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Чарльз Буковски - один из крупнейших американских писателей ХХ века, автор более чем сорока книг, среди которых романы, стихи, эссеистика и рассказы. Несмотря на порою шокирующий натурализм, его тексты полны лиричности, даже своеобразной сентиментальности.
Роман "Женщины" написан им на волне популярности и содержит массу фирменных "фишек" Буковски: самоиронию, обилие сексуальных сцен, энергию сюжета. Герою книги 50 лет, его зовут Генри Чинаски, и он является неизменным альтер-эго автора. Роман представляет собой череду более чем откровенных сексуальных сцен, которые объединены главным - бесконечной любовью героя к своим женщинам, любованием ими и грубовато-искренним восхищением.
Бунтарь и романтик, не желающий вписываться ни в какие рамки, презирающий какие бы то ни было правила, - такой образ возникает у каждого, кто читает книги Чарльза Буковски.
Те, кто услышит в его нарочито брутальной прозе и поэзии музыку, разглядит за маской циника и сквернослова поэзию, полюбят его навсегда.
Буковски же, кажется, было все равно, будет ли он услышан. Он шел своим путем, презирая рафинированных людей и рафинированное, выхолощенное искусство.

"Пока мужчины смотрят футбол, или пьют пиво, или шастают по кегельбанам, они, женщины эти, думают о нас, сосредотачиваются, изучают, решают - принять нас, выкинуть, обменять, убить или просто бросить".

291 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1978

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About the author

Charles Bukowski

764 books26.6k followers
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 of poems, hundreds of short stories and six novels, eventually publishing over sixty books

Charles Bukowski was the only child of an American soldier and a German mother. At the age of three, he came with his family to the United States and grew up in Los Angeles. He attended Los Angeles City College from 1939 to 1941, then left school and moved to New York City to become a writer. His lack of publishing success at this time caused him to give up writing in 1946 and spurred a ten-year stint of heavy drinking. After he developed a bleeding ulcer, he decided to take up writing again. He worked a wide range of jobs to support his writing, including dishwasher, truck driver and loader, mail carrier, guard, gas station attendant, stock boy, warehouse worker, shipping clerk, post office clerk, parking lot attendant, Red Cross orderly, and elevator operator. He also worked in a dog biscuit factory, a slaughterhouse, a cake and cookie factory, and he hung posters in New York City subways.

Bukowski published his first story when he was twenty-four and began writing poetry at the age of thirty-five. His first book of poetry was published in 1959; he went on to publish more than forty-five books of poetry and prose, including Pulp (1994), Screams from the Balcony (1993), and The Last Night of the Earth Poems (1992).

He died of leukemia in San Pedro on March 9, 1994.

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5 stars
21,944 (29%)
4 stars
27,599 (37%)
3 stars
17,323 (23%)
2 stars
5,367 (7%)
1 star
2,254 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,622 reviews
5 reviews23 followers
June 15, 2007
Misogyny, misogyny, misogyny....that's all everyone sees. Few see the true character of Hank, only the brutal sexual descriptions, the words beginning with "C" and his practice of "mounting" whatever drunken soul may have wandered into his piss-stained bed. This is one of the most American novels I have ever read. It tells the story of the common man, overburdened by the memories of his abusive youth, beleagured by his own unsightly appearance and wallowing in the depths of alcoholism. Few feel the groan of his body when he rises each morning, the dull thud in his brain, or the unrequited love in his heart. This is not a story of a crude womanizer. This is the story of pain and consistency, his life moving along with each labored step, unwillingly. It is the story of rejection, acceptance and our own inherent ability to survive without really trying.

They sounded like really nasty women anyway....
Profile Image for Vit Babenco.
1,425 reviews3,395 followers
August 18, 2021
Freaks always attract other freaks – it must be some immutable law of nature.
I had on my dead father’s overcoat, which was too large. My pants were too long, the cuffs came down over the shoes and that was good because my stockings didn’t match, and my shoes were down at the heels. I hated barbers so I cut my own hair when I couldn’t get a woman to do it. I didn’t like to shave and I didn’t like long beards, so I scissored myself every two or three weeks. My eyesight was bad but I didn’t like glasses so I didn’t wear them except to read. I had my own teeth but not that many. My face and my nose were red from drinking and the light hurt my eyes so I squinted through tiny slits. I would have fit into any skid row anywhere.

Aloofness, drunkenness, seclusion: Hank Chinaski is a deliberate pariah, a lone wolf – misogynic and misanthropic…
I disliked them all immediately, sitting around acting clever and superior. They nullified each other. The worst thing for a writer is to know another writer, and worse than that, to know a number of other writers. Like flies on the same turd.

Women come and go, an ensemble of women is exotic and bizarre but all of them are thoroughly unhappy. Emptiness swallows existence and human comedy is hardly distinguishable from human tragedy…
I was glad I wasn’t in love, that I wasn’t happy with the world. I like being at odds with everything. People in love often become edgy, dangerous. They lose their sense of perspective. They lose their sense of humor. They become nervous, psychotic bores. They even become killers.

A curst cur must be tied short…
Profile Image for Lydia.
55 reviews6 followers
August 11, 2011
The leading crazy lady's name is Lydia. I can relate. Charles Bukowski has a way of betraying you and making you laugh in spite of yourself; disgusting you and then melting your heart with one tender and insightful paragraph you do not expect, at a moment that doesn't seem appropriate in context to that which he is speaking. It is impossible to love Bukowski and impossible not to love him. This book is just a delight, if you can absorb it. He is mushy soft at his core.
Profile Image for Candi.
614 reviews4,644 followers
January 9, 2022
“I am more or less a failed drizzling shit with absolutely nothing to offer.”

Ah, honesty goes a long way, doesn’t it?! So does humor. And this book made me laugh out loud – a lot! I went into this open-minded, but prepared to get more than a little pissed off with Henry Chinaski. You see, I’ve been reading a lot of, well, ‘feminist’ sorts of books of late. It made my end of year reading look a bit lopsided. This led me one day to google “the most misogynistic books of all time”! Ha! I would figure it all out once and for all, right? Wrong! The thing is, I never got angry with Henry, or Hank, as I expected. Not that I’d invite him over for a drink anytime soon though either. I’d hate to become one of his research projects. This guy would eat me alive.

“I had to taste women in order to really know them, to get inside of them. I could invent men in my mind because I was one, but women, for me, were almost impossible to fictionalize without first knowing them.”

No doubt he’s a sloppy, miserable, coarse, drunken, horny son of a bitch. And no one knows this better than Hank himself. But the women seem to fall from the sky, landing right at his feet, inserting themselves directly into his life. He, in turn, inserts himself directly between their legs. His sexual conquests are frequent, numerous, and, on his luckiest days, simultaneous. And yet, I continued to laugh. The writing was clever. Until I got bored. You see, after a while, it felt a bit like that movie Groundhog Day. Repetitive. Most of the variation was in the woman’s name, the color of her hair, and whether or not Hank could manage to follow through with his amorous devotion to the sexual act. It was never a question of whether he had a drink or not, but rather how much alcohol he happened to have consumed on any given day.

“That’s the problem with drinking, I thought, as I poured myself a drink. If something bad happens you drink in an attempt to forget; if something good happens you drink in order to celebrate; and if nothing happens you drink to make something happen.”

So, in order to justify my reading of this during the holidays of all times, I needed to conclude whether or not I found this to be a misogynistic tale. After all, I deliberately set out to read such a thing to begin with. In good conscience, I don’t think I can call it that at all. Hank is not a misogynist. He hates a lot of people, and himself most of all, I believe. I don’t think he much cares for life. He is disillusioned with everything. He tries to make sense of things through his writing.

