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One Of Charles Bukowski S Best, This Beer Soaked, Deliciously Degenerate Novel Follows The Wanderings Of Aspiring Writer Henry Chinaski Across World War II Era America Deferred From Military Service, Chinaski Travels From City To City, Moving Listlessly From One Odd Job To Another, Always Needing Money But Never Badly Enough To Keep A Job His Day To Day Existence Spirals Into An Endless Litany Of Pathetic Whores, Sordid Rooms, Dreary Embraces, And Drunken Brawls, As He Makes His Bitter, Brilliant Way From One Drink To The NextCharles Bukowski S Posthumous Legend Continues To Grow Factotum Is A Masterfully Vivid Evocation Of Slow Paced, Low Life Urbanity And Alcoholism, And An Excellent Introduction To The Fictional World Of Charles Bukowski Factotum an employee who does all kinds of work.Henry Chinaski an alter ego of Charles Bukowski was a special kind of factotum he was an employee who didn t want to do any kind of work I m a writer temporarily down on my inspirations Oh, a writer, eh Yes Are you sure No, I m not What do you write Short stories mostly And I m halfway through a novel A novel, eh Yes What s the name of it The Leaky Faucet of My Doom Oh, I like that What s it about Everything Everything You mean, for instance, it s about cancer Yes How about my wife She s in there too You don t say Why do you want to work in a ladies dress shop I ve always liked ladies in ladies dresses Dull jobs in the dull world he didn t care about anything He wanted to be a writer And he kept writing all the time and anywhere I drank for some time, three or four days I couldn t get myself to read the want ads The thought of sitting in front of a man behind a desk and telling him that I wanted a job, that I was qualified for a job, was too much for me Frankly, I was horrified by life, at what a man had to do simply in order to eat, sleep, and keep himself clothed So I stayed in bed and drank When you drank the world was still out there, but for the moment it didn t have you by the throat He honestly told the world what kind of the man he was and what kind of the world he lived in and in spite of anything he became a writer one of the most uncompromising writers. There were times while reading this short novel that I had to stop and wonder if my aspiration to one day be the female Bukowski is either setting my sights too high or placing the bar too low And then I up and went to a bar, since I was reading this on the anniversary of the Dirtiest Old Man in Literature s passing and all, so I stopped worrying about pretty much everything YOU RE STILL MY BOY, BUK. people like talking shit about charles bukowski on goodreads, it seems funny.i liked this book a lot henry chinaski is an asshole but he knows he s an asshole and simply accepts being an asshole everything seems detached and transient, nothing really matters to him, life is just this thing that is happening which he feels powerless to, so he doesn t invest much emotion in the things he feels like he needs to do to stay alive, and drinks to avoid feelings of alienation i laughed out loud several times, alone this is the first bukowski novel i ve read i understand how people could claim that he s misogynistic, but it seems to me like he is someone who is extremely detached from people in general, but also enjoys the experience of sex when he talks about women in an overly sexualized way, they are usually women he doesn t know in my experience, i usually objectify have enhanced biases towards strangers of any kind or like, when i see a man i don t know who i m intensely attracted to, i usually focus strongly on his physical characteristics because it s impossible to do anything else without knowing someone bukowski seems to objectify women in a way that is not offensive, it just strikes me as what people who don t interact with a lot of people do, because people are always at a distance he objectifies everything, kind of.i empathized with him a lot if he were alive and someone it made sense for me to know, i would probably have intense feelings for him and we would have sex but he wouldn t be able to fall in love with me because he was too self involved depressed, or he d see that i care too much or something still, reading this made me feel less alone.i recommend this book to people who are depressed, introverted, maybe have had problems with alcohol, disenchanted with people society in general, don t like lengthy descriptions cliches language masturbation, and are able to view life with a detached, sarcastic eye. I love this poem about the drunken Charles Bukowski, written by Raymond Carver, depicting fictional Buk speaking to a bunch of creative writing students, in You Don t Know What Love Is factotum describes someone who does a range of low level meaning low paid work This short novel I listened to, which makes it a bit like a guy telling you his life story while drinking you under the table oh, he always could, and even now, years gone, could probably still do it I was driving while listening to it, and not drinking as I was driving, for your information, thanks The story is really a prequel to Ham and Rye, which was about the early years of Henry Chinaski, Bukowksi s mostly I am told autobiographical main character If Ham on Rye is about Chinaski s lost youth, Buk s second one features Chinaski s lost twenties about booze, terrible jobs, women, and drunken brawls Because of the title, there might be a greater focus here on all the soul killing, mind numbing jobs he worked to pay for flophouse rent and booze, almost all of them from which he was fired, sometimes after only a day In one job, he got paid by a bar owner 5 bucks and all the shots of whiskey he could drink to clean a total of six window blinds, which as it turns out took him all day, and in the end required because he was of course drunk the help of all his fellow bar patrons, for whom he used the five bucks to buy a round this was the fifties, when five bucks could actually almost buy a bar full of patrons a round well, almost In the end he had to put 8.50 on the tab he owed the bartender.Bukowski also worked at Sears FIVE different times during this period, fired each time for stealing and various other infractions Usually for not showing up for work while he was on a three day bender with some girl, or healing from some fight Hey, I worked at Sears, in the stockroom, for a year or so Boring job, in which I hid out and read books during long evening shifts Did I ever sneak in a bottle of wine for me and my fellow misery suffering warehouse rats I seem to recall I may have done this once or twice, but you ain t a priest, and this ain t no confessional booth.Factotum doesn t quite have the innocence of Ham and Rye, when he actually just lusted after various girls and women, when he was just a kid In this book he actually has a lot of sex, some of it funny, all of it described in gloriously vulgar detail, though finally, as with the jobs, it s really mostly misery, all the time He s going nowhere fast And it feels like the well told raucous romp of a million alcoholics And a guy who is during this time often an unapologetic asshole I think you could ask any of the women he was with during this period for their view of him and it would not be positive though when they were drinking with him, at least, I am sure they had fun.But can I turn away and stop listening Nope Bukowski will be hilarious for some, and too offensive for many, but he sure can tell a story The poverty and squalor of Factotum is not quite as fun as it was in Ham and Rye, but at his best, Bukowski is worth the offense, imho It was true that I didn t have much ambition, but there ought to be a place for people without ambition, I mean a better place than the one usually reserved How in the hell could a man enjoy being awakened at 6 30 a.m by an alarm clock, leap out of bed, dress, force feed, shit, piss, brush teeth and hair, and fight traffic to get to a place where essentially you made lots of money for somebody else and were asked to be grateful for the opportunity to do so Who in working class America cannot raise a glass to that In the end, Bukowski reveals himself in all his assholism to be in the company of other great and painful stories of the ravages of booze, such as Malcolm Lowry s Under the Volcano, or any Kerouac, or Raymond Carver s What We Talk About When We Talk About Love Bukowski almost convinces you that the pursuit of drunkenness as a way of coping with reality is a kind of spiritual pursuit If you re going to try, go all the way Otherwise, don t even start This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind It could mean not eating for three or four days It could mean freezing on a park bench It could mean jail It could mean derision It could mean mockery isolation Isolation is the gift All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it And, you ll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds And it will be better than anything else you can imagine If you re going to try, go all the way There is no other feeling like that You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire You will ride life straight to perfect laughter It s the only good fight there is Factotum is not for everyone, I warn you, or welcome you, depending on your love of the tales of the down and out.