- Paperback: 200 pages
- Publisher: Ecco (May 31 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0876850867
- ISBN-13: 978-0876850862
- Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15 x 1.4 cm
- Shipping Weight: 181 g
- Average Customer Review: 89 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #790,345 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Post Office Paperback – May 31 2002
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About the Author
Charles Bukowsk is one of America's best-known contemporary writers of poetry and prose, and, many would claim, its most influential and imitated poet. He was born in 1920 in Andernach, Germany, to an American soldier father and a German mother, and brought to the United States at the age of three. He was raised in Los Angeles and lived there for fifty years. He published his first story in 1944 when he was twenty-four and began writing poetry at the age of thirty-five. He died in San Pedro, California, on March 9, 1994, at the age of seventy-three, shortly after completing his last novel, Pulp.
Top customer reviews
Judging from the text -- and the accounts of people featured in the book saying it's 100% truthful and authentic -- there must have been a lot of fear in Bukowski's life at the time. Constantly poor, with ever-evolving woman problems, Bukowski resorted to the bottle and tried to solve his problems with alcoholism. Of course we all know alcoholism creates more problems than it solves, but in Bukowski's eyes, it was the only refuge from a madcap insane world.
Buk's writing goes straight for the throat. His short, simple sentences are deceivingly perceptive and illuminative. You'll be shocked at points to feel your heart soften as Buk's poetic lines ease into your soul like a tired drunk flopping on a couch. He is that good.
Inspired by John Fante -- another good writer -- Bukowski decided to skip all the unnecessary garbage in other writer's writing and keep everything simple. In that way, "Post Office" is very Hemingway, but simpler, and anybody can pick this book up, read it in a day, and enjoy it immensely. It's almost like it's written for children.
Except, of course, for the adult themes. There's a rape scene in this book that is probably the only funny rape scene ever depicted in American literature. And rape isn't funny. Somehow, Bukowski disarms the reader with his simplicity and cynical sense of humor, and allows anything he says to be cute and interesting. It's almost impossible to be offended by Bukowski, and if you are, well, this just isn't the book for you.
Bukowski is very popular with college students who're just trying to stretch their drinking/writing legs. Unfortunately for everybody except Buk, who died in 1994, nobody can copy his writing style no matter how hard they try. I went to Emerson College in Boston, and many people -- including myself -- tried to infuse their writing with the simplicity and poetic nature Bukowski has, but for some reason, it's virtually impossible. He makes it look easy. It's not.
Check it out. Drink a beer. Have a good time. Bukowski won't let the average or above-average reader down. It's those sub par readers he'll anger and disappoint.
However, POST OFFICE is more than the inebriated exploits of a philandering degenerate. It is a sarcastic, yet true, criticism of the ridiculous bureaucrats that govern the Post Office, who take themselves and the job far too seriously and make simple work more complicated than it should ever be. It's the story of a man that just wants to do his job and be left alone, but sadistic supervisors won't let him be.
If you've ever been sick of your boss, but don't have it in you to tell him that he can take this job and shove it you know where, then this book is for you. Because Hank Chinaski doesn't put up with being bullied around. He's the champion of the underdog. Soured by a permanent hangover, he smarts off, comes and goes as he likes, and crumples and throws his numerous warnings into the trash sometimes without even reading them.
He's the regular, all-American blue-collar joe that does what he likes whenever he wants and doesn't give too much thought about anything else. I guess that's why I keep coming back to Hank Chinaski for some good times and laughs.
A great book!
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