“People just blindly grabbed at whatever there was: communism, health foods, zen, surfing, ballet, hypnotism, group encounters, orgies, biking, herbs, Catholicism, weight-lifting, travel, withdrawal, vegetarianism, India, painting, writing, sculpting, composing, conducting, backpacking, yoga, copulating, gambling, drinking, hanging around, frozen yogurt, Beethoven, Bach, Buddha, Christ, TM, H, carrot juice, suicide, handmade suits, jet travel, New York City, and then it all evaporated and fell apart. People had to find things to do while waiting to die. I guess it was nice to have a choice.”

The thing is, I don’t know how to rate this book. Most certainly it’s not a life-altering novel. But laughter is a precious commodity, especially the unexpected variety, and it absolutely delivered there. And I have to hand it to Charles Bukowski. He managed to pull one over on this reader, at least. But the truth is, I got a bit weary after a while. Since my birthday wish never came true, I’m going to have to go with 3.5 stars rounded down to 3. It doesn’t quite compare to other books I’ve stamped with all 4.

“I was a writer. I was a dirty old man. Human relationships didn’t work anyhow. Only the first two weeks had any zing, then the participants lost their interest. Masks dropped away and real people began to appear: cranks, imbeciles, the demented, the vengeful, sadists, killers.”
Profile Image for donkeymolar .
31 reviews56 followers
July 18, 2008
I discovered Charles Bukowski while in Las Vegas, in December 2000.
My dad thought it was a good idea to take his 19 year old daughter to Vegas. Because I LOVE watching everyone else gamble and drink while I can't participate!
To be fair, we saw some really good shows (Blue Man Group and Mystere). And the buffets were exciting (Paris was wonderful).
And ! I did get screamed at by a lady on the bus that goes up and down the strip. She looked like Mimi from the Drew Carey show. Well, she dropped her purse and I, being the gentleman that I am, went to pick it up for her because she was obviously too large to bend over herself. And I didnt want her roly poly, blue eyeshadow wearing self to roll down the aisle causing an accident.
(To be fair, she probably wouldnt have rolled, just gotten stuck.)
So this ass starts screaming at me "Don't touch my purse, don't steal my purse!"
So embarassing...

So later that day....
I bought a really sweet corset and some cute underoos at the Victorias Secret in Vegas.
At 19, I was at my most attractive. Everything has gone downhill since then. The ban on ephedra didn't help either. I swear, a few people die and they go and freakin' ban it. People die from cars and alcohol all the time but they dont go banning those. Whatever, man. (I miss you Xenedrine! Call me! **please email me if you have any black market ephedra, will pay in books**).
But the point is, I could wear a corset back then and look mildly attractive in the right lighting. If you squinted your eyes.
I do remember trying that get up on in my hotel room and thinking "Ooooh sexy lady, oh yeah. You soooo fine!"

That was also the last year I considered myself a female.

That was the first and last time I have ever shopped at Victoria's Secret. My friend , Erika, has to remind to me wear bras to this day.

(I also bought 2 pieces of cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory and brought them back to my hotel and devoured them both)

So back to the main subject matter here... our last day in Vegas, we were in some store and there was this book called "Drinking , Smoking and Screwing".
"Yes, yes and yes", I thought to myself.
Didn't even read the description, I just immediately bought it.
Lucky for me it was a collections of short stories from awesome writers about the title subjects.
And an exerpt of Charles Bukowski's "Women" was one of them.

He stood out to me because he writes like he speaks.
In plain, no frills english. Some call him misogynistic but I disagree. I never felt like he was exploiting or demeaning women (in any of his books).
Most of the bitches in his books deserved to be treated like shit. Or wanted to be treated like shit. Because that's how women are sometimes.
And that is why I no longer can relate to that gender amoung many other reasons.

I guess my connection with Buk lies in heartbreak.
That's what he reminds me of.
That bittersweet feeling of your heart being torn out but still continuing to beat.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
May 20, 2022
Women, Charles Bukowski

Women focuses on the many dissatisfaction's Chinaski faced with each new woman he encountered. One of the women featured in the book is a character named Lydia Vance; she is based on Bukowski's one-time girlfriend, the sculptress and sometime poet Linda King. Another central female character in the book is named "Tanya" who is described as a 'tiny girl-child' and Chinaski's pen-pal.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز چهارم ماه ژانویه سال2010میلادی

عنوان: زنان (زنها)؛ نویسنده: چارلز بوکوفسکی؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده20م

نقل نمونه ای از ترجمه متن: (سال‌ها پیش در سی و پنج سالگی ازدواج کرده‌ بودم؛ ازدواج ما دو سال و نیم دوام آورد؛ همسرم از من جدا شد؛ تنها یکبار عاشق شده‌ ام؛ به‌ خاطر اعتیاد شدید به الکل مُرد؛ موقع مرگش چهل و هشت ساله بود، و من سی و هشت سال سن داشتم؛ من دوازده سال از زنم جوانتر بودم؛ خیال می‌کنم او حالا خیلی وقت است که مُرده، هرچند مطمئن نیستم؛ پس از طلاق، شش سال، در کریسمس‌‌ها، برایم نامه‌ ای بلند بالا می‌نوشت، و من هرگز جوابش را نمی‌دادم...)؛ پایان نقل

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 18/07/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 29/02/1401هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Colelea.
30 reviews6 followers
March 1, 2017

I loved Bukowski as a young teenager and now that I go back and re-read I can only imagine that I enjoyed the truth and rawness at that age when I was getting lied to everywhere abt. the relations between men and women.

NOW the misogyny is effing boring. Like the crap I see every effing day. I find it interesting that some people find it so shocking because I know at least 10 men that feel this way abt. women. OVER IT. Don't wanna read abt. it now.
Profile Image for Elliott.
321 reviews41 followers
June 16, 2010
Reading "Women" is like watching a porno. At first, all that wanton sex is exciting and seductive and yeah, kind of funny too; then it starts to get repetitive and a little disturbing; pretty soon you're disgusted with all of it: sex and women and men and most of all, yourself. You promise that you'll never watch again but, deep down, you know you will. You dirty bastard.
Profile Image for Luís.
1,864 reviews522 followers
March 8, 2023
I am disappointed by the emptiness of this book. Admittedly funny at times but too flawed in style. Still, we will find little more to remember in Women than the description of an old disgusting who takes advantage of his glory to type everything that moves. The narrative does not lack humor, but after 300 pages, we expect a little more.
Profile Image for Dream.M.
454 reviews90 followers
September 21, 2021
"زنان" کتابی که نباید خواند.
در داستان آقای بوکوفسکی، زنها از هر تیپ و در هر سنی، همه دم دستی، ارزان و هول پیرمردهای چاقِ جوشیِ دائم الخمر ِ زشت اند و برای همخوابگی با اونها گیس و گیس کشی می‌کنند و در نهایت بعد از چند روز ماجراجویی جنسی پرشور، دور انداخته میشن . ولی بازم ول کن نیستن .
همه زنهای داستان از نظر جنسی منحصر بفرد و پرشورن و هر کدام جوانتر از قبلی هستند. ولی مرد داستان لزومی نداره حتی لباس زیر تمیزی بپوشه یا قبل از بوسیدن لعبتش مسواک بزنه. چون اون آلت داره و همین برای برتری کافی و از سر زنها زیاده .
بخش عمده ای از داستان، روایت جزئیات سکس هنری چینانسکی با زنهای مختلفه و بعد اینکه چطور هرکدوم رو کنار میذاره و بعدی خودشو توی بغلش پرت میکنه . آره خیر سرت پیرمرد گوزو...
آقای بوکوفسکی میتونست با خرده داستانهای جنسی این کتاب، نویسنده برتر سایت سه کاف بشه . قدر خودشو ندونست.

