talks about it you can see this small tiny subconscious thought ‘I wish I had balls to live like he did’, well I don’t. That was the first problem for me to sympathize with the main character, but when the turns all pretentious and starts lying to his friends to somehow prove that he is ‘living on the edge’ just like Bukowski  is the whole story turns pathetic. You start thinking that the guy really picked a bad role model. All of this is interspersed with weird thoughts about the future of California and the world, that bring absolutely nothing to the book, or maybe they are, they prove yet again how full of himself our protagonist is. Also for the first 50 pages nothing really happens, there is barely any dialogue and virtually no action, I understand the need of setting the scenery, but bin a book of 250 pages, 50 pages to do that seems to be a bit of an overkill.

And that’s when I gave up, when I realized I really dislike the main character and I am bored stiff.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I wish it was better.

This is book #6 of my 20 Books of Summer hosted by Cathy at 746books.
See my list as it grows here.

Photo by Violetta Kaszubowska @ vkphotospace

20-books 2017

4 thoughts on “Shadowboxing with Bukowski – Darrell Kastin

  1. Well that doesn’t sound very good to be honest and it’s better to give up in that case than plough on. Well done on the NetGalley resolve, by the way. I always seem to fall prey to their sneaky emails … But I’m control, right? Right?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha, of course you are! I thought I was too and just after posting the review I went on Netgalley to link it and got tempted again… but this time only one book. I thunk I’ll have to try not going to Netgalley again untill I review at least another five.

      Liked by 1 person

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