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Michael's Book Babble

I'm an indie author and a scribbler of inane babble. I talk about books I've read/liked. Or at least, that's the plan.


Most of the reviews will be considered "mini-reviews." Usually, it's mostly my reaction to what I've been reading. There are people who are far better at doing full and helpful reviews. But I still have fun doing them, and hope you enjoy them!

Fear and loathing in the post office...

Post Office - Charles Bukowski

Post Office is my first Charles Bukowski novel (I know him more for his short stories and poetry), and it didn't disappoint. Many times I found myself laughing out loud, and then other times I was horrified by the behavior of Bukowski's fictional alter ego, Hank Chinaski. The man's not a hero of any sort, but then again Bukowski never set out to write him as one.


It's pretty simple, when it comes to story terms. The book revolves around Hank and his working stints at the post office. As much as he loathes the place, he found himself coming back time and time again. He works for coldblooded bosses who were looking for any excuse to write him up, and most of the workers and people he delivered to were certifiably insane. Not to say that Hank isn't insane himself. He goes through night after night of women, booze, and gambling at the racetrack. One adventure crazier than the next. All of this while wasting away at his job.


I don't think I've quoted from a single book on here as much as I have with this one. Tons of great gems here. Be warned, however, Chinaski's behavior can be mortifying at times. While Bukowski does a great job of fleshing him out, he also doesn't try to sugar-coat things with him. Hank Chinaski isn't the most sympathetic character, but that was also the brilliance in Bukowski. He isn't asking you to find him sympathetic. And still he's able to tell a really entertaining story. I couldn't stop turning the pages.


I loved the hell out of Post Office, and I can't wait to read Bukowski's other novels. It's darkly funny and unapologetic. Cruel and harsh at times, and also some surprising touching moments every now and then. A quick read, and I'm sure I'll be re-visiting this one again very soon.


4 and a half stars