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Post Office Paperback – May 31, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Black Sparrow Press (May 31, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0876850867
  • ISBN-13: 978-0876850862
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 5.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (254 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #311,524 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"An amazing, hilarious and unfalteringly entertaining account of a man trapped in a kind of Catch 23" Sunday Times "Takes you by the shoulders and shakes you until your teeth rattle" The Times "Cunningly, relentlessly jokey and sad" Observer "One of the funniest books ever written" Uncut "Amazing, hilarious and unfalteringly entertaining" Sunday Times --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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.


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).

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Customer Reviews

This book was a quick, easy, and entertaining read.
pmez1
Everyone can understand being in a horrible job at one point in there life and he nails what it feels like to be stuck.
jill
Bukowski's prose style is crude, rude, and raw; often very funny, sometimes shocking, and sometimes poignant.
Michael J. Mazza

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

193 of 197 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Mazza HALL OF FAME on April 19, 2002
Format: Paperback
Charles Bukowski's novel "Post Office" is the first-person account of Henry Chinaski, a hard-drinking gambler and womanizer who goes to work for the United States Postal Service in Los Angeles. The story follows his experiences at the post office, weaving them together with his accounts of romantic affairs, sexual encounters, drinking, and gambling. Chinaski's life is full of encounters with various unsavory, tragic, or ridiculous characters.
"Post Office" is the ultimate "I hate this job" story. It's also an intriguing, and highly unflattering look at a quintessential American institution. Bukowski's prose style is crude, rude, and raw; often very funny, sometimes shocking, and sometimes poignant. But always highly readable. Bukowski effectively evokes a vision of a mind-numbing, soul-killing workplace that is ruled by a petty bureaucracy.
On one level, "Post Office" seems to have much in common with a classic "social protest" novel like Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle," which also portrays the suffering and degradation experienced by the working person. But ultimately, "Post Office" seems like another species of novel altogether. Bukowski tells his story in a matter-of-fact style; he doesn't seem to care about offending or impressing anyone, and seems to offer no social agenda. He just tells it like it is. A fascinating book by an author who, I increasingly believe, is truly in a class all his own.
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104 of 110 people found the following review helpful By Mark Begley on October 31, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is the one, the book that launched Bukowski beyond small press cultdom, the book that launched Black Sparrow past its humble position in the publishing world, and its the book that to this day still initiates readers into the wild, wild realm of Henry Chinaski. This is the first Buk book I ever read, and remains my all time favorite. Is it his best book? No, my vote would go to HAM ON RYE for that, but it is, in my opinion, his wildest and most fun read of all! Along with CATCHER IN THE RYE, CATCH 22, and SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE, POST OFFICE should be regarded, and taught, as a CLASSIC American comic masterpiece! Kudos to any high school lit teacher or college prof with the balls to make this book required reading. If you've never read Bukowski, this is the place to start. If you've read all of Bukowski, and there are many of you out there, read this one again...just for the hell of it. Why not?
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By John J. Ryan on April 30, 2006
Format: Paperback
Novels like this are rare, and writers like Charles Bukowski are one in a million. The word "authentic" comes to mind; his writing conveys a raw honesty and much needed non-mainstream point-of-view. Bukowski is the voice of dissent, the marginally employed, creatively frustrated working joe. Like the bird in the cage, his spirit is trapped in a world steeped in bureaucracy and bullsh*t.

Post Office covers Bukowski's 12 years as a postal employee and it follows his difficult working life, which echoes the working life and frustrations of millions. I can't help but think of David Henry Thoreau's famous quote (which applies to Bukowski): "Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them."

Bukowski, in fact, preaches a certain kind of civil disobedience.

We're all raised to want the same things: family, material possesions, a house, "respectable" jobs. I think now more than ever, we need Bukowski, we need to challenge the status quo and not buy into a shallow culture of materialism at the cost of trading our souls.

I recommend "Post Office" highly, also his poetry, particularly "You Get So Alone At Times That It Just Makes Sense" and "The Last Night Of The Earth Poems." In addition, I recommend "A Working Stiff's Manifesto : A Memoir of Thirty Jobs I Quit, Nine That Fired Me, and Three I Can't Remember"
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Takis Tz. on March 26, 2004
Format: Paperback
If you haven't discovered this gem of an author yet (that would be a crime) i urge you not to start with this book.
Surely there's loads of great moments to be found in "Post office" but the story does wander here and there much too often, and the focus is lost making the book seem like the incoherent (but definitely entertaining) narration from someone at a bar while tossing back drinks.
Because this is "bukowskian" it's so entertaining that it will keep you reading (and grinning) despite its flaws, but I'd reccomend you to start rather from "Ham on Rye" (a masterpiece of humor and cynical social critique) or "Tales of everyday madness".
If you're already a fan this review is useless since you're more than likely reading everything by Bukowski anyway.
Approach with caution...
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Elliott on September 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is possibly the greatest book by the greatest American writer. Bukowski speaks with an honesty and insight that is stunning to behold. He captures the American dialect so well that you can hear him telling this story as you read the book. He is funny and will make you laugh but only because what he says is true. Bukowski spent ten years working for the Los Angeles post office. When finally given a chance to quit his job he culled this book from his journal notes three weeks after leaving the post office. If you are just starting to explore Bukowski's prose this is a great starter book, quick moving, always interesting, and only mildly offensive in comparison to Women or The Most Beautiful Girl In Town.
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