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3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  38,936 Ratings  ·  1,163 Reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 174 pages
Published 1987 by Mladost, Zagreb (first published 1975)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-45)
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Joshua Nomen-Mutatio
I have a sort of pre-emptive dislike-verging-on-loathing of Bukowski, which I think is rooted in my post-adolescent rejection of and disillusionment with the Beat writers (whom I absolutely adored in high school). I’ve never read Bukowski before, but I’ve seen Barfly and Factotum on the screen. I’ve seen two documentaries about him which likewise left me more disgusted and depressed than anything. This is where I’m coming from. There’s also this song that aided in informing me about the man.

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.
P.F. Chang
Oct 01, 2009 P.F. Chang rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 sev
Printable Tire
Having read two of Bukowski's books now, I've decided he's for two types of people: psuedo-intelectual masochists that want to slum a little and more genuine people that live very histrionic if arrogant and introverted lives. I can’t get over how conceited Bukowski is, how conceited his books and intentions are, or the way he treats his audience. I guess he’s sort of a modern day Oscar Wilde or Elephant Man, but reading his books gives me the impression that most people that read him think the j ...more
Mar 17, 2014 Brian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Brian by: Ned Mozier

"What kind of job you looking for?"
"Stockboy, shipping clerk, janitor."

The denizens of Bukowski's fictional world encompass the marginalized chaff of mid-20thcentury America. Barely a step ahead of abject vagrancy, Bukowski's protagonist and alter-ego Henry Chinaski is the everyman of the most base of our species comfortable asking the bare minimum of this world.

When you drank the world was still out there, but for the moment it didn't have you by the throat.

Chinaski's story isn't pretty, bu
Jun 25, 2007 Cody rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bukowski holds a strange attraction for me. I suppose reading his novels and short stories is something like staring at a car crash or returning to the scene of the crime: I just can't help it. There is a primitive, visceral draw. I have yet to read a Bukowski novel that I consider great. Factotum does come close, but its moments of brilliance are weighed down by excessive machismo and male posturing. Still, I can't say I regret reading it, and I know I will read Bukowski again.
Oct 23, 2016 Roula rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ΓΙΑ ΜΕΝΑ, οχι τοσο καλο οσο το ταχυδρομειο, but still..4 αστερακια!!
ميقات الراجحي
في إستكمال مشروع قراءة سيرة تشارلز بوكوفسكي الروائية، وحديث متشعب وقاسي عن غترة الحرب العالمية الثانية وتنقله من مكانٍ لآخر. صراحته موجعة وشديد القسوة في إطلاق الأحـكام ، ورغم مواصلته لتسجيل حياته كجزء من النص إلا زمن الرواية وحالة الحرب لم تجعل النص يتسيد إلا بحديثه عن الجـنس والمرأة. وجـدته مضحكًا في هذا الجزء.

كتابة الرواية وفق طريقة مقاطع قصصية رغم وحدة النص أستهوتني جدًا. وهي متماسكة في قالب واحد وتشدك لإكمالها. كذلك سرده وفق الجمل القصيرة في كتابات بوكوفسكي تذكرني بروعة جمل أوسكار وايلد خصو
This is the first Bukowski novel I read - I chose it because the movie version was coming out, and I wanted to read the book first.

As a first Bukowski novel, it's a wise choice, because it's a quick read. I blew through it in 2-3 days. It's a very conflicting book, because in some regards it's depressing to see how he lived, what his relationships were like, but on other levels, it's inspiring, because he was so dirt poor and bounced around from job to job, but was able to support himself and hi
Michael Oliver
Jan 22, 2008 Michael Oliver rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mine enemies
What a piece of shit. Chuck Buck prides himself as a worthless human filled with anger and bitterness towards all his fellow men. He has no respect for women or anyone else for that matter, and drinks himself into a state of absolute despair just so he can write about his depressive life in order to persuade the rest of the public to feel better about themselves (I assume). Bile. Waste. A foul excuse for contemporary literature- it's more like contemptuous literature. I'm embarrassed his writing ...more
Jul 19, 2012 Lawnzilla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
My first Bukowski novel... couldn't put it down. I find myself relating so much to Henry Chinaski. His manias, his phobias, his inept attempts at becoming a functioning member of society that lead him to realize he truly wasn't a man meant for this world... I find such comfort in his distressing words.

