Start reading Ham On Rye on the free Kindle Reading App or on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Enter a promotion code
or gift card
 
 
 

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Color:
Image not available

To view this video download Flash Player

 

Ham On Rye [Kindle Edition]

Charles Bukowski
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (324 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.99
Kindle Price: $9.86
You Save: $6.13 (38%)
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers

If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 70%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.

Whispersync for Voice

Switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible narration. Add narration for a reduced price of $12.99 after you buy the Kindle book. Learn More

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition $9.86  
Hardcover --  
Paperback $10.60  
Unknown Binding --  
Audible Audio Edition, Unabridged $19.95 or Free with Audible 30-day free trial
Kindle Delivers
Kindle Delivers
Subscribe to the Kindle Delivers monthly e-mail to find out about each month's Kindle book deals, new releases, editors' picks and more. Learn more (U.S. customers only)

Book Description

In what is widely hailed as the best of his many novels, Charles Bukowski details the long, lonely years of his own hardscrabble youth in the raw voice of alter ego Henry Chinaski. From a harrowingly cheerless childhood in Germany through acne-riddled high school years and his adolescent discoveries of alcohol, women, and the Los Angeles Public Library's collection of D. H. Lawrence, Ham on Rye offers a crude, brutal, and savagely funny portrait of an outcast's coming-of-age during the desperate days of the Great Depression.


Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought


Editorial Reviews

Review

'Very funny, very sad, and despite its self-congratulatory tone, honest in most of the right places. In many ways, Bukowski may have been the perfect writer to describe post-war southern California - a land of wide, flat spaces with nothing worth seeing, so you might as well vanish into yourself. In an age of conformity, Bukowski wrote about the people nobody wanted to be: the ugly, the selfish, the lonely, the mad.' - The Observer

Review

'Very funny, very sad, and despite its self-congratulatory tone, honest in most of the right places. In many ways, Bukowski may have been the perfect writer to describe post-war southern California - a land of wide, flat spaces with nothing worth seeing, so you might as well vanish into yourself. In an age of conformity, Bukowski wrote about the people nobody wanted to be: the ugly, the selfish, the lonely, the mad.' - The Observer

Product Details

  • File Size: 588 KB
  • Print Length: 298 pages
  • Publisher: Ecco; Reprint edition (October 13, 2009)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000SEHJGQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,913 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
92 of 94 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bukowski at his best! November 29, 1999
Format:Paperback
Most fans of the late, great Charles Bukowski, myself included, list Ham On Rye as their favorite Bukowski novel - and rightfully so. This novel is actually a thinly-veiled autobiography of the man we knew and loved as "The Bard of Booze and Broads." We see through the eyes of young Henry Chinaski as he comes of age in Depression-era America, the product of a dysfunctional and physically abusive household. From his early childhood as a desperately lonely, yet antisocial little boy to his adolescence (where he struggles with crippling acne and develops a love of literature), we see the genesis of a great writer. Bukowski pulls no punches (no pun intended) in his descriptions of abuse suffered at the hands of his father, a coldhearted, arrogant, sadistic SOB. The reader is drawn in to Bukowski's passionate determination to be the exact opposite of what proper society tries to mold its youth into. A powerful and heartbreaking read. Great work, Buk! R.I.P - you will be missed!
Was this review helpful to you?
75 of 82 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Growing up Chinaski August 28, 2006
Format:Paperback
I have been returning to the work of Charles Bukowski (1920 -- 1994) after reading his novel "Factotum" and watching the movie based upon it. Bukowski's novel "Ham on Rye" (1982) is a coming-of age novel in that it tells the story of Bukowski's protagonist, Henry Chinaski, from his birth to his young manhood, ending with the attack on Pearl Harbor. ("Factotum", written in 1978 covers the next period of Chinaski's life, after he has been rejected for the draft and wanders from city to city in search of work.) Chinaski is based loosely on Bukowski's own life; but "Ham on Rye" and Bukowski's other novels are, after all, works of fiction and should be read as such.

The scene of "Ham on Rye" is Los Angeles during the Great Depression, particularly the lower middle-class homes in which Chinaski grows up, as families struggle to survive and to escape from poverty. Bukowski is at his best in describing dingy homes, streets, schools, and desperate people.

