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Book Review: Factotum by Charles Bukowski

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The beauty of Bukowski is his ability to get right to it.



Factotum by Charles Bukowski.


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 next.

Charles 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.

Particularly relevant in this semi-depression era of high unemployment and readjustment. Bukowski nails it, then and now.

G.T. Greenwood, Oct. 2010

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