Post Office – Charles Bukowski

Post Office is a novel by Charles Bukowski and is seen as an autobiographical work. It is about a man named Henry Chinaski. He works for the US postal service and really hates his job yet he sticks it out for more than 12 years. This book follows his work life (describing it’s drudgery in great detail) and private life while he is employed with this service.

Henry Chinaski is a low life loser with a hand-to-mouth existence. His menial Post Office day job supports a life of beer, one-night stands and racetracks. Lurid, uncompromising and hilarious, Post Office is a landmark in American literature.

I love Bukowski’s poetry so decided to give one of his novels a go. I got this one off bookmooch a few months ago and finally got around to reading it this week.

In this novel, Chinaski lives his life drunk, hungover and looking for a quick buck and quick lay. All of these things he seems to find with no problem. He is a bad worker (he doesn’t show up, he works slowly and he gives everyone lip) but the postal service won’t lay him off and as much as he hates it he struggles to leave it’s clutches.

This really is the ‘ultimate hate your job novel’. Bukowski does a great job of describing the work of a US post employee and I can tell you, I am so glad that it is not my job! Even reading about it was tiring and dull…. yet for some reason I actually wanted to keep reading. This novel was good, yet painful, so I guess Bukoswki achieved his aim in writing this book.

If you have ever been in a menial job you really hate but you continue to work there, then you will understand this novel.

Rating 3/5
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