"The bus ran along a very narrow strip of cement that stood up out of the water with no guard-rail, no nothing; that's all there was to it. The bus driver leaned back and we roared along over this
Oct 25, 2016 George rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 20th-century
Βαθμολογία: 9/10

Αυτό είναι το πέμπτο βιβλίο του Τσαρλς Μπουκόφσκι που διαβάζω (Τοστ ζαμπόν, Ταχυδρομείο, Βρόμικος κόσμος και Αστυνομικό τα προηγούμενα τέσσερα), τον οποίο είναι σαν να γνωρίζω για πρώτη φορά, τόσα χρόνια που πέρασαν από την τελευταία φορά που διάβασα κάτι δικό του (Σεπτέμβριος του 2012!). Τι να πει κανείς για τον συγγραφέα και άνθρωπο Τσαρλς Μπουκόφσκι; Ήταν τιτανοτεράστιος, έζησε την (χαμό) ζωή στα άκρα, έγραψε πάρα πολλές ιστορίες για τους ανθρώπους του περιθωρίου, τους χαμάληδ
Dec 09, 2012 Michael rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Michael by: Violet
A perpetually unemployed alcoholic. Henry Chinaski drifts through the seedy city streets of lower-class LA in search of a job. Factotum takes place in 1944 and follows the life of Chinaski in his search for a job that will not separate him from his writing. He is consistently rejected by the only publishing house he respects but he is driven by the knowledge that he could do better than the authors they publish.

When they call Charles Bukowski’s Factotum a beer-soaked, deliciously degenerate nove
Nov 20, 2008 Scott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Working sucks. So does changing jobs all the time. Have a drink. The humor interspersed with the transience and violence is hilarious.
Apr 18, 2009 Cwn_annwn_13 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is pretty typical Bukowski. As with most of what he wrote its supposed to be loosely based on his real life experiences. If you can get beyond his annoying habit of trying to convince you of how tough he is and exagerrating if not out and out lying about the frequency of his sexual encounters and the quality of the women involved then its a good quick read for a laugh. The best stuff in this is his humorous accounts of working various disposable menial jobs. Bukowski is very funny, a fact w ...more
Andy Carrington
Nov 21, 2016 Andy Carrington rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: shelved, life
Fuck work.
Jan 14, 2014 Adam rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1970-present, prose
Reminded of the book and what I've copy-pasted below by a comment a short while ago on this wonderful review: I haven't read this entire thing in probably three years or so, but a short search unveiled my dusty copy in a vile corner of my closet, lying next to an Enid Blyton book I nostalgically bought at a used bookstore once but never read. Reread about 40 pages of Factotum and gave up before I threw up. So what follows is just a comment I posted on th ...more
Mar 15, 2012 Sarah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book confirmed for me that Bukowski only tells the one story. That one story generally takes the form of several of the same stories over again, with different surroundings and characters. This book is about many of the jobs Chinaski works in between drinking, writing, and screwing. Women, on the other hand, is about the many women he screws in between drinking and writing. There may be a greater thread of illumination I am missing, but that's all I have to say about it.

This is not to say
Jonny Gibbings
Mar 27, 2013 Jonny Gibbings rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
You know, don't know what the fuss is about. Maybe it is me, maybe it was all the hype, but, I thought it Factotum was crap. For the record, I am no intellectual, I am not of the thinking it has to be hard to read to be good, but, for me, Factotum read like it was written by a 15 year old trying to imagine what a hard drinking womaniser would be like.

