Post Office 1971
Ham on Rye 1982
Post Office, Ham on Rye and Factotum. These are three books I have recently read by Charles Bukowski. My son, Alexander, is an avid reader and suggested them to me and I loved each one. The author is one of America's best-known writers. While I admit that I had never heard of him growing up in England, I am grateful to know of him now. A boy born to poor, ignorant parents during the Depression, he felt ugly, stupid and was frequently told by his father that life had no future for him. Miraculously, despite his horrendous parenting and lack of education, Bukowski's first short story was published when he was 24, but then he gave up writing for nearly twenty years while he worked for the United States Postal Service in Los Angeles. Factotum is brilliantly written and the tempo moves quickly. It's very funny, sometimes dark, but always incredibly real and focused. I enjoyed the insight it gave me into the minds of people struggling to cope with the Depression in America. Each book takes place in a very small geographic radius with larger-than-life writing.