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Women: A Novel Paperback – February 27, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Ecco; Reprint edition (July 29, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061177598
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061177590
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (261 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,900 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.

Customer Reviews

This one took me a little longer, mainly because it was very repetitive.
Donald Chewms
His prose is simple, unadorned, sometimes crude and unpolished, but always very real, raw, unfiltered.
Eduardo Neecha
This very sentence invites you inside the book and you can see if you'd like it or not.
Basar Tuncel

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

127 of 137 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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39 of 42 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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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 25, 1998
Format: Paperback
College Hill Bookstore, Brown University, Providence, RI. I'm a prospective student, visiting, waiting to meet my student host, feeling strange, feeling out of place, killing time. Bukowski jumps out at me from the bookshelf in the Poetry section. Women. I read three pages. I, world's biggest cheapskate and 16-year-old with a job that pays *less* than minimum wage, shell out $16 and walk out of the store with a quick step and a smile. I read it in a sandwich shop and felt like I was following my nutso ex-lover down dirty streets watching her walk away with my furniture. I got drunk. I had sex. I finished my sandwich. I've designed an independent study English class for myself just so I can read Bukowski. I feel like I understand women better now, and I *am* one.
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40 of 51 people found the following review helpful By N. goodey on May 1, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
for a long time i've resisted reading bukowski becuase i sort of thought it might be a bit adolescent . How wrong can you be .This was superb honest and moving .A real account of real relationships and real existence. It's also very funny at points . The narrator chinski is unfailingly honest about himself and the live he leads which stops the book becoming a series of macho conquests .The women give as good as they get in the main and chinski comes across as less of an aggressor and more of a victim of his own desires (as men in real life generally are ) He also allows himself to be very vulnerable, which is what is missing from almost all literary novels .The authors have the technique down....but not the desire to show themselves in all their disgusting, faded ,glorious, human detail . After reading this i went on to read 'Factotum' , 'Love is a dog from hell and other poems' and 'Ham on rye'. All were quite superb ...particularly ' Ham on rye '. It's been a very long time since i've discovered a writer who makes me want to read book after book ..... and also effects the way you see life . You begin to understand through bukowski that the pain we all feel at times in life, is not some terrible thing fate has singled us out to suffer.... but is a part of life to be accepted. In cocnclusion, I'd give it 6 stars if i could.....
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mary Sutton on August 28, 2010
Format: Paperback
On "Californication," the Showtime series based on Bukowski's alter ego Henry Chinaski and the litany of experiences recounted in "Women," David Duchovny plays Hank Moody. Hank is an L.A. based writer with a daughter, a difficult relationship with the girl's mother, and an endless succession of affairs with admirers, colleagues, and friends, often fueled as a result of alcohol and/or drug binges. Hank Chinaski also has a daughter, a difficult relationship with the girl's mother, an endless succession of affairs, and a taste for drugs and booze. The difference between Chinaski and Moody lies in Showtime's careful manipulation. Duchovny has the resources to make Hank handsome, charming, witty, and sympathetic even in his most careless moments. He lives well, in a beautiful bungalow in Venice, and maintains a passionate love for his daughter's mother which the viewer expects will ultimately lead him to his salvation.

Bukowski's Hank has the wit, but the comparison pretty much ends there. He is ugly, lives in small and squalid apartments, and is not averse to misogyny. In the midst of an affair with a belly dancer from Vancouver, he asserts his fondness for "Canadian bacon." Some sex scenes bear closer to resemblance to rape scenes. There is never a moment of a pause in these scenarios, never a sense of wrongness.

Bukowski's character is revolting and, in his depictions of his pustule-ridden skin, the greasy floors of his apartment, and his unrepentant addiction to sex with any and every woman who crosses his path, he expects our disgust. Unlike other reviewers, I found Chinaski's steady access to so many women quite implausible. Halfway through, the catalogue began to bore me, and most of the women bore little identity beyond their body parts.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


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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Women: A Novel
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