Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Reading Buk's Post Office in a day

This past Saturday I went to the library to pick up a CD and to find a good book to read. The day before I finished Knut Hamsun’s Hunger while riding the train back home. I’ve been on a mission to read more often. In the past I would consider Bukowski’s Post Office as one of my all time favorites. I took out a paperback edition and read the whole thing in one day. For me that’s quite an accomplishment. My wife, Ali can tear through a book if it grabs her. I enjoyed the book, it was a good story, but was disturbed by the Bukowski’s alter ego, Henry Chinanski brutalized women, referred to his girl friend as bitch and the outright rape scenes. What sucks is that every woman wants to fuck Henry. To depict all women this way is an insult. This book was published in the era of women’s rights, bra burning and sexual equality, but this book kicks all these rights in the ass. Instead of getting distracted by this, I’d like to point out that his writing is bare minimum, straight shooter and at times had me laughing out loud. His boss was a sadist. They worked Henry to the bone. He played the horses. He was written up countless times by his superiors for any infraction, but he didn’t care and this is what appeals to most, his fuck you attitude. You can say its punk, but this was written by an older man at the insistence/encouragement of his publisher, John Martin who felt a novel would be more marketable. Poems could only sell so much, and I think Post Office was his first novel.

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