To celebrate what would have been his 93rd birthday, HarperAudio is publishing eight titles from Charles Bukowski—each of them never before produced as audiobooks.
All eight of the audio editions—Post Office, South of No North, Factotum, Women, Ham on Rye, Hot Water Music, Hollywood, and Pulp—are narrated by Christian Baskous.
“It would be Bukowski himself reading here, if the technology had advanced quickly enough,” Ecco president and publisher Daniel Halpern said in a statement. “But his voice rings clear and deep in these renditions—and from them, the genius of Bukowski flows forth.” In selecting Baskous for the project, Halpern said he relied on his audio team: “They know intuitively who has the right pitch and swing of voice. And they always get it right.”
Halpern added that Bukowski’s work is uniquely suited to audio. “Bukowski's poetry was meant to be read out loud,” he said. “I always imagined he wrote the poems to read the poems—to his girlfriends and pals early on, then to his beautiful wife, Linda.”
Despite the author’s cult hero status, Halpern said he felt no extra pressure in bringing Bukowski’s work to audio: “That work is ironclad and every reader's voice will bring something special and particular, but the poetry will always survive in the master's voice.”
The audio editions of Bukowski’s work will be available August 13 in digital format.