I’m a bit of a fan of Bukowski’s poetry, though finding books of his is somewhat of a rarity. I stumbled across this in the ‘cult fiction’ section of my local bookshop.
Henry Chinaski is a low life loser with a hand-to-mouth existence. His menial Post Office day job supports a life of beer, one-night stands and racetracks.
Jumping from one relationship to the next, and dropping work on a whim, Chinaski lives day-by-day life.
The novel itself is short, and a very quick read. There are lots of points throughout the book which are very funny too, with Chinaski’s cynical attitude towards the authority figures in his life, and the lack of love he shows to the women in his life.
The book is void of hope for consistency for Chinaski, but he doesn’t seek it either. His bosses annoy him; and sooner or later, his lovers do too. He wants to live a life of ease, without pressure, and where he can simply drink and bet on horses.
I would recommend the book to people who enjoy things from the beat generation where this definitely belongs, and those who are fans of Bukowski. His down-to-earth attitude to writing, often with brute honesty, is something we sometimes need reminded of.