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Engrossing Voice In A Book "Every Man Needs To Read"
on May 4, 2016
I read Women immediately following Post Office, and it is also a part of my Esquire 75 Books Every Man Needs To Read reading challenge. Women is the 20th book on the list (not including books I will be rereading).
After the death of his postal career along with the love of his life, Bukowski’s Chianski begins to scour trashy America for experience, art, booze, and sex. His career is beginning to take off and he can do
more than merely survive in his existence, and he begins to explore himself and his relationships in this semi-autobiographical novel about much the same things as his other novels, but with a marked difference in literary style and execution as well as notoriety and accomplishment as an artist.
The focus of this piece is easily the paper-thin relationships that Chianski surrounds himself with. Every escapade leads to some revelation about his manhood, his fame, and his constant brush with the women that seem to constantly contrast with his one vice – a penchant for finding the most emotionally unstable women to have weekend relationships with, and being both unsatisfied with the sex and relationship, and surprised when the women cling to him with fervent desire.
In Women, Bukowski has improved and expanded his literary dance with being both anti-pedantic in diction and syntax while at the same time being misleading in his ability to screw intensive literary symbolism and devices into this somewhat simple work. The result is scrupulous, tireless literary and linguistic acrobatics that lead across the wasteland of white-trash slums and heighten Chianski’s vices and sexual escapades to that of religious reverence.
Definitely deserves its place on Esquire's list.