But "Ham on Rye" is a coming-of-age book told with irony and twists. It seemingly mocks the story of self-discovery and self-awakening common to these distinctively American books, but in the end I think it follows the pattern of a coming-of-age story in spite of itself. Most American coming-of-age books recount the life of a young person and end when that person comes to some crisis which he meets and, thus, attains a degree of understanding of himself which he carries through life. Bukowski's book tells the story of an unhappy childhood, as Chinaski is subjected to an overbearing father and frequent beatings. In addition, as an early adolescent, Chinaski develops a terrible case of acne which exacerbates his tendency to aloneness as well as his anger and rebeliousness.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HAM ON RYE, The American DEATH ON THE INSTALLMENT PLAN September 19, 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
In all of Bukowski's work there is a constant search for truth and freedom. With every breath that Bukowski takes he is locked in a fevered struggle with the forces around him that contiually attempt to make him walk the path of the common man. Bukowski sees this as nothing more than falling into a lock step towards certain death. Though he portrays himself as a repulsive type of human being, he is able to convince us that it is the world around him that is far more repulsive. In Ham On Rye, we are lead through the more meaningful chapters of Bukowski's childhood and early adulthood. There are very few pieces of literature that reaches readers with more honesty. As we read Bukowski we may at one moment feel relieved that we do not have to live his life, but in the next moment, are envious of the freedom in which he enjoys. Ham On Rye is one of those extremely rare pieces of fiction that allows a great work of art to simply flow into us. Reading Ham On Rye is simply effortless. It is almost as if it passes directly into us. This is, without a doubt, the most important American novel of the last quarter century. How can the readers of great literature wonder, in horrific despair, with the passing of Salinger, Miller and Bukowski, if a truly great writer will appear in our lifetimes. I, for one, have very little hope, but continue to stand vigilant
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My First Stab at Bukowski October 26, 2005
Format:Paperback
For years I sold Bukowski's poetry to sad-looking men and the occasional punk-looking (very young) woman. This was in the 1980s and early 1990s. I never took the stuff seriously. Poetry about hangovers and turds? Give me a break.

But when I was introduced to Russell David Harper's manuscript of BALD -- his own ficitional memoir -- and Miha Mazzini's CARTIER PROJECT, I was forced to dig deeper into this phenomenon. (CARTIER is an eastern European Bukowski, and BALD is an intelligent memoir of hangovers.)

HAM ON RYE was my first real Bukowski venture, and I devoured it. It's a sad and moving work. There's not a single metaphor in it; it's to-the-gut writing straight from the heart. I bought my copy dog-eared and coffee-stained in a sidewalk sale in San Francisco, and I'm not letting it go. However, I'm now afraid of digging deeper into Bukowski out of fear of being disappointed. HAM ON RYE has set my expectations unreasonably high.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Charles Bukowski is one of my favorite writers. This is one of his...
Charles Bukowski is one of my favorite writers. This is one of his best books. It follows him from the age of five to his early teens. Heartbreaking and impressing.
Published 3 days ago by Yasaman Jaberansari
3.0 out of 5 stars Explained a lot about Bukowski's inferiority complex
The acne and his parents made him into the writer he was to become, but the story was dull and I enjoyed his book Post Office much more.
Published 5 days ago by Richard T. Jenkins
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly my favorite novel. Laugh-out loud funny at times
Possibly my favorite novel. Laugh-out loud funny at times! I am rereading it again, and I just finished it! Great book.
Published 7 days ago by Nan
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read!!
Love the coming of age stories from the depression era. Bukowski is one of the best story tellers.
Curious if it is auto-biographical...
Published 11 days ago by Kris Wagner
5.0 out of 5 stars Buk
I would never dream of giving less than 5 stars to any of Buk's books. I have been reading him for 15 years and I just love the way he tells a story. Read more
Published 13 days ago by booklover9
5.0 out of 5 stars Ham on Rye with everything on it.
One of the best books I have ever read. Poignant. Gutsy. Nothing held back.
Published 16 days ago by Rebecca M. Whitsett
4.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyed this after having read Women first
Really enjoyed this after having read Women first. Brutal, honest. Quick read. Makes sense now why Hank is the way he is in Women.
Published 17 days ago by Brent Craddock
4.0 out of 5 stars The dark side of America
Bukowski's semi-autobiographical account of growing up in depression-era America is an underground classic. Read more
Published 21 days ago by Abner Rosenweig
5.0 out of 5 stars While I wouldn't want to grow up in such an environment this novel...
Dry, raw, and powerful. While I wouldn't want to grow up in such an environment this novel gave great insight into an older time I would not have known existed.
Published 23 days ago by striker
5.0 out of 5 stars The most honest coming of age book ever written
Loved it! This is the best coming of age book I have ever read. Powerful stuff. Honest, heart felt, painful and funny. Really amazing book.
Published 24 days ago by Richard Murison
Search Customer Reviews
Search these reviews only

More About the Author

Charles Bukowski 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 Andernach, Germany, and raised in Los Angeles, where he lived 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 (1994).

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?



Forums

There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 


Look for Similar Items by Category