و درآخر، یگ هیچ بزرگ از این کتاب برام به یادگار موند.
مرسی از جواد برای معرفی این مزخرف و فرصت همخوانی که اصلا توش هماهنگ نیستیم 😬🌺
Profile Image for Demetri Broxton-Santiago.
19 reviews16 followers
July 15, 2012
This book is CRAZY!!! I cannot believe I read the entire thing in 3 days. You can't put it down. In fact, it made it's rounds through at least 8 people I know of, and it's probably still making the rounds. Everyone had the same experience. You start it and Bukowski goes into the most sexist, vulgar, repulsive descriptions of the main character's relationship to women, but something makes you keep reading. I stopped at several points wondering, "why the hell am I reading this?", yet I went on. This is a wild feat, making this a brilliant work of art.
The main character is an upper middle-aged man. He's disgusting and a complete drunk. He's also a writer. His greatest ambition in life is the "f@*k" an 18 year old girl when he's 80 year's old. Did I say this was vulgar? It's the worst and best reading you've ever done. You'll fly through it, never knowing exactly why....
Profile Image for Adina.
3 reviews
June 23, 2013
I think it was more of a personal challenge to actually finish the book. I wanted to throw it away every time I opened it, but I always hoped that maybe, maybe there was a good part coming. Could have spent the money on a decent lunch instead of this.

The main character spends so much time describing the sexual encounters and his drunken stupor that you feel no remorse, no sentiment from him, no nothing. Just a child that sees a new toy and damn sure he's going to get it and play with it, then toss it aside without looking at it twice.

I could say I hated it because the women there were either emotionally dead or purely hysterical. I could say I hated it because the main character tried to "excuse" his pathetic life by blaming his parents, without actually making any change.

But the actual reason why I hate it is because it's basically written porn. And badly written. Could've saved myself some time opening a redtube tab.
Profile Image for Jack Edwards.
Author 1 book192k followers
November 29, 2020
Some incredible one-liners and observations - Bukowski's blunt and candid writing never disappoints. However, this novel is incredibly and painfully repetitive which, though intentional, is a little tiresome. Not for the faint-hearted.
Profile Image for Valentina Quiceno.
66 reviews1,077 followers
June 3, 2016
Es increíble lo sencillo que puede parecer un escrito pero que tenga un trasfondo tal interesante.
Si lo vemos muy superficialmente, estamos con Henry Chinaski, (un alter ego de Bukowski) que es un escritor que está muy cerca de llegar a los 60 años, más o menos. La historia nos sigue en como él y otras mujeres mucho más jóvenes tienen encuentros sexuales. Así que el hilo de la historia es básicamente este hombre teniendo sexo con una y otra y otra mujer...
Podría sonar tedioso, o con poca gracia, pero Bukowski y su pluma tienen una dimensión impresionante.

Henry Chinaski es de los mejores personajes que he leído. Conectar con sus pensamientos tan crudamente reales, es increíble.
La forma en la que durante todo el libro se va cuestionando el comportamiento, o el ser de las mujeres, relacionando sus múltiples encuentros sexuales con una especie de investigación indirecta en donde la conclusión resulta que cada mujer es un mundo.... y el desearía descubrir la mayoría, así fuera imposible.

El final también es increíble. Ya que en casi todo el libro pensé que Chinaski sería un personaje que no se salvaría.... pero al final lo hizo. Cambió. Evolucionó. Un desarrollo de personaje que se ve notablemente solo en las últimas páginas del libro, pero que fue de las mejores partes, y un toque increíble.

Una lectura de todo mi gusto, que leí rápido y con mucho interés. Una lectura muy real, muy cruda, y muy "gráfica". Ya que Bukowski se encarga que el lector le quede claro cada uno de sus pensamientos, y cada uno de los movimientos en sus encuentros sexuales...y esto implica escribir con mucha crudeza.
Uno de los mejores libros que he leído.
Profile Image for Arthur Graham.
Author 70 books651 followers
February 22, 2019
Probably my least favorite Bukowski novel, if only because it is the one most commonly used against him by readers with a college freshmen understanding of what misogyny actually is. Anyone who's ever read the man's oeuvre or seen any of his interviews and walked away with the impression that he was anything but an equal-opportunity misanthrope might have a slightly skewed view of things. If anything, he was harder on the men around him, and he hated everyone for their greed, cruelty, and dullness, but he only fucked the women, so I guess that made him a misogynist...
Profile Image for ميقات الراجحي.
Author 6 books1,981 followers
January 1, 2018
هنا فقط نثر رائع ورواية بسيطة جدًا.. بوكوفسكي ورواية تحمل اسم (نساء) حسنًا ماذا ننتظر؟ :) هل ثمة جديد؟

يكمل تشيناسكي حياته الفوضوية التي يوثقها بوكوفسكي - عن نفسه طبعًا - حيث يستمر تنقّله الوظيفي من عملٍ لعمل ولا أعلم ماهذا الحظ الذي يقابله لأجل الحصول على كل هذه الفرص؟ ربما إنخافض الأجور وقبوله بأي عمل يمكنه من ذلك!!... وبالمقابل يستمر هو في عربدته وعلاقاته مع النساء. ولكن في هذه المرحلة يوثق بوكوفسكي لنجمه الشعري الذي بدأ يبزغ أكثر وأكثر.

Charles Bukowski : Whisky / Beer.. Women

هذه رواية لو حذف منها حديثه المكرر عن النساء كمشاهد عابرة لا تخل بسياق الرواية من ناحية تكنيك النص ولو حذف منها تكراره لمشاهد البيرة والمشاهد المكررة منذ روايته الأولى ثم الثانية لكن العمل أصغر حتى من (نوفيلا).. نعم هي سيرة روائية لكن ربما بوكوفسكي كان لينجح أكثر في توثيق سيرته الروائية كلها في (روايتين) فقط بين رواياته الـ(6) رغم أنه قد تبقى لي منها (3) لكن لو كانت كسابقاتها (نساء جنس / شراب خمر) فلا جديد إلا إن كان "سيلعب" على (تقنية) النص فهذا كذلك لن يشفع له.

أنا هنا لا أعترض على صراحة بوكوفسكي عن النساء فهذه حقيقة كل أنثى قابلها فلماذا أعترض؟.. هل أحاسبه على صدقه في تسجيل تفاصيل حياته والألم الذي كان يعيشه وهو يسعي جاهدًا للحصول على (مايريده) نساء وخمر وكتابة.. هذا رجل هذا هو طموحه.. يقترب كثيرًا من عبثية "جوروجي أمادوا” ويقترب كثيرًا من صدق "أوسكار وايلد” لا يعرفون الرتوش والكذب.

أراء بوكوفسكي هي في حقيقة الأمر تمثل قناعاته الشخصية. لذا لا يمكنك زن تطلب منه تبديل هذه القناعات حتى الأنثى خارج الكاتب وهي تقرأ عن الأنثى داخل الكتاب يحق لها الغضب لكن هذا عالمه الخاص.

بالمناسبة لا أعتقد بوكوفسكي جبانًا.. حتي وهو يهرب باسمه ويصر علي أن ينقل لنا حياته من خلال (هنري تشيانسكي) هو يخبرنا أن هذه الحياة ليست فقط حياتي أنها حياة الكثير وهذا الـ(تشيانكسي) أحدهم. حتى ورن كان تشيانكسي هنا قد أصبح في الـ(50) من العمر.

مايزال عنصر الكوميديا قائم في كتابات بوكوفسكي وسط كل هذه السكرات المتكررة، وماتزال قائمة النساء تتضاعف :

Mercedes, Lydia, Debra, Tanya , Gertrude, Katherine,
وغيرهن كثيرات. فالعلاقات الجنسية - لقاء السرير - سريع بالنسبة لبوكوفسكي وكأنه يؤكد أن المرأة بالنسبة له حالة عابرة بإستثناء تجربة المرأة - الحب - التي مررنا بها في إحدى مراحل حياته قبل هذه الكتاب.