There was no depth, flimsy characters that the author paints a vague suggestion of, bouncing form job to job - each is brief but lacking. The tale
Mike Lester
Jun 15, 2011 Mike Lester rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Factotum. I must confess I wasn't familiar with the word until I read this book a few years back, but once I knew the meaning, I had to read the book. This may be one of the most honest portrayals of living life under the radar I've ever read. Having worked a variety of jobs myself, often stultifying, never fulfilling, Bukowski's book was a constant reminder of the degree of dignity that must be surrendered in order to survive on a daily basis. If you ever find yourself in a job where you have t ...more
Roya Shaban
Dec 17, 2014 Roya Shaban rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2014
It was so fast ! but enjoyable read !
this story got no plot to follow . ..
you just go with Henry Chinaski hunting jobs , and meeting new people , drinking , hanging around !
i think my favorite character is Jan , no doubt .. am looking forward to read " Post office " even thought i kinda hated the simple writing style or whatever !

Jan 11, 2012 Zach rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hard-fiction
What Catcher in the Rye would have been if Holden grew a set. Excellent narrative that peers into the nature of a directionless young adult who finds sanity at the bottom of a bottle. Bukowski brilliantly penned this tale of a mans personal impotence who drifts aimlessly through a multitude of employment opportunities. He wanders much, cares for little, and drinks all.
Henry Martin
World War II, America and Henry Chinaski. This is Factotum. Charles Bukowski brings his alter ego, Henry Chinaski, back to life in this phenomenal work and with it, he puts himself and society on trial.
A lot, perhaps too much, has been said about Bukowski and his work. While I truly enjoy his short stories the most, Factotum, along with post Office, are among my favorite books written by American authors. Bukowski's writing is simple and straight-to-the-point, and Factotum is no exception. Fille
Mar 15, 2017 Miguel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: resenha-sqf
'Factotum', título traduzido para português por Vasco Gato, foi originalmente publicado nos Estados Unidos em 1975 e nunca fora publicado até agora em Portugal. Este é o segundo romance que Bukowski publicou (pela Editora Alfaguara encontra-se já disponíveis os romances 'Mulheres', 'Pulp' e 'Hollywood') e deu origem em 2005 a um filme, homónimo, protagonizado pelo actor Matt Dillon.
Hmmm. So finally I managed to finish reading my first book by Charles Bukowski, and I really don't know what to say. And yet, I'm gonna use this space to say what I want to.

Henry 'Hank' Chinaski (supposedly Bukowski's fictional alter-ego) is an aspiring writer & the protagonist of this novel. His life revolves around three things - women, drink & jobs. And he can't stick to just one either, switching from one to another so fast that it's pointless to keep count.

Bukowski's prose is absolu
Hannah Eiseman-Renyard
Nasty Drunk

I'd heard multiple times that Bukowski was a shit to women, but a really good writer. OK, I can deal with that. I mean, I wouldn't want to have a drink with the guy but it's not like misogyny's a new one on me. Bring it on: I will read your stuff.

I gave up about halfway through. Not because he was vile to women (he was vile to everyone) but because there was nothing, I mean nothing to engage me.

Sparse writing style is only a boon if you have something good to write about. This has th
Jan 03, 2008 Lori rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I like Bukowski. I do. He tells it like it is. He doesnt try to make his alter ego Chinaksi into a hero. He's an everyday, down on his luck, boosing and one night standing kinda man.

Bukowski makes writing look easy. His stories are effortless. They flow off the page like a conversation. And here I am saying Stories, when.. in actuality this is a novel. Charles writes his novels in a sort of short story form. Each chapter is a story in itself, they can be read on thier own, in no particular orde
Jun 30, 2013 Pete rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I started reading Factotum (1975) by Charles Bukowski. Then I got a new job, got drunk and then got fired. Then I read the next chapter. Then I got on a train to New Orleans. After that I stopped to read the next chapter and listen to some Mahler. Then went to a bar, got sauced and read the next chapter. After that I went out and got a job at a warehouse. It was good for the first two days and I took a liking to the broad who worked in the office. We got together that night, got some port, had f ...more
Oct 22, 2013 Sookie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Bukowski's protagonist challenges the very basic expectation of what people want from their lives. Being borderline vagrant, Chinaski lives his life with minimum expectations and necessities. In a world where excess isn't enough, Chinaski's point of view can be quite jarring when he makes observations on everyday man.

