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Women: A Novel Paperback – February 27, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Ecco; Reprint edition (February 27, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061177598
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061177590
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (216 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,070 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"1A poem about love and pain. - Los Angeles Times 2A laureate of American low life. - Time 3One of those writers whom each new reader discovers with a transgressive thrill - New Yorker 4The ultimate Bukowski novel, packed with hilarious episodes - Uncut" - --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Charles Bukowsk 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 1920 in Andernach, Germany, to an American soldier father and a German mother, and brought to the United States at the age of three. He was raised in Los Angeles and lived there 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).

Customer Reviews

Mr. Bukowski is a gifted writer as he is a poet.
Carlos Rodriguez
This "novel" is pretty much like everything else Bukowski wrote: crude, hilarious, self-indulgent, unorganized, wildly entertaining, a bit too repetitive.
K. M. Norwood
When I start reading this book I don't want to put it down.
Donnie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

121 of 131 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
as the first book of charles bukowski's that i ever read, "Women" holds a special place in my heart. it is an insane story of henry chinaski and his misunderstandings and communications with women. autobiographical to an extent, this book, and all of bukowski's, are special because they are so graphically and emotionally honest. no one else paints such candid portraits of the human psyche in its most degenerate and politically incorrect situations. no other author can put so much vulgarity into a work and make it sound as natural as bukowski does. everything and every word in his novels have a place and a meaning, making his writing style so refreshingly satisfying, that you can't help but to live vicariously through his beautiful insanity. "women" introduced me to this great american poet/novelist, and it is my belief that this book definitely makes for a proper introduction to his works.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Robin Friedman HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
I was inspired to reread Charles Bukowski's novel, "Women", (1975) after seeing the recent film documentary, "Bukowski: Born into This" which offers a compelling picture of "Buk's" life replete with interviews of Bukowski, his women, and friends.

Charles Bukowski (1920-1994) was born in Germany but his family moved to the United States when he was three. He wandered around the country for some years living in cheap rooming houses and drinking. He worked as a laborer and for the post office for many years and wrote poems and stories in his spare time. His work gradually attracted a following and was published by Black Sparrow Press. He achieved substantial acclaim before his death and his work continues to be read. It is low-down, graphic, and visceral.

Bukowski's novel "Women" (1975), is told in the voice of a character called Henry Chinaski, as are many other Bukowski novels. The book is largely autobiographical, but the use of a fictitous narrator provides a certain distance from its author, and deliberately so. During the course of "Women", Chinaski remarks more than once how his (Chinaski's) character differs to some degree from the public perception. I find it useful to remember the tension between the fictional Chinaski and the actual Bukowski in reading Bukowski's novels.

"Women" begins when Chinaski is 50 years old and is lamenting his lengthy lack of a sexual relationship with a woman. This lack is soon remedied during the course of the novel. Much of the story consists of a recounting of Chinaski's encounters with many women, most of whom are much younger than he is. Some of these encounters are brief one night stands, others continue over a period of time.
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84 of 100 people found the following review helpful By Ryan on July 23, 2001
Format: Paperback
First off, this book will offend people. It will probably offend you. You need to be offended. You need to be shaken out of your complacency. You need to be smacked upside the head with the crude and vulgar beauty of Bukowski's life and prose. You should get an injection of his drunken, debauched lifestyle. You should read this book.
This is the first Bukowski novel that I have read, on a recommendation from a friend. The man has a way with words. A true Hemingway in the way he gives insightful and penetrating descriptions of people, but never actually tells you what they are thinking. He is able to paint a deep character profile of all the many women in his life with a little dialogue and some crazy actions. Some may find it degrading towards women, but I don't feel that it is. Sure, he is sometimes crude, sometimes angry, sometimes insulting towards women, but he is equally so towards himself. If anything, I feel he shows the tragic sexual immaturity of both women and men. While his lifestyle may be on the extreme, and something that most of us have never even gotten close to, he demonstrates things that anyone who has been in a relationship can identify with.
All in all, I don't think Bukowski was writing a book about relationships that people would identify with. That is far too cheesy and mid '90s flaky for him. I think this was more just a painful self-evisceration. I think he was tearing himself open, and laughing about it, and proudly showing off his darkest, and also his most beautiful, thoughts, actions, and emotions.
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Melissa Niksic VINE VOICE on June 13, 2008
Format: Paperback
"Women" is author Charles Bukowski's semi-autobiographical novel that revolves around Henry Chinaski, a 50-something poet. Henry's finally beginning to experience some professional success, and he's milking it for all it's worth by indulging in alcohol, blowing his money at the track, and sleeping with as many women as he can get. I lost count of the number of women Henry has sex with in this book, but it's astronomically high, and every sexual encounter is described in very graphic detail. However, this isn't just a run-down of all the women Henry's been with. It's also an honest look at a life that's a lot less fulfilling than it may look on the outside, and a man who's actually a pretty sad case.

I enjoyed "Women," but not as much as I thought I would. This is the first Bukowski novel I've read, and I had very high expectations, but they weren't quite met. I love the author's writing style and Henry is a fantastic character, but he really doesn't seem to evolve much over the course of the novel, and things just got a bit monotonous after a while. Also, I had a hard time believing that a dirty old man like Henry could have all these beautiful women competing to be with him. Still, Bukowski is a very unique writer, and I was impressed enough by this book that I will definitely seek out more work by this author.
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