لو سأقيّم هذه الرواية وفق ما سبق ليست هي بأعظم مما سبق لكن سأعمد في نهاية أخر عمل له (أدب رخيص) لترتيب روايته (من وجهة نظري أنا) وهي دون شك تحمل الصواب والخطأ. لكن يساعدني على ذلك قراءة أعماله كلها متسلسلة وفق صدورها وفي أقل من شهرين حتى الآن.

هذه الرواية كنت سعيدًا أنني أنهيتها. كنت أنظر لمشاهد تعري وجنسية سريعة كأنك وسط (نادي ليلي) لمن مر بمثل هذه التجربة في حياته. المشاهد هنا مشابهة لتلك الذكريات.

سأنتقل للجزء الرابع (الشطيرة) وربما أكمل السيرة الروائية المتبقية له بعد رمضان. لا أتخيل بوكوفسكي يقاسمني رمضان!!. رغم زنه لم يتبقي لي سوى (هوليود)، و(أدب رخيص) وبهذا أكون أنهيته جانبه الروائي الذي حتى الآن سعيد به بصفة عامة.
Profile Image for Eileen.
70 reviews27 followers
February 13, 2008
In the words of a reviewer on Amazon, "First off, this book will offend people. It will probably offend you." This book hit a little too close to home (you could say I've met and loved this man in real life). At first, reading it was easy; the language is not complex and the material is the definition of "page-turner" - sex, love, drugs, alcohol - in raw, unapologetic realism. And then around page 200 it all became too much. Chinaski does another poetry reading, beds (and then rapes, though strangely enough he does not call this what it is) a new woman half his age, breaks another woman's heart... and drinks, drinks, drinks. I decided to finish the book, because I was more than 2/3 along the way, and I'm glad I did. Chinaski has a breakthrough eventually, and it is heartbreaking, no matter how much you may have grown to despise him. Whether he'll learn or not, who's to say? But then again, that's life right there. And Bukowski's prose, if nothing else, tells it like it is whether you want to read it or not.
Profile Image for Po Po.
174 reviews
July 3, 2014
I'll sum it up for you.

Drink, fuck, drink, horse race, drink, driiiiiiiink, write, drink, drink, watch a boxing match, give a reading, drink, fuck, drink, fuck, fuck, sleep, drink, write, drink, drink, fuck, drink, fuck, give a reading, drink, fuck, drink, fuuuuuuuck, drink, drink, fuck, fuck, drink, fuck.

These are the names of the ladies in his life: Lydia, Katherine, Joanna, Nicole, Debra, Tanya, Gertrude, Hilda, Iris, Mercedes, Liza,and Tammie. (There are others; I missed a few.)

There is some remarkable insight hidden within these pages.

What I liked most is the crude honesty and the brutal humanity. Bukowski's passion is exhilarating.

* * *
"You're so full of shit!"

I laughed. "That's why I write."
Profile Image for George K..
2,370 reviews294 followers
April 24, 2020
Βαθμολογία: 9/10

Σχεδόν δυο χρόνια πέρασαν από την τελευταία φορά που διάβασα Τσαρλς Μπουκόφσκι και εννοείται πως ο άτιμος μπαγάσας μου έλειψε πάρα, μα πάρα πολύ. Αλλά, βέβαια, δεν μπορείς να διαβάσεις βιβλία του Μπουκόφσκι το ένα πίσω από το άλλο, γιατί παίζει πάντα ο παράγοντας της υ��ερβολικής δόσης και μπορεί στο τέλος να καταλήξεις και εσύ ένας τρελαμένος αλκοολικός και σεξομανής, χωρίς όμως ίχνος συγγραφικού ταλέντου για να εξισορροπείς κατά κάποιο τρόπο τις γαϊδουριές σου. Και, βέβαια, η εποχή μας δεν ανέχεται με τίποτα τέτοιους σιχαμένους τύπους. Επίσης, τα βιβλία του δεν είναι αμέτρητα, και δεν θέλω να ξεμείνω τελείως (αν και, βέβαια, μπορώ κάλλιστα να ξαναδιαβάσω βιβλία του δυο και τρεις φορές ακόμα).

Τέλος πάντων, από την πρώτη κιόλας σελίδα κατάλαβα ότι θα διάβαζα τον παλιό, καλό Μπουκόφσκι, τον αλκοολικό πορνόγερο που απολάμβανε το αλκοόλ, το πήδημα και το γράψιμο, με αυτή τη σειρά. Ειλικρινά δεν μπορώ να εξηγήσω με σαφήνεια γιατί μου αρέσει τόσο πολύ αυτός ο συγγραφέας, από τη στιγμή που κανένα από τα βιβλία του ουσιαστικά δεν έχει πλοκή, κάθε μυθιστόρημά του θα μπορούσε να είναι διακόσιες ή τριακόσιες σελίδες, χωρίς κάποια μεγάλη διαφορά. Θα έλεγα ότι ο ωμός, ειλικρινής, κυνικός και αυτοσαρκαστικός τρόπος γραφής αγγίζει κάτι μέσα μου. Πραγματικά απολαμβάνω να διαβάζω ιστορίες του, έστω και αν δεν θα μπορούσα με τίποτα να τις διαβάσω φωναχτά, π.χ. σε κάποιον που θέλει να μάθει τι ακριβώς διαβάζω. Θα κοκκίνιζα από τη ντροπή μου, και ειδικά με τούτο το βιβλίο, που είναι τίγκα στο πήδημα και το αλκοόλ, τίγκα στις γραφικές περιγραφές και τον κυνισμό. Και, εντάξει, ειδικά αυτό το βιβλίο αποτελεί έναν πανεύκολο στόχο για τους απανταχού φεμινιστές, και ειδικά γι'αυτούς που βλέπουν μονάχα την επιφάνεια των πραγμάτων και είναι τόσο πωρωμένοι και κολλημένοι. Αλλά ποσώς με ενδιαφέρουν αυτοί, δεν θα κάτσω να σκάσω κιόλας. Όπως είπα, το βιβλίο το απόλαυσα από την πρώτη μέχρι την τελευταία σελίδα.

Δεν μπορώ να πω ότι θα έκανα παρέα με έναν τύπο σαν τον Χανκ Τσινάσκι (που, φυσικά, είναι το alter ego του Μπουκόφσκι), μιας και εδώ που τα λέμε δεν πίνω καθόλου αλκοόλ και μάλλον θα του φαινόμουν ένας χλεχλές του κερατά -αν και βέβαια ίσως να είχα τα τυχερά μου με τις γκόμενες που τον περιτριγύριζαν-, όμως είναι ένας φοβερός τύπος. Αλήθεια, μέτρησε κανείς τις γυναίκες που εμφανίστηκαν στο βιβλίο και κατά συντριπτική πλειοψηφία πηδήχτηκαν με τον Τσινάσκι; Προσπάθησα να συγκρατήσω ονόματα, αλλά έχασα τον λογαριασμό. Βέβαια, μου έμειναν στο μυαλό κάποιες συγκεκριμένες (π.χ. η Λίντια - τι ανελέητη σκύλα, Θεέ μου!), αλλά γενικά ήταν σαν να έβλεπα ένα τεράστιο κολάζ φωτογραφιών. Όπως και να'χει, πέρασα τέλεια διαβάζοντας αυτό το βιβλίο. Και μου άνοιξε η όρεξη για να διαβάσω κάποια στιγμή και ορισμένα από τα ποιήματά του. Δεν το έχω καθόλου με την ποίηση, αλλά για τον Μπουκόφσκι μπορώ να κάνω και εξαιρέσεις.
Profile Image for Praveen.
154 reviews281 followers
March 3, 2023
“No, I only write after it gets dark. I can never write in the day”

The fifty years old man said to Lydia.