At some point we all wonder for a fleeting moment if we were born at the wrong era or wrong time as we find ourselves unable to fit amongst our kin. Chinaski is one such person and
Dec 03, 2016 Magdalen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"These people are assholes, assholes! They have no intelligence! They don't know how to think! They're afraid of the mind! They're sick! They're cowards! They aren't thinking men like you and me"

A writer who struggles to make ends meet so he takes every job he can possibly find. Bukowski's writing is sharp, brutal, raw. The story at some parts I could even describe it as depressing.. (lost count of how many jobs he changed or how many females he slept with) For me Factotum is brilliant.
Vivone Os
BOOK CLUB (za ožujak 2017)
Uh, ne znam uopće što bih rekla za ovu knjigu. Za Bukowskog sam čula prije, ali dosta neodređeno - nisam znala ništa ni o njemu, ni o njegovim djelima. Kad je bila predložena za Book Club, knjigu sam uzela bez ikakvog istraživanja i pripreme, bez ikakvih očekivanja.
Za njegova djela kažu da su klasici, odlična kritika društva, da savršeno opisuju onu drugu stranu života, bla, bla...
Sve je to super, al meni je knjiga bila totalno bez veze. Srećom da je kratka, jednostavna
Oct 08, 2015 Eddie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-best
a nice way to recover after enduring city of stairs.. I feel refresshed... I feel... alive again!!!

"Ok. And when things get low you walk down the alley and get yourself a cup of coffee. It's Montie's Cafe. They got a a waitress there with big tits, you ought to see them. he wears low-cut blouses and bend over all the time. And the pie is fresh'

I wonder.. are they talking about the pie that the cafe serves or.......

God I love Bukowski... Dismal and Depravity and its VERY best!!!

Feb 07, 2016 Neri. rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
1.5. It started off weird and it got even weirder... I didn't enjoyed it at all.
Igor Guzun
Sep 26, 2016 Igor Guzun rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Muncitor la o fabrică de biscuiţi pentru câini. Este una dintre profesiile pe care le îmbrăţişează, pentru puţin timp, scriitorul Charles Bukowski şi eroul romanului său „Factotum”, Henry Chinaski. Şi în acest roman, la fel ca în cele mai cunoscute cărţi ale lui Bukowski, „Femei” şi „De duzină”, biografia autorului se contopeşte cu viaţa personajului central din ficţiunile sale, scrise toate în cheia unui realism murdar, dar cu dragoste curată pentru viaţa oamenilor obişnuiţi.

Atunci când persona
Ardà Rbo
Nov 25, 2015 Ardà Rbo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hasta ahora no había leído ninguna novela de Bukowski, y no lo había hecho por pura pereza. Es un autor que tiene, por un lado, una horda de seguidores ruidosos, muchos de ellos lo que llamamos "adolescentes rebeldes", universitarios culturetas y en general jóvenes más o menos leídos que parecen fundamentalmente atraídos por su malditismo y están muy interesados en que tú te enteres de ello. Por el otro lado tiene muchos detractores, casi todos ellos también jóvenes que reaccionan al entusiasmo ...more
Mar 18, 2013 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I kind of like reading reviews on Charles Bukowski's works. The negative reviews are good, especially the ones that are written after the reader has acknowledged not reading the entire work, but I find the positive ones to be more entertaining because I get a kick out of the awe and reverence and near hero worship toward the man and I feel like if I keep reading long enough I'll eventually stumble upon one calling for beatification. Did I use that word right? I enjoy these positive (booklicker?) ...more
I read this because I kept hearing about the movie, which features Matt Dillon in the Chinaski roll, and I wanted to read the book first. To be honest, it's not Bukowski's best, but I guess I can see why they made a movie based on it, because there's lots of sex and a fair dose of violence. It's Chinaski as a young man, beginning during WWII. It starts off being a travelogue, switches to a chronicle of his sexual exploits, and by the end it's more or less a description of all the shitty jobs he ...more
Po Po
Sep 06, 2014 Po Po rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alternately titled: 99 Jobs and Couldn't Keep A Single One.

