Tag: Hank Chinaski

Charles Bukowski – Hollywood | Review

Title: Hollywood

Author: Charles Bukowski

Type: Fiction/Non-Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 268

Rating: 5*/5

 

Charles Bukowski - Holiday

Charles Bukowski – Holiday

 

I’ve been kind of saving this one because it was the only Bukowski novel that I hadn’t read. But then I saw Paperback Junky on YouTube talking about Bukowski and it made me want to pick it up and tick it off.

It was worth the wait. If you’ve read Bukowski before and you’re familiar with his history then you’ll even be able to tie this book back to the events that it covers. Bukowski wrote the autobiographical screenplay for a movie called Barfly starring Mickey Rourke and Faye Dunaway, and this novel basically covers the period of his life around the writing of the screenplay, the shooting of the movie and its eventual release.

Of course, we’re also told all of this through the persona of Hank Chinaski, and Bukowski has always blurred the lines between fact and fiction in his work. Nevertheless, if you’re interested in his unique style of writing or if you want an honest book about Hollywood life then you’re going to enjoy this one, and if you haven’t watched the film then it’ll increase your enjoyment if you watch it after reading the book.

All in all, I enjoyed this book just as much as I expected to, and that’s saying something because I went into it with high expectations. I probably wouldn’t recommend it as your first Bukowski novel because it’d work best if you read them in chronological order, but I read them out of order and still loved it. It was excellent.

 

Charles Bukowski

Charles Bukowski

 

Click here to buy Hollywood.

 


Charles Bukowski – Women | Review

Title: Women

Author: Charles Bukowski

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 308

Rating: 4*/5

 

Charles Bukowski - Women

Charles Bukowski – Women

 

This book is a difficult one to categorise, because the line between fiction and non-fiction is a blurry one here. But then, that always happens with Bukowski – his stories are often autobiographical, but he also takes details from the stories that his friends told him to create his alter ego, Hank Chinaski.

In this book, we follow Chinaski through a succession of different women as he drinks booze and plays at the race tracks. Because of that, in many ways, it’s a quintessential Charles Bukowski book, and if you’ve read any of his prose before then you’ll already know roughly what to expect. For me, some of the pieces even gave me a sense of deja vu, as though I’d read them before. It’s hard to tell whether that’s because they were collected elsewhere and I had actually  previously read them, or whether it’s because Bukowski’s style is so iconic that once you’ve read a few of his books, you’ve effectively read them all.

Now, I definitely wouldn’t say this is my favourite Bukowski book, but in many ways that’s because there’s so much choice on the market. But it is a very good introduction to his work and his writing style, and it’s an essential part of any Bukowski fan’s collection. Sure, he may have been an alcoholic, gamblingaddicted womaniser, but the man could write. I imagine his work is probably more controversial now than it was when it was first published, in part because of his attitude towards women, but if you can separate the man from his art and just enjoy his brutally simple style of writing, you’re going to have a lot of fun.

Besides, most controversial books are only controversial because they contain an unpleasant truth.

 

Charles Bukowski - Read him instead...

Charles Bukowski – Read him instead…

 

Click here to buy Women.