James's Reviews > Ham on Rye

Ham on Rye by Charles Bukowski
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's review
Aug 06, 09

Read in August, 2009

Sometimes books have lines that seem out of place. Wittgenstein's Mistress has those lines about the narrator's wife, Dragon Tattoo has those odd computer descriptions.

More often than not, I'm sure they're the microscope pointed at what the book is really about. But I can't figure out what Markson was talking about, and Larson just needed an editor.

Ham on Rye has the uncouth Bukowski-style, in what amounts to his memoir from ancestors to college-ish. I love books that explore experiences far removed from my own. In this case, it's like a coming of age novel - if the author was truly candid - as well as coming from a violent home and detached parents.

But back to those out of place lines... Ham would pretty much get 5 stars simply for the lines where he stops the narrative and gives a little description of how he sees the world. Wow. There is such distilled, sharp, analysis (in the 'Embrace the Horror' method)....

I'm not somebody who keeps books because there are paragraphs or lines I want to remember. I'm not somebody who highlights and underlines. But Ham may change all that.

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Reading Progress

07/31/2009 page 80

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