"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)
I believe "Post Office" would be enjoyed most by ardent Bukowski fans, so if you're just a casual admirer - stick with his poetry - its much better.
This book is supposed to be one of those hipster classics in the same vein as Kerouac & Hunter S Thompson. There are some funny moments and clever sentences but the hype for this book outweighs it's substance by a large margin.
A bum in the late 60's gives us an account of his time working for the post office and the women who blew in and out of his life over that time.
Bukowski's poetry books are better because they're focussed and brief and thus amplify the grit of his natural prose, while this novel just drifts aimlessly until it's end.
I will give a special mention though to the narrator who captured Bukowski perfectly - the narration was excellent.
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.
Bukowski lays out all the cards. His description of inane interaction with residents had a twelve year veteran of retail nodding in agreement throughout. The story is brought to life with outstanding narration. Repeat listens will be that much better thanks to Baskous.
This book is a little sad in parts but mostly you sit back and say damn..
I love all his books so far and this one is a good quick one to read. (or listen to)
If only. If only I could write like that. Raw, conversational and matter-of-fact. A rare combination of dysfunction, vulnerability, insight, and I-don't-give-a-shit. Depressing as hell right to the end, but I now have an odd sense of hope. That ending. Oh that ending...
I enjoyed the story. It's smart asses and to the point. Its a very real and dry depiction of life. if you stripped all the needless emotions and got the to bare bones of it...
the performance was okay. Hank was believeable , all the women characters were terrible, and some of the accents were bizarre.
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