I should probably read more of Bukowski's work at some point, because in some ways I think we're kindred spirits: often rejected, angry loner types. Though obviously he achieved some success eventually. Incidentally if you get a chance the movie version of "Factotum" was good and contains a lot of the same themes as this book. It was on Netflix at one point, though perhaps not anymore.
by Charles Bukowski
The story concerns
Bukowski's alterego Henry Chinaski. When he's a younger man, Henry does
his first stint at the post office as a substitute mail carrier. As
the motto says, he winds up trudging through rain (and mud) and dark of
night, occasionally being attacked by the odd dog or two. This finances
Henry's life of drinking and cavorting with Betty.
Henry moves on to other jobs and other women, including a wealthy
heiress with a thing for animals and geraniums. He drinks and cavorts a
lot with all of these and even fathers a child with one. To support
this lifestyle Henry is drawn back to the post office, this time working
as a clerk. It's a maddening, routine job that his supervisors only
make more maddening. One of the funniest parts is early on when Henry's
supervisor keeps writing him up for ignoring his write ups, which Henry
keeps throwing in the trash.
Despite that his style is like a
seventh grade student's, Bukowski's writing has a drunken swagger that
makes it enjoyable. I have to wonder how much of what happens was based
on real events and how much was just bravado. While it never rises to
the level of "Catch-22" or "1984" it still demonstrates the crushing
effect of a soulless bureaucracy on the common people.
Of course a
lot of people will not want to read this because of the bad language,
the sex, the violence to women, and so forth. But if you're a fan of
writers like Hemingway, Chuck Palahniuk, or Bret Easton Ellis or you
just have a really crummy job, then you'll get a kick of this.
Tomorrow Box Office Blitz Continues...