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Women: A Novel Paperback – February 27, 2007

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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 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 1920 in Andernach, Germany, to an American soldier father and a German mother, and brought to the United States at the age of two. He was raised in Los Angeles and lived there for over fifty years. He died in San Pedro, California on March 9, 1994, at the age of seventy-three, shortly after completing his last novel, Pulp.

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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: 14.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (273 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,409 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

129 of 139 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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43 of 46 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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19 of 21 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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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Nelson H. Wu on May 13, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've concluded that most people who discovered Charles Bukowski in their teenage years eventually grow out of the old crank. The few readers who don't go the other way and come to idolize Bukowski even more. When I was 17 or 18, I went on a Bukowski binge, reading "Post Office," "South of No North" and "Factotum" in about a week. This was around the same time that the movie "Barfly" came out. (The picture stars Mickey Rourke in what remains his best performance as Bukowski's alter ego, Henry Chinaski.) Bukowski then wrote a novel about the moviemaking experience in "Hollywood," which I also read a few years after the initial Bukowski binge. (For the record, I haven't been exposed to any of Bukowski's poetry.) Well, now twenty years have passed, and I decided to revisit a writer who played a role in my formative years and picked up "Women," which, like many of Bukowski's novels features his stand-in, Chinaski, the former postal worker turned poet and novelist. I can't say I was disappointed by "Women," because I knew what to expect going in. That said, the semi-autobiographical work just didn't connect with me on the same level as the books that I remember from decades ago. This could be for a number of reasons. First, Bukowski works better in short doses. "Post Office" was a breezy, hilarious read. "Women" comes in at almost 300 pages, and quickly turns repetitive. It's basically the same story told 20 times: Chinaski meets a much younger woman, beds her, they argue, break up, get back together, break up again, with lots of drinking and gambling in between. Second, Bukowski/Chinaski was a better read when he was a struggling writer. In "Women," Chinaski has achieved a small amount of fame, so the reader has to put up with endless poetry readings in the narrative.Read more ›
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