“I am not in a contest. I never wanted fame or money. I wanted to get the word down the way I wanted it, that’s all. And I had to get the words down or be overcome by something worse than death.” So writes the late Charles Bukowski in his entry for 6/23/92 (12:34 AM). The Captain Is Out To Lunch And The Sailors Have Taken Over The Ship, a delightful, posthumous gathering of excerpts from Bukowski notebooks, is loaded with such direct ruminations about writing, death, money, humanity, and how the author located meaning and value in his daily life and work. Richly illustrated with gritty drawings by Robert Crumb, Bukowski’s legions of readers will want to add this prose volume to their collections. Autograph seekers, race track habitu?s and the dull thud of the nags (“I go to the track almost reluctantly. I am too idiotic to figure out any other place to go…I guess getting my ass out of here forces me to look at Humanity and when you look at Humanity you’ve GOT to react.” p.66), Hollywood types, classical music and classy authors, poets and poseurs, all subjects frequently addressed by Bukowski over the course of his long, productive career, shape the book’s contents. One observes Bukowski at home, going to the mall with wife Linda, driving the LA freeways, at his computer mulling over what does and doesn’t add up. Charles Bukowski scrapped and fought for his rewards and, as “The Captain Is Out To Lunch” makes indelibly clear, it was honest writing and its publication, not money or fame, that empowered him. Ultimately he achieved acclaim and a fair measure of financial success, after establishing a beneficial relationship with John Martin of Black Sparrow Press, a committed independent publisher who enabled him to reach a world-wide audience of readers. They valued his work during his lifetime and continue to anticipate the thinning stream of books still coming out several years after his death.