When I started reading literature seriously, I was already mature enough. But I knew since a very young age that books get into your mind. As a child, I was a comic book lover. And those comic- heroes used to get into my head; I was behaving like them when I was alone. You should always read good books. That was a piece of advice. I followed it to date.

I think after reading this book, I broke my literary abstinence. I admonished myself.

This book was my introduction to Charles Bukowski. I had not heard this name earlier and nobody recommended this book to me. I stumbled across it by chance. And From the very first page, I was welcomed with intemperance. There was no restraint! So much vulgar slang!

I will not recommend this book to anyone. It’s highly adult in content from the very beginning. And it’s monstrous in moral pursuit and licentious in delivery too. There is a lot of dope and booze and lechery all around. Venereal depictions and misogynistic prose are almost on every other page! Repeating the same thing again and again! Alcoholism, dipsomania, and lots of rumpy-pumpy! Only the name of the woman was different. The protagonist Hank Chinaski was the same. This book is porn on paper.

In the beginning, a woman teaches a 50-year-old man the trick, mumbling to herself,
“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks!”

Even in this sort of book, I found a poetic paragraph to share with, you must know that Hank Chinaski is also a poet, apart from alcohol and women he writes poems in between.

“I think you deserve some love”, She said.

“I had a dream about you. I opened your chest like a cabinet. It had doors and when I opened the door as I saw all kinds of soft things inside you- teddy bears, tiny fuzzy animals, all these soft cuddly things. Then I had a dream about this other man. He walked up to me and handed me some pieces of paper. He was a writer. I took the pieces of paper and looked at them and the pieces of paper had cancer. His writing had cancer. I go by my dreams. You deserve some love.”

After finishing the book, (No, not after finishing, I started searching even after the first two chapters) I searched about the author and came to know that he is very popular. People read him and his books are bestsellers. I also came to know that Hank Chinaski is the alter ego of the author. So my stance will be a bit different then.

This novel was published in 1978. He worked in a post office and the moment he left the job there within a short period of time he wrote his first book the title was “post office". All writers are made by life. They do not become such on their own. Their subject matter is prepared by life and thus they just write, mechanically, unintended, or maybe unemotionally. As Bukowski briefly explained somewhere, that he had one of the two choices – “stay in the post office and go crazy ... or stay out and play at writer and starve.” He further clarified that he decided to starve.

Now finally, Though I will remain a dyed-in-the-wool conservative, regarding my mandate on the content of this book, yet I will utter an indispensable fact in the end that will do justice to Charles Bukowski.

The fact is that this man knows how to write a book. Look at those short sentences. He does not use any ornamentation. No complicated word. He says shit a shit. He is honest in a savagely violent way. He does not care about anything. He produces fun. Boisterous merriment. He is too filthy. Repetitive. Afar from my own self-inflicted moral ground. Yet I read the book completely. So those who want to become writers should go and check these capabilities of the author once. He knows how to bind a reader even if he has nothing to offer!
Profile Image for RandomAnthony.
394 reviews111 followers
March 3, 2013
I feel stupid getting into Charles Bukowski so much as a 43 year old guy with kids, a house, and a job. I mean, I read him in my late teens with all my friends and we romanticized his shitty SRO hotel existence. But over the last year I've either read or re-read all of his (non-poetry) books except Pulp, and I can see a depth and craft of which I wasn't aware as a kid. Women, turns out, is my favorite of the catalog.

I don't get much voyeuristic pleasure from Women. You know how recently-divorced people say things like, “Ugh, I hate dating”? Well, Bukowski's twilight years, according to Women, function like The Bachelor except sometimes he can't get it up and just about all the women he meets are sad and bonkers. But the depth of his desires, his ambivalence, and self-loathing raise Women beyond, you know, “check out how many women I fucked” or whatever. He tries to go along with a few of his companions' everyday lifestyle (Bukowski antique shopping...I can't imagine) but feels trapped and suffocated. So he moves on to the next girl who's been sending him letters and dirty photographs. Literary success has its drawbacks but Bukowski's not dumb enough to pretend that nailing fans and waking at noon is harder than working a shit job. He's scared, amused, almost waiting for the other shoe to drop, if you will, like he's lost his young man's anger, wants to live in peace, but, Jesus, these women keep sending these letters, and...who wouldn't?

Women seems to me the most mature and quotable Bukowski. He's less caricature and more human than in his other works. He's more removed and reflective. Women is more than a laundry-list fuckfest. Go beyond the surface. Dig deep.
Profile Image for Tia.
260 reviews39 followers
June 9, 2016
My God, this book is perfect. I finished it a day ago, so I've had time to digest it. It's gonna be hard to move onto my next book, my rebound read, because I'm still hung up on this one. I'm in love with it. I can't find a single flaw in it. This was my first Bukowski book, and I doubt his others will be able to live up to it for me. This would have to be one of my favorite books of all time, right up there with House of Leaves.

Basically this is autobiographical fiction about a brief period in Bukowski's life. He was divorced, he'd had his heart broken, and he was starting to get mild fame for his writing. He was actually a romantic deep down, he was looking for a true connection with a woman. He hadn't had his pick of women in his past, since he was not a good-looking man and he had an awful childhood. He was insecure around beautiful women. But suddenly he found himself having groupies, in his 50's. He was a broken man and he attracted broken women. His alcoholism meant he ended up with other drunks and addicts, or women who became frustrated with his drinking.

Strange as it may seem, I related to this book more than anything I've read before. That's why I like it. That's why I read. I'm always looking for books that can put my own feelings into words. I don't agree with people saying this book is full of "misogyny." I'm not even sure they know what that word means. I've yet to find a female author's work that resonated with me half as much.

If anything, this book showed how much he truly loved women, even when he was unlucky in love. He seemed to be a sucker for them. He was a bit intimidated by them, especially when sober. He couldn't believe it when beautiful or kind women had an interest in him. Yet, somehow he always found a way to mess it up. Some women he just didn't have feelings for, and their relationships were amicable. But whenever he fell hard for women, it didn't seem to work out. I don't think that's him being a jerk, that's just how life goes sometimes. He was always very honest with all of them. Brutally honest. He never cheated or led them on.

This book reminded me so much of a year in my life. I was 28. I'd been in three serious long-term relationships. Those were the only men I'd slept with, and all of them broke my heart. So I went a little wild. I drank a lot, and I slept around a lot. Some of the men I got attached to, but they did not want to date me. Other men fell for me, but I did not feel anything for them. I spent that year drinking and fucking and writing before meeting the man I would marry, and I don't regret it at all, but I'm glad it's over.

Bukowski's alter ego, Chinaski, is the perfect antihero. The kind of flawed protagonist I'm always searching for. He's a piece of shit, his life is a mess, but you'll root for him anyways. You'll want him to find the love he's looking for, and in the end he does. He meets a woman who won't sleep with him for a long time, so they develop a true friendship. She's a good woman, easy to talk to, not willing to put up with his crap. And he really likes her, and she likes him, and in the end he realizes what that's worth. She's based off a woman he married. So I think the book ended rather sweetly.

Also, Bukowski can really write. This book was a joy to read. I couldn't put it down! Here's my problem with memoirs - just because it happened, doesn't mean it's interesting. Bukowski knew the power of fiction. He knew exactly what to keep, what to leave out, and what to fabricate. So this story is very readable. There was nothing I'd change about it.

I loved what Chinaski said about The New Yorker featuring writers that are too educated, and about Hemingway being talented but not knowing how to have fun. Bukowski is like Hemingway in that his prose is sparse - maybe not "clean" since he's such a dirty old man, but it's minimal. That's what I admire about Hemingway. What I don't like about Hemingway is he was so serious and wrote about very dull things, so his talent was wasted. Women is not a dull book! I think even people who hate it will stick with it. They may be disgusted, but they'll still be entertained.

