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post office: A Novel by Charles Bukowski

post office: A Novel (original 1971; edition 2007)

by Charles Bukowski

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4,104611,228 (3.95)67
Title:post office: A Novel
Authors:Charles Bukowski
Info:Ecco (2007), Paperback, 208 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Post Office by Charles Bukowski (1971)

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English (56)  Dutch (2)  French (1)  German (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (61)
Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
I've read a lot of Charles Bukowski, but this is his only novel that I own. the plot line is pretty simple, I man gets a job in a Post Office sorting mail into bundles for the letter carriers to deliver. A lot of people, even me used to do this work. It was mild public service, and It paid reasonably well, and the work was relatively clean. He meets a girl they get married, and work out pretty well. then she leaves him. He reverts to his former hard drinking ways, and starts to win at the horse races. People also used to gamble at race tracks, horse races, on which particular horse would win. It was complex, and for a change our hero has long winning streak. The streak does end, he goes back to the Post Office...and four years later, he resigns. Yet it is a compelling story and very tightly written. It you want to know what a factory job can be like, "Post Office" has the right delivery. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Jul 5, 2016 |
A short, touching novel about Bukowski's alter ego, Hank Chinaski, and his time as an employee of the U.S. Post Office. Bukowski perfectly captures how dull and soul-crushing repetitive, manual labor is, and how pointless the bureaucracy and authority is that is so plentiful in office buildings, factories and other places that are full of people working a job that slowly eats them alive.

Chinaski gets into several relationships with women, drinks more than a man should be able to handle, and can generally not be bothered by a whole lot of things except good drink, good food, female company and horse racing.

The book is funny and often accurate, but most of all very relatable if you've worked in an idiotic place atleast once in your life. Chinaski (Bukowski) did it for over 10 years. With a mind like his, no wonder he stuck to drink and bummery so fervently.
  bartt95 | Jun 22, 2016 |
I met an old drunk on the street one afternoon. I used to know him from the days with Betty when we made the rounds of the bars. He told me that he was now a postal clerk and that there was nothing to the job. It was one of the biggest fattest lies of the century. I've been looking for that guy for years but I'm afraid somebody else has gotten to him first." (pg. 50).

Charles Bukowski entertains in this signature rambling confessional novel about his eleven years working in menial jobs at the post office. Reading Bukowski is almost cathartic, as he gives voice to your darker everyday thoughts about life. Many will find themselves relating to the emotions and cynicisms he describes, and it is rather pleasing to see such thoughts laid out in print rather than just swimming around in your head. His observations on the people around him are all on the money, particularly the pedants and jobsworths, the supervisors who all "had a look on their faces... they must practice it in front of mirrors... they looked at you as if you were a hunk of human shit." (pg. 52).

But more notable are his observations on the ordinary people, the wage-slaves - those people who have just given up on trying to make something of their life, and exist just to punch in and out each day and do menial labour. At one point, Bukowski poignantly chronicles the breakdown of 'G.G', an unremarkable old employee who "was neither liked nor disliked. He was just there." (pg. 30) and was heartlessly cast aside when he had nothing left to give (his supervisor's first response, when told of G.G.'s mental collapse, is "Who's manning his route?... I gotta get somebody to man his route!" (pg. 33)). The general theme of Post Office is that such work, particularly when run by those jobsworth types that every reader will have their own less-than-fond memories of, is soul-destroying, with your whole life geared towards servitude to the company. "Damn, they won't let a man live at all, will they?" Chinaski, Bukowski's alter ego, remarks on page 75. "They always want him at the wheel." What Bukowski did, in his constant non-conformity and eventual resignation and subsequent novel-writing, was to place both hands on the wheel and choose to veer wildly all over the road. Some of Chinaski's actions may seem petty (and if you had to work alongside Bukowski in such a job you would probably think he was a bit of a piss-ant) but you have to admire someone who is so intolerant of workplace servility that he could only suffer through it himself with an unstable mixture of stubbornness, indifference and outright contempt." ( )
  MikeFutcher | Jun 3, 2016 |
I love Charles Bukowski, despite the fact that he was a male chauvinist pig, and he was simply SUCH a dirty old man. But I will also say with pure honesty, he was a something of a literary genius with stories that suck you in and stick with you.
I started with "Ham on Rye" to get myself prepared with Henry’s childhood. The Post Office left right off where "Ham on Rye" finished and moved on to his years as a young adult venturing out into a cold cruel world. "The Post Office" is RAW, brutal, honest, inspiring and yet- so depressing. It is truly hilarious, sarcastic and witty. For some reason, I find myself wanting to continue reading all of Bukowski's work, so "Women" is next of course. This was a short fast read and Im sure the story will stick with me forever.
I am so glad I stumbled upon a few great Bukowski quotes, and “The Most Beautiful Girl in Town” has actually become a story that I REREAD over and over again.
You are either going to love him, as he grows on you like a WART, or you will hate him and he is growing on you like a wart.
( )
  XoVictoryXo | May 31, 2016 |
Short. Amusing. 4 stars. ( )
  HenryJOlsen | May 21, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061177571, Paperback)

"It began as a mistake." By middle age, Henry Chinaski has lost more than twelve years of his life to the U.S. Postal Service. In a world where his three true, bitter pleasures are women, booze, and racetrack betting, he somehow drags his hangover out of bed every dawn to lug waterlogged mailbags up mud-soaked mountains, outsmart vicious guard dogs, and pray to survive the day-to-day trials of sadistic bosses and certifiable coworkers. This classic 1971 novel—the one that catapulted its author to national fame—is the perfect introduction to the grimly hysterical world of legendary writer, poet, and Dirty Old Man Charles Bukowski and his fictional alter ego, Chinaski.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:35 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

By middle age, Henry Chinaski has lost more than twelve years of his life to the U.S. Postal Service. In a world where his three true, bitter pleasures are women, booze, and racetrack betting, he somehow drags his hangover out of bed every morning to lug waterlogged mailbags up mud-soaked mountains, outsmart vicious guard dogs, and pray to survive the day-to-day trials of sadistic bosses and certifiable co-workers.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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