"It began as a mistake." By middle age, Henry Chinaski has lost more than 12 years of his life to the U.S. Postal Service. In a world where his three true, bitter pleasures are women, booze, and racetrack betting, he somehow drags his hangover out of bed every dawn to lug waterlogged mailbags up mud-soaked mountains, outsmart vicious guard dogs, and pray to survive the day-to-day trials of sadistic bosses and certifiable coworkers. This classic 1971 novel - the one that catapulted its author to national fame - is the perfect introduction to the grimly hysterical world of legendary writer, poet, and Dirty Old Man Charles Bukowski and his fictional alter ego, Chinaski.
©1971 Charles Bukowski (P)2013 HarperCollinsPublishers
"Takes you by the shoulders and shakes you until your teeth rattle." (The Times)
"One of the funniest books ever written." (Uncut)
"An amazing, hilarious and unfalteringly entertaining account of a man trapped in a kind of Catch 23." (Sunday Times)
near the end there is a quick reference to Hemingway's Death in the Afternoon, and I had been thinking earlier there were a few moments the prose style was stripped down like EH, but I doubt i'll do more CB. (tried Diary of a Dirty Old Man and couldn't stay with it) on the one hand this is a good depiction of this underclass type of aimless drifter and the people suffering through poverty and alcoholism and dead end jobs and lives, but a little of that goes a long way. I can enjoy Jim Thompson's novels and noir novels that deal with these types because there is usually some moral crisis or criminal temptation, but this seemed too plotless and aimless and repetitious, which is part of the point I suppose, but there was little in the way of style or writing that provoked much thought on my part and to draw me back.
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