I was hooked within the first few pages. You don't have to wait for this one to "start." It was hilarious, too. Not since Augusten Burroughs have I laughed out loud so much. And this book was insightful. There were quotable lines or paragraphs in every single chapter. This is going to be one of those books that I read again and again. One of those books I wish I would've found 10 or 15 years ago. Finding this book was like finding my husband. It made me think, "Where have you been all my life" but then, also, "I probably wouldn't have been ready for you when I was young and too close to things." I'm in a place right now to appreciate this.
Profile Image for Dave Schaafsma.
Author 6 books31.3k followers
September 12, 2017
"I never pump up my vulgarity. I wait for it to arrive on its own terms."—Chinaski/Bukowski, responding to a woman who has organized his poetry reading and is surprised to find him rather nice and “normal” in person.

I am in general a kind of fan of Bukowski, especially his poetry and early Henry Chinaski novels. He’s brutally honest, nasty about pretentious people, and at the same time viciously self-deprecating. He worked for decades in factories, in the post office, in a variety of odd jobs he talks about in Factotum and Post Office and other books, so when it came to being part of the literary world, Bukowski just found it silly and self-important. He doesn’t write about himself as anything other than what he is: Drunk, vulgar, rude and sometimes very funny. Women is a later novel about the older, early-fifties-aged Chinaski that quite obviously focuses on his usually disastrous (primarily sexual)relationships (you wouldn’t call them romantic, really). And less funny than the earlier books, but no more insightful, really. He just tells it like it is and doesn’t claim any particular wisdom about anything he does.

Early on, in the first Chinaski novel, Ham and Rye, we see Henry’s drunkenness and madness in the light of the chaos of his family upbringing, his abusive father. In that book there’s no sex and much humor. By now, in Women, Chinaski is a newly famous writer and shares altogether too much of his “experience” with women, having learned almost nothing about them along the way. All sex and ignorance, a parade of woman after woman for 291 pages. And this is his point, that he knows nothing about women! Which is sometimes funny, more often than not offensive, and ultimately a bit boring. I was listening to the book or I would have thrown it across the room several times. Sometimes it is funny, especially when he touches on writing and the writing life, or when he is describing this or that insanity. But I truly think he could have cut this book in half; it just goes on and on from “relationship” tragedy to tragedy. Chianski's drunk all the way through, 300 hangovers a year, as he admits.

“I’m just an alcoholic who became a writer so that I would be able to stay in bed until noon”

I was reminded of Robert Crumb’s Trouble with Women, where Crumb shares some of the comics feminists have called misogynist. Like Crumb, Bukowski seems to have no ethical filters, no lines he is not willing to cross, and this makes him hilarious for many readers, and even, I am ashamed to say, me. He’s an asshole, he admits this, but he’s still doing the same thing at 50 that he was doing when he was 20, and this act is now a bit boring. He even knows this and keep writing,knowing his loyal fans (like me, damn it!) will keep writing.

He uses some excuses at this point to justify his behavior:

“I had imagined myself special because I had come out of the factories at the age of 50 and become a poet. Hot shit. So I pissed on everybody just like those bosses and managers had pissed on me when I was helpless. It came to the same thing. I was a drunken spoiled rotten fucker with a very minor minor fame.”

So does he get credit here for brutal honesty or is it just more of the same reader abuse? Bukowski is more miserable here than in previous books:

“Human relationships didn't work anyhow. Only the first two weeks had any zing, then the participants lost their interest. Masks dropped away and real people began to appear: cranks, imbeciles, the demented, the vengeful, sadists, killers. Modern society had created its own kind and they feasted on each other. It was a duel to the death--in a cesspool.”

Oh, it’s a cesspool, all right, Buk’s life, played for dark comedy, with Bukowksi/Chinaski the central comi-tragic figure, but too often at the expense of women, though several of them also mistreat him as he mistreats them.

So why didn't I love Women? I’ll call some of it here blatant misogyny, even though he’s as usual as hard on himself as any of the women he sleeps with. This is how he thinks he can get away with the abuse, but by now I am not quite buying it as interesting.

So why did I like Women at all? I guess because he does tell the truth, and writes that truth in a still interesting way in places:

“I liked to drink, I was lazy, I didn’t have a god, politics, ideas, ideals. I was settled into nothingness; a kind of non-being, and I accepted it. It didn’t make for an interesting person. I didn’t want to be interesting, it was too hard. What I really wanted was only a soft, hazy space to live in, and to be left alone. On the other hand, when I got drunk I screamed, went crazy, got all out of hand. One kind of behavior didn’t fit the other. I didn’t care.”

Sexual Politics by the late Kate Millett nails Henry Miller and Norman Mailer for being essentially misogynist, disguising it in a kind of macho romanticism. Bukowksi is also misogynist here, almost exclusively describing women in sexual terms, woman after woman, drink after drink, horse race after horse race. Often repulsive. Occasionally amusingly decadent. A self-confessed fat, ugly drunk, who sometimes makes me smile. Not in this one so much as the others, though.

"You're so full of shit!"--Lydia

I laughed. "That's why I write."--Bukowski
Profile Image for Susanne.
1,159 reviews36.8k followers
July 25, 2021
Review to be posted on blog: https://books-are-a-girls-best-friend...

In Women, Bukowski as Henry Chinaski details a life lived to excess. From sexualizing women, to excessive drinking and gambling. Pleasing himself is his only concern. Vulgar, rude and crude, Chinaski is his own man.

This book is repetitive beyond all get out and will get on your every nerve and yet you can’t help but continue reading.

Afraid of his feelings, he runs from them and instead finds comfort in the arms of other women, which I admit to finding both funny and sad.

Emotionally abused as a child, Bukowski never learned how to love or treat others respectfully. Drinking to excess and pushing all boundaries is how he deals with life and everyone in it. While he rejected social norms, I admit to questioning his reasons. While living life to the fullest is what made him happy, the fact that his addiction was borne out of the abuse he suffered as a child, admittedly made me sad.

Learning more about the man who is supposed to be a prolific writer, is what has made me delve into these books. Unfortunately, the writing style in this one did not quite win me over. It was extremely choppy, repetitive and appeared to simply be a collection of Bukowski’s conquests as detailed through the character of Henry Chinaski, which I could have done without.

I have one additional book on my list to read before I look into a few of his poems. We shall see.

Thank you to my local library for loaning me a copy of this book.

Published on Goodreads and Twitter.
Profile Image for Eleni Ouzouni (Life is Art).
271 reviews127 followers
November 17, 2019
Πρώτο βιβλίο που διαβάζω από τον Μπουκόφσκι και χμμμ μάλλον η χειρότερη επιλογή που θα μπορούσα να κάνω! 😬
Η ιστορία ακολουθεί τον συγγραφέα Χένρι Τσινάσκι και τον εθισμό του στο αλκοόλ, τον τζόγο, τις γυναίκες, τα τσιγάρα και το σεξ.

Ουσιαστικά δεν υπάρχει μέσα καμιά ιδιαίτερη πλοκή απλά βλέπουμε τον Τσινάσκι να πίνει, να ξερνάει και μία να πηδάει την Λίντια, μία την Κάθριν, μία την Βάλερι, μία την Ντι ντι και ούτω καθεξής. Με αυτό τον επαναλαμβανόμενο μοτίβο να κρατάει σε όλο το βιβλίο. Κάπου στην μέση είπα δεν μπορεί κάτι θα θέλει να μας πει με όλα αυτά, κάπου θα καταλήγουμε -- αλλά όχι δεν υπάρχει τίποτα!
Έπειτα όλες οι γυναίκες περιγράφονται ως υστερικές, μανιακές και χωρίς κανένα σεβασμό για τον εαυτό τους και το σώμα τους. Ενώ ο Χένρι είναι ένας άνθρωπος συναισθηματικά "νεκρός" που έχει φέρει την ζωή του σε μια αξιολύπητη κατάσταση που σχεδόν τον λυπάσαι! Η γραφή είναι κρύα, απλή και ωμή κάτι που δεν με πείραξε, ταίριαζε και με το συνολικό ύφος του βιβλίου.