The story is all over the place. Chinaski (Bukowski) criss-crosses the country, intoxicated the entire time, taking innumerable assorted menial jobs along the way which he always manages to get fired from.

Unlike his other novels, Chinaski is pretty much monogamous here (except for some flings in the first half) with an older woman named "Jan."

This is a decent read. Not as fun as Women or Post Office, but there's enough deranged antics an
Feb 13, 2017 Ahmad rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: دارم
لیترالی ناامید شدم :|
یک. ترجمه قطعن نقص داشت.، مثلن فرض کنید کتاب نوشته دهه نود بعد پانوشت زده مترجم که منظور قرن نوزده میلادی است. دا فاق آخه؟
نمیدونم کل این که دوستش نداشتم ضعف ترجمه بود یا اینکه انتظاراتم از کتاب یه چیزی در حد عامهپسند بود و خود اثر هم در اون حدودا نبود.
اوایلش خوب بود ولی خب از صفحه هشتاد به بعد کم کم ریتم تکراری و غیرهیجان انگیزی پیدا میکرد انگار.
Feb 14, 2016 Ayushi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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 ...more
Justin Grimbol
Apr 15, 2011 Justin Grimbol rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read this book eight times--- usually when I'm in a bad place and my life feels overwhelming. This book celebrates sloppiness and all things dysfunctional. Reading it gives me the fuel i need to keep going and be as messy as I need to be about it.
Mar 09, 2016 Fernando rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was a man who thrived on solitude; without it I was like another man without food or water. Each day without solitude weakened me. I took no pride in my solitude; but I was dependent on it.
Feb 02, 2015 Diletta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Io a Bukowski voglio un gran bene. Leggerne uno ogni tanto è una cura meravigliosa.
Jon(athan) Nakapalau
When the undercurrent of life starts to pull you away even struggling against it can make take you further away...this book is the perfect example of this.
Efrén Ayón
Following the absence feeling in Post Office, Factotum actually rellies a little bit more on the constant fears and concerns of Bukowski's alter ego. Which seems rather convenient, because is a younger and more naive man, that would later become in the disillusioned main character of that first book.

Here, in a constant note with what I said before, the prose is a little bit heavier, as in the hopes of the protagonist. He actually says sometimes how frightened he is. Is interesting to see the con
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What is your favourite Charles Bukowski book? 14 163 Feb 16, 2015 04:55PM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: # 41 Factotum 1 5 May 18, 2014 10:05AM  
  • Clown Girl
  • Skagboys
  • Dreams from Bunker Hill (The Saga of Arthur Bandini, #4)
  • Dead Babies
  • The Basketball Diaries
  • The Coma
  • The Room
  • The Fuck-Up
  • Leaving Las Vegas
  • Selected Essays from: How to be Alone
  • The Informers
  • One Fine Day in the Middle of the Night
  • The Contortionist's Handbook
  • Guts
Henry Charles Bukowski (born as Heinrich Karl Bukowski) was a German-born American poet, novelist and short story writer. His writing was influenced by the social, cultural and economic ambience of his home city of Los Angeles.It is marked by an emphasis on the ordinary lives of poor Americans, the act of writing, alcohol, relationships with women and the drudgery of work. Bukowski wrote thousands ...more
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“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.” 5878 likes
“My ambition is handicapped by laziness” 5514 likes
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