Friday, July 14, 2017
I love this book - Charles Bukowski's first novel, published in 1971 when he was 50. There's nothing like the average Joe sticking it to the man. I'd read Women (book review below in March of 2016), so I just knew this would be awesome, and so it was, fulfilling all my expectations and then some - utterly hilarious! Bukowski really knew what he was doing. That's why he's the iconic, legendary American literary giant that he is. Who else could make the mundane life of the post office, racetrack and getting wasted night after night this much fun and entertaining? He really lets you in. I love that. I always loved honesty and authenticity, and I think a lot of people out there do too. He's proof that you can find meaning no matter who you are. You just have to search and dig a little. From the crazy residents on his postal route, to his irritating-as-hell co-workers, to the fast, often insane women, to the prick-bastard post-office bosses, this book is brilliant from start to finish and at times will actually have you laughing out loud. I was enthralled. It's really short (160 pages), so I think it's a novella, short and sweet. I love how his protagonist, Henry Chinaski (who's actually Bukowski himself), takes everything in stride, whether it's brutal working conditions, badgering bosses, being perpetually drunk or hungover, the tragic death of a loved one, brawling, having a kid and becoming a father - you name it, his character takes it in to add to the masterpiece of his mind, making you feel ever so comfortable in the process. The wit and sarcasm don't come off as pessimistic or bitter at all, but rather smart and mood-lightening. It's beyond doubt that he was a man comfortable in his own skin, and I think that's really great. A truly great, poignant read!