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Ham On Rye: A Novel Paperback – Feb 15 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Ecco; Reprint edition (Feb. 15 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006117758X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061177583
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 13.5 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #19,648 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By T. Bigney on Jan. 16 2008
Format: Paperback
sure, some might say this book lacks something, but it certainly isn't writing, and i'm not one of the people who thinks it's lacking anything at all. one of the finest books bukowski ever published, tells his story of growing up with an abusive father and a mother who seemed like she didn't really care.

i finished this book in one day, laughing and shaking my head at some of the things bukowski had to go through.

this book is more polished than post office, factotum, et all, and it's still a very fun read.
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By Len TOP 100 REVIEWER on Aug. 26 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Obviously a man of independent thought, Henry Chinaski the main character and Mr. Bukowski's alter ego suffers the travails of an abusive father and anemic mother who enables his father to continue to bully all those over whom he has power. The consequences for Henry are disastrous. Rather than praise the boy for cutting the family's lawn, Henry is beaten should one strand of grass be longer than the rest. Any chance the boy might find refuge from the cruelty at he experiences at home, is dashed when his adolescence brings with him a debilitating case of acne. But, Henry is tough. His childhood has made him a survivor. He fights one of the preppy boys with whom he attended high school, and, at first, gets pummeled but, eventually, the preppy tires and Henry proceeds to give a thorough beating. A survivor. Ham on Rye is a compelling novel that had me engrossed from beginning to end. Well worth, the few hours required for reading.
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Format: Paperback
I didn't know what to expect when I picked up Ham on Rye by Bukowski. I'd read some assorted poems and short stories of his that I found amusing because of their bluntness and coarseness. I found that Ham On Rye was much in the same vein: that is, the story of a non-comformist who has to pay the price in America for not selling out and becoming just another salesman or suit. Bukowski needed to follow his own music. This book is obviously autobiographical, and it depicts his rough and sad childhood: his abusive father who wouldn't cut him any slack, his skin condition that pock-marked his face and made him feel like an outcast, his alienation from school and his classmates, his alienation from most of America and the values America holds most dear: being the "alpha dog," the big "winner." Bukowski in effect is a foreigner in his own land, a socially isolated individual who escapes the cruelty of people by eventually becoming a writer and indulging in drink -- while longing for a poetry that our banal consumer society tries to squash. I love this book. It's an easy-to-read and very personal novel, which would probably be marketed today as a "memoir." I know Bukowski is NOT read in college and that's because he's generally "anti-New Yorker," anti-understatement. He's the John Belushi (think of Pluto in Animal House) of literature. His characters WILL COME OUT TALKING, LIKE THIS!!.. Reading Bukowski is an intimate experience, like reading the work of a friend or watching a friend's home-movie. He's largely a self-taught artist so his work is sometimes rough, sometimes over-the-top, sometimes sloppy -- but always full of humor and always largely entertaining and loads of fun. This is my first Bukowski novel, but it certainly won't be my last!Read more ›
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By Raegan Butcher on Dec 1 2003
Format: Paperback
Charles Bukowski was the greatest writer of the late 2oth century. i would still probably be a writer if i had never discovered the works of Charles Bukowski but i wouldn't be as good of one.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Jones on March 2 2006
Format: Paperback
HAM ON RYE is one of my all-time favorite novels. In all of Bukowski's work there is a constant search for truth and freedom. With every breath that Bukowski takes he is locked in a fevered struggle with the forces around him that contiually attempt to make him walk the path of the common man. His writing has been likened to that of McCrae (think, his KATZENJAMMER) and for a good reason: both men have a knack for keen observation, wit, and writing style that knocks you over. But Bukowski sees this “common man path” as nothing more than falling into a lock step towards certain death. Though he portrays himself as a repulsive type of human being, he is able to convince us that it is the world around him that is far more repulsive. In Ham On Rye, we are lead through the more meaningful chapters of Bukowski's childhood and early adulthood. There are very few pieces of literature that reaches readers with more honesty. I plow through Bukowski like I do Cap'n'Crunch. The man inspires drunken poetry on hot summer nights- while talking about women, booze, masturbation, classical music, & horse racing. This book is my new favorite. Why? Because while facinating the reader with lurid tales of a painful and depressing childhood, Bukowski makes us laugh, cry, and feel sorry for that kid we made fun of in 7th grade. If you liked POST OFFICE or McCrae’s KATZENJAMMER, then you’ll love HAM ON RYE as well. All are great, and this novel is the best place to start if you’re new to the BUKOWSKI canon of literature.
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Format: Paperback
If you started with his poetry like I did it gives you an idea of where he's coming from, and what his life experience was like up until a certain point. There are probably times when he exaggerates or stretches the truth a bit (at least I hope there are) but it doesn't diminish it's readability. It certainly wasn't an easy life but it was much easier than expected after I'd read so many of his poems. Worth your time.
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