The Captain is Out to Lunch and the Sailors Have Taken Over the Ship
by Charles Bukowski, with illustrations by Robert Crumb
Black Sparrow Press 1998
Damn thing is so good that I can tell right now that I’m not gonna be able to review it right. Gonna make a mess of this. Oh well. May as well get on with it.
In a nutshell: Old man nearing the end of his days keeps a semi-regular journal, and his wife has it published after he dies.
There, how’s that?
Shitty, don’t you agree?
What can I say?
Bukowski is the second INCREDIBLY good writer that has managed to completely elude me during the entire course of his life (Edward Abbey, if you’re interested, is the other one). Jesus, but am I ever clueless. I shall not be permitted to await his next effort in breathless anticipation. This gentleman shall write no more. Not for me, not for anybody. Dead guys don’t write. I’ll just have to console myself with perusing his amazing output that sailed right past me in the dead of night, utterly unnoticed.
Right there at the beginning of this thing, on the page where it says “By Charles Bukowski,” there’s a list of FORTY-ONE titles. So apparently, I’ve got plenty to peruse here for a while. The only problem is that CB was a poet. For whatever pointless reason, my brain just WILL NOT admit to poetry. I hate the stuff. But some of these titles have the look of prose about them. I’ll be sure to check that stuff out, you may rest assured.
You may have noticed by now that I have completely DODGED the meat and potatoes of any self-respecting book review, the description of the work itself. That’s ’cause this stuff is wafting along at such a rarefied level of existence that I’m powerless to properly explain just exactly what it is and why it’s so good.
Just go get the damn thing and read it. You’ll be glad you did. Oh yeah. Almost forgot. The illustrations are some of the best stuff I’ve ever seen Robert Crumb do, and he’s done plenty, that’s for sure.
Understated. Excellent. All that kinda jazz.