16 Following


Currently reading

The Magic Mountain
Thomas Mann, John E. Woods
The Hooligan's Return: A Memoir
Norman Manea, Angela Jianu
Post Office - Charles Bukowski Post Office was Bukowski's first novel, written at the age of 49. However, this was not his first work - throughout the years, he had published poetry and short stories. Yet, only at 49 he decided to dedicate himself to writing and finally quit working at the postal service, with the support of his future publisher. I wonder whether the outcome would have been different for Bukowski, had not been for this turn of events...

The novel (which is mainly autobiographical) recounts the main events from the troubled life of Henry Chinaski, from his first employment with the Post Office until he finally quits, after 11 (or 12) years. I couldn't believe this was true - I thought that Bukowski was a writer from the beginning! The important women in his life also appear in the novel and I could see he was not picky - he could do with ugly and much older women...

What a messed-up life he had, this Bukowski! Drinking, gambling, a boring job that wrecked his body and mind, not to say anything about the constant lookout for women (yet, this is not a bad thing from a man's perspective, is it?). He has a cynical approach to life and he shows little feelings - he doesn't seem to care when women leave him, like he wasn't even in love with them. Yet, he is not completely indifferent: he shows sympathy for an old colleague, he defends a dog and seems to love his daughter (his only child, in real life).

I had mixed feelings toward this novel. At times I liked it, other times I didn't. And it was like that till the end. Yet, I don't feel sorry for the time spent reading it, because it was interesting enough. And quite funny. Anyway, I wanted to read Bukowski for a long time and maybe it's best that I began with Post Office, because, through this novel, I got a glimpse of his life.