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Factotum tie-in Paperback – August 15, 2006
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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.
Top customer reviews
Main character Chianski is a young rebel and introvert(perhaps early 20's) as the story begins. We follow him through a journey in which he remains on the same destructive path time and time again. He doesn't give a damn about anyone, including himself. Only a searching reader could assert that he offers much if any introspection on his path through minimum wage, alcoholic, urban America.
We must then try to see what we can gain from his tale. Chianski is deeply bitten by the bug of nihilism and thus only aspires to be a sometimes clever man in a world of American misfits. Tale after tale brings us no new insight nor growth that we might expect of a reasonable man. Chianski will, however, give us some worthy perspectives to chew on as an anti-authority detached observer of systems. Ultimately, the tone is powerful and distinct, giving us a strong modern novel that will leave it's own mark.
Bukowski flourishes in his decadent and depraved journey, wandering between jobs and drinking himself into oblivion. His alter ego, Henry Chinaski, seeks to satisfy his primal urges with women and drinking, while putting as little effort into empty part-time jobs he picks up. This isn't a story of love or overcoming difficulty, and the protagonist doesn't end up in any different circumstance than the one he began in.
His visceral writing and unforgiving description of his debauchery, ranging from getting crabs to sleeping with multiple women on a boat, is actually very vulnerable and shows that Bukowski has no fear of self-deprecation.
That said, Factotum seemed to be a bit of a watered-down version of Post Office.
The main character, Henry Chinaski, bounced around jobs so much that it was sometimes hard to remember where one left off and another began. Where Chinaski in Post Office had clear needs and opposition preventing him from fulfilling those needs, Chinaski in Factotum was just kind of floating through life.
Like the unforgettable scene in first book, when Chinaski argues with a superior about filling mail trays, this book also has that one incredible scene when Chinaski talks to his drinking, gambling friend who's looking for a woman. You'll know exactly what I'm talking about once you read it.
Most recent customer reviews
To clarify, if I had read it earlier than I had I would have enjoyed it a lot more.Read more