Γενικά πιστεύω δεν ήταν για μένα αυτό το βιβλίο! Όπως λένε και οι φίλοι μας οι Άγγλοι "Not my cup of tea". Βαρετό, επαναλαμβανόμενο, χωρίς κάποιο νόημα (ή που εγώ τουλάχιστον να έπιασα) και ούτε καν διασκεδαστικό να πω τουλάχιστο ότι το διάβασα ευχάριστα!
Profile Image for Nickolas the Kid.
306 reviews70 followers
September 10, 2019
Πάντα μου είναι ευχάριστο να διαβάζω τις ιστορίες του Χένρι Τσινάσκι, οι οποίες είναι γεματες κυνισμό, αχαλίνωτο σεξ, αλκοολ και "βρόμικη" φιλοσοφία.
Σε έναν κόσμο γεμάτο υποκρισία και καθωσπρεπισμό ο Μπουκόφσκι ήρθε για να ταράξει τα νερά και να μας θυμίζει πως τα πάθη μας είναι αυτα που μας δίνουν την ανθρώπινη υπόστασή μας.
Αν και οι ιστορίες από ενα σημείο και μετά δεν διαφέρουν και πολύ μεταξύ τους και η αφήγηση γίνεται ελαφρώς μονότονη, εντούτοις δεν γίνεται να μην ��πολαυσει κανείς την γνήσια γραφή του θείου Τσαρλς , το καυστικό του χιούμορ αλλά και τα σχόλια προς τον συγχρονο άνθρωπο που τσακίζουν κόκκαλα.
Profile Image for Arda.
252 reviews158 followers
March 3, 2013
It was love at first letter with Bukowski. This was months ago. I read the letter he wrote in ’86, (posted at “Letters of Note” in 2012,) and I just knew. I had a thing for that letter, and wanted to devour the words of the man who wrote it.

I gulped down “Women” quickly because that was the type of book it was. Reading Bukowski requires the willingness to loosen up. It is not easy to read this stuff through an ideological, feminist, or moral lens. This man does not bother to brush up his character or polish his words. Whether we like it or not, we are forced to watch Chinaski throw up and throw his seeds in the fleshes of passing women. Chinaski is self-described as a “dirty old man”, “selfish, with deep pleasure”. He is a raging alcoholic, and, really, he is simply not bothered.

And so it goes. The more I read, the more Bukowski's appeal started to fade before my eyes. This possibly correlates with his own life-experience and through his sharing of this reality: “Human relationships didn't work anyhow. Only the first two weeks had any zing, then the participants lost their interest. Masks dropped away and real people began to appear: cranks, imbeciles, the demented, the vengeful, sadists, killers. Modern society had created its own kind and they feasted on each other. It was a duel to the death--in a cesspool.”

The buried sense of uneasiness on how easy it is to break up, let go and be with someone else adds to the depth of this book, and the book does have depth. Perhaps the easiest way to describe it would be through referencing Milan Kundera’s book title: “The Unbearable Lightness of Being”. While reading Bukowski's “Women”, I started to wonder about the meaning-of-it-all, but had to quickly stop myself from this questioning, and keep on reading. It means nothing. In the words of a friend of mine, "life means nothing and everything, but mostly nothing.” Bukowski emphasizes on the nothingness. He is ‘not wholesome in the sense of wholesome is as wholesome does’: “I liked to drink, I was lazy, I didn’t have a god, politics, ideas, ideals. I was settled into nothingness; a kind of non-being, and I accepted it. It didn’t make for an interesting person. I didn’t want to be interesting, it was too hard. What I really wanted was only a soft, hazy space to live in, and to be left alone. On the other hand, when I got drunk I screamed, went crazy, got all out of hand. One kind of behavior didn’t fit the other. I didn’t care.”

For the most part, this book was not rich in context. I wanted to love it, but dare I say: I was underwhelmed. I had this recurring notion that Bukowski was just trying so hard to look as though he was not trying so hard. It seems as though he wanted to give the impression that he couldn't care less about other writers, films, TV, culture, none of it really, and that he wasn't bothered by what people thought about his writing. On the other hand, there are all these self-compliments his characters chip in that disprove his indifference. The constant referrals he makes about himself being “one of the best writers”, and that he has “raw writing”, “humor”, impeccable ease in jumping from one girl to another and “fucking all these women” all start to become less and less amusing.

This book, albeit playful, could be helpful for a case-study on polygamy. It is also acute in conveying the harsh economic realities that the Americans of that generation had been going through. Additionally, it could assist women of all generations to understand the true composition of jerks, assholes and dirty old men, and know when to run for their lives if they are in a relationship with one.

Was I disappointed with this book? Unfortunately, yes. Would I read more Bukowski? The man is shameless and unbothered by it, but he sticks to his guns and has his own style. Give me another book by him, right now, and yes, yes I will.
Profile Image for Annetius.
308 reviews87 followers
August 22, 2022
Γυναίκες, Τσαρλς Μπουκόβσκι εκδ.Μεταίχμιο μτφρ. Γιώργος-Ίκαρος Μπαμπασάκης

Ο Χένρι Τσινάσκι, συγγραφέας, πρώην ταχυδρομικός υπάλληλος, δεν κατουράει ποτέ. Ο Χένρι Τσινάσκι γ@μάει ασύστολα κι εξακολουθητικά, μονομανώς στραμμένος στο αλκοόλ. Ο Μπουκόβσκι με τις Γυναίκες του ισιώνει τον ανώμαλο δρόμο της ευπρέπειας, του πολίτικαλι κορέκτ και πασών των συμβάσεων που κάνει όλη η κοινωνία για να νομίζει πως όλα είναι εντάξει.
Δεν είναι τυχαίο, πιστεύω, που τις Γυναίκες, χωμένες μέσα στην ατάκτως ερριμμένη δεξιά κι αριστερά τσάντα θαλάσσης στις διακοπές, ήρθε ένας αδέσποτος γάτος και τις κατούρησε. Είναι το μόνο βιβλίο που μου το κατούρησαν και που δεν πειράζει – Bukowski wouldn’t give a fuck.
Το βιβλίο μια καλοκαιρινή, ένοχη απόλαυση, σαν πλέιμπόι κρυμμένο ανάμεσα στις σελίδες της Χημείας δέσμης. Αλλά όχι μόνο, φυσικά. Γέλιο, πολύ και καθαρό γέλιο. Γιατί ο Μπουκόβσκι όσους τόνους μπίρας και να πίνει, είναι καθαρός, ναι είναι καθαρός.

«Ήμουν πολύ συναισθηματικός με ένα σωρό πράγματα: με τα παπούτσια μιας γυναίκας κάτω από το κρεβάτι· με ένα κοκαλάκι για τα μαλλιά (ή μια βεντάλια) αφημένο σ’ένα κομοδίνο· με τον τρόπο που έλεγαν «Πάω να κατουρήσω…»· με κορδέλες για τα μαλλιά· με το να βαδίζω μαζί τους στο βουλεβάρτο στη μία και μισή το μεσημέρι, οι δυο μας, ναι, δυο άνθρωποι μονάχα που βαδίζουν μαζί· με τις παρατεταμένες νύχτες όλο ποτά και τσιγάρα και κουβέντες· με τους καβγάδες· με τις σκέψεις για αυτοκτονία· με τα αστεία, με τα γέλια απ’το τίποτα· με το να νιώθω ότι θα γίνουν θαύματα· με το να είμαστε μαζί σ’ένα παρκαρισμένο αμάξι· με το να συγκρίνουμε παλιούς μας έρωτες στις τρεις μετά τα μεσάνυχτα· με το να μου λένε ότι ροχάλιζα, με το να τις ακούω αυτές να ροχαλίζουν· με τις μανάδες, τις θυγατέρες, τους γιους, τις γάτες, τους σκύλους· μερικές φορές με τον θάνατο και μερικές φορές με τον χωρισμό, αλλά πάντα με το να συνεχίζουμε και να βλεπόμαστε και να τα κουτσοβολεύουμε· με το να διαβάζω μονάχος μου μια εφημερίδα σ’ένα σαντουιτσάδικο και να νιώθω ναυτία γιατί εκείνη ήταν τώρα παντρεμένη μ’έναν οδοντίατρο που το πηλίκο νοημοσύνης του ήταν πολύ κάτω του μετρίου· με τις ιπποδρομίες, με τα πάρκα, με τα πικνίκ· ακόμα και με τις φυλακές· με τις βαρετές φίλες της φίλης μου, με τους δικούς σου βαρετούς φίλους· με το πώς πίνεις, με το πώς χορεύει· με το πώς φλερτάρεις, με το πώς φλερτάρει· με τα χάπια της, με τα ξενογαμήσια σου και με τα δικά της ξενογαμήσια· με το να κοιμόμαστε μαζί…»
Profile Image for Shayan Foroozesh.
54 reviews128 followers
June 8, 2015
This was my first Bukowski and I don’t believe it will be the last. It’s good to take a peek at his writing when you get too serious in your head and your brain begins to get hot, it’s good to take a glance at his writing to cool it down and get into the life of an ugly old son of a bitch who is, as he describes himself: “I’m just an alcoholic who became a writer so that I would be able to stay in bed until noon”, a writer who “write[s] a lot of crap.” But if you ask me I’d say he writes interesting kinds of crap the ones that are not so disgustingly smelly and the way they are crapped are fun to look at. Yeah you got me.

Bukowski’s writing somehow reminds me of Confessional Poets, or as M. L. Rosenthal also named them as “the madhouse muses” which very much suits Bukowski, who shares some of their qualities. The emotions he shows are true to his own feelings. His opinions on world surrounding him are derived from his personal convictions and not from the currency of literary fashion, which there are examples aplenty in this book on his distaste for literary fashion or educated kind of writers and their writings.

There isn’t any barrier between Bukowski’s self and direct expression of the self, to write with “self” as primary subject; a frank Self, the one with a lack of restraint. But the thing that differentiates Bukowski from confessionals is that he talks through a personae (Henry Chanski) to convey his feelings, thoughts, worldviews, and experiences. But somehow all of us know there is much of Bukowski in that Chinaski guy that we are allowed to see them as one. Like confessionals, Bukowski mythologizes his personal life, but let's not forget that it also has elements of fancy. The facts displayed in his/their writings should not be taken for literal truth. But I’d say he is one lucky bastard if he’s telling the truth!

He isn’t afraid of emotions like the writers before him and he doesn’t censor his emotions and thoughts or even he doesn’t soften it with euphemism. At least he’s true to himself, He doesn’t put a mask on his face, and accepts himself as pure shit and presents himself as an old man with roaring shit. But of course his writing is not for everyone and he didn’t expect everyone to like what he was doing to literature.

Just as there were no restrictions for confessionals on choosing a subject matter, Bukowski weren’t tied up with restrictions either. He wrote about anything he liked and his subject matters were most often himself and the things he intimately knew.

His writings (at least in case of Women) are a declaration of loss, of dependence, of guilt, of anguish, suffering, and his revenge on life. The themes of this declaration are presented in the form of mental breakdowns, personal failure, alienation, whoring, experiments with drugs, alcoholism, and so on. As Bukowski confesses why he was behaving all through his post-50-year-old life as someone debauched, as someone who is beating the hell out of life to give him back what he has lost all his 50 years of miserable life:
I had imagined myself special because I had come out of the factories at the age of 50 and become a poet. Hot shit. So I pissed on everybody just like those bosses and managers had pissed on me when I was helpless. It came to the same thing. I was a drunken spoiled rotten fucker with a very minor minor fame.

BTW, I found it interesting that some of the names in the novel weren’t the real names (but mostly they were). So some pseudonyms in Women:

Lydia Vance: Linda King - one of Buk's longtime relationships

(Here's the link on Bukowski and Linda king, the mad Lydia! http://www.vice.com/read/meeting-buko...)

Sara: Linda Bukowski
(Here's the youtube link when he gets pissed off at Linda (Sarah in Women: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUeGs...)
Drop On Inn: Dew Drop Inn
Drayer Baba: Maher Baba - indian guru
Dinky Summers: Bob Linde - singer/guitarist friend of Buk's
Dee Dee Bronson: Liza Williams - executive at Island Records - lover of Buk's
Tammie: Pamela Miller ("Cupcakes") - lover of Buk's
Arlene: Georgia Peckham-Krellner - friend of Pamelas
Sammy Levinson: Neeli Cherkowski - friend of Buk's
Tanya: Amber O'Neill (also a pseudonym!) - fan/lover of Buk's
Mercedes: Joanna Bull - fan of Buk's
William Keesing: William Wantling - poet & friend of Buk's
Cecilia Keesing: Ruth Wantling - wife of William
Bobby & Valerie: Brad & Tina Darby - friends & neighbours of Buk's
Douglas Fazzick: Douglas Blazek - editor of "Ole" & publisher of Buk
Bart McIntosh: Ted Laturnus - organizer of Buk's reading in Vancouver 1976
Profile Image for Olivera .
727 reviews255 followers
March 30, 2017
Well, this is one of the instances where I'm not sure how I should start my review. It's not because I don't have anything to say, because trust me, I have sooo many opinions, I just have no idea where my rant should begin.

First of all, how the fuck is Bukowski this popular? Please someone explain this to me, because I can't wrap my mind around the fact that people actually love and worship him as an author. And how did he not have like a thousand children and didn't die of liver cirosis or STDs?

Now that I got this out of the way, I can actually focus on the rest.

So, Henry Chinaski...wow, just wow. Shittiest excuse for a man I've ever seen. There are two things that make his character even worse than he is:
1. he is based on the author
2. he is aware of his flaws and what he's doing wrong, yet he just accepts it like he can't influence it

I wanted to yell 'OTHER PEOPLE HAVE A HARD LIFE TOO' into his face like all the freakin' time.

He is so unlikable, he's so vulgar and rude and acts like he's the only goddamn creature in this world that's worth anything. He doesn't have one single human interaction with anyone and is so misogynystic that it hurt. Speaking as a woman, I was offended by this on every possible level. My guesses are that you can only enjoy this if you are a really oblivious person (and probably a male).
*not trying to be offensive here, just giving my opinion*

The plot didn't exist. It was a repetitive cycle of drinking, having sex and going to horse races, with the occasional poetry reading here and there.

There was a scene right at the beginning where Lydia tells him that he doesn't understand women, and this is pretty much the summary of this book. He doesn't understand them, yet he likes to pretend like he does and like he is dominant over them in every way. He sees them as a sum of their body parts and gets rid of them as soon as they serve their purpose. This book would have gotten 2 stars had there not been several occasions on which he rapes some of the girls. This was definitely it for me.

Somewhere near the end he has an encounter with a petit woman and he says something along the lines of 'it will be like raping a child' while thinking about the possible intercourse with her.
How on earth can you like a character who says stuff like this?

We get some 300 pages of text, all focusing on someone who lives an emtpy life. There is no moral to this, no story, no profound reveal at the end. We just witness someone not knowing how to properly live and make something that's actually pleasant. It's a bunch of self pitty mixed with extremely bad decisions.

Chinaski (and persumably Bukowski) was a swine with no respect towards anything, and I truly believe he shouldn't be half as popular as he is.

I will end this now, because I don't want to get even more angry.
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