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Post Office

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"It began as a mistake." By middle age, Henry Chinaski has lost more than twelve years of his life to the U.S. Postal Service. In a world where his three true, bitter pleasures are women, booze, and racetrack betting, he somehow drags his hangover out of bed every dawn to lug waterlogged mailbags up mud-soaked mountains, outsmart vicious guard dogs, and pray to survive the day-to-day trials of sadistic bosses and certifiable coworkers. This classic 1971 novel--the one that catapulted its author to national fame--is the perfect introduction to the grimly hysterical world of legendary writer, poet, and Dirty Old Man Charles Bukowski and his fictional alter ego, Chinaski.

208 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1971

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About the author

Charles Bukowski

712 books26.5k 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
37,247 (31%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 5,313 reviews
Profile Image for Jenn(ifer).
159 reviews950 followers
August 3, 2018
Okay, I can already hear the “booooos” from the Mitchellites saying “how can you give Cloud Atlas two stars, but you give THIS four stars?” I will tell you how. It’s simple really. I thought Cloud Atlas was “okay,” whereas I “really liked” this one. That’s all there is to it. So here we go...

This book made me want to drink. A lot. I mean a lot, a lot. And it made me laugh. A lot. Now you know; my secret is out – I am a twisted, depraved human being who enjoys reading the thoughts of a dirty old man. And I’m okay with that. I’m not going to read Bukowski for profundity; I’m going to read him when I need reminding not to take myself and life so daggone seriously. I mean, sometimes it’s just a good idea to let your hair down and read a bit of trashy, boozy fun. Let's call it making yourself more well rounded.

This is his world folks, enter with caution! (Just be careful not to touch anything, you don't know where it's been).

I enjoyed the fact that as I read the book, I didn’t feel like I was really reading. I felt like Bukowski was telling me a story. I could hear his gravelly voice and smell the whiskey on his breath.

Some people might refer to his style as “conversational,” others, “raw.” To me, his writing was simple, like the everyman telling his tale. If the everyman is a pervy drunk. I like that. You know what else I like about Bukowski? He doesn’t overstay his welcome. I like a man who knows when to shut the hell up. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is my cue.

Oh wait.. in the immortal worlds of Modest Mouse -- and yeah I know he's a pretty good read, but God who'd want to be such an a$$hole?
Profile Image for Brent Legault.
699 reviews126 followers
October 11, 2007
Bukowski was once an idol of mine. I've since grown up. He took himself too seriously (while pretending that he didn't). And he was practically talentless. He had spunk and a surprising ("surprising" because of all the booze) work ethic but an ultimately boring sense of humor. His words are like what Hemingway would have thrown away. Bukowski was America's greatest one-trick pony. Or perhaps that's giving him too much credit. He might have had only half a trick, like that uncle of ours who used to steal our noses. After a while, it's not even worth trying to get your nose back. You just want your uncle to pass out so he'll stop bothering you.
Profile Image for Paula.
39 reviews30 followers
November 30, 2007
is it just me, or does reading bukowski make you want to listen to tom waits, too? finished post office last night and this morning listened to small change on the train. here are the opening lyrics to I Can't Wait to Get Off Work (And See My Baby on Montgomery Avenue):
I don't mind working, 'cause I used to be jerking off most of my time in bars,
I've been a cabbie and a stock clerk and a soda-fountain jock-jerk
And a manic mechanic on cars.
It's nice work if you can get it, now who the hell said it?
I got money to spend on my gal,
But the work never stops, and I'll be busting my chops
Working for Joe and Sal.
And I can't wait to get off work and see my baby,
She said she'd leave the porch light on for me.
I'm disheveled and I'm disdainful and I'm distracted and it's painful
Profile Image for Vit Babenco.
1,422 reviews3,373 followers
February 19, 2022
Every single life is just a drop in the ocean…
The ocean, look at it out there, battering, crawling up and down. And underneath all that, the fish, the poor fish fighting each other, eating each other. We’re like those fish, only we’re up here. One bad move and you’re finished. It’s nice to be a champion. It’s nice to know your moves.

This is Charles Bukowski’s life philosophy and according to it, he depicts his life…
The streets were full of insane and dull people. Most of them lived in nice houses and didn’t seem to work, and you wondered how they did it. There was one guy who wouldn’t let you put the mail in his box.

Post Office is laden with subtly rude but precise observations of everyday life…
I had come to the racetrack after the other two funerals and had won. There was something about funerals. It made you see things better. A funeral a day and I’d be rich.

I quite admire Charles Bukowski’s dark and desperate humour and his ability to turn cynicism into literature.
‘Take it as it comes’ was his ultimate truth.
Profile Image for Mario the lone bookwolf.
793 reviews3,599 followers
April 24, 2022
Call me pathetic, but I find this true, autobiographical, and honest novel that describes the chasms of human nature without any moral forefinger, romantic downplaying, or a deeper, philosophical message better than all the other progressive, beat generation stuff describing excesses, orgies, drug abuse, and crime.

He just doesn´t care about conventions
That´s such weird writing, it´s like a mixture of different comedy styles and all those beatnik, beat generation poets but without their weaknesses, because it tells a whole, coherent story. How it´s told is another thing, it´s still unconventional as heck, but hey, at least it´s a narrative. Kind of.

The downsides of transportation
It shows worker exploitation, flaws of bureaucracy and public services, and the stupidity of norms and conventions. A cynical, drunk, and in its descriptions of system errors extremely sober novel that describes the madness of systems from the inside and the lowest point in the hierarchy.

Authentic and without any self importance or high brow attitude
These are the 2 biggest problems with this generation of authors, that they deem themselves brilliant, in your face critics of their time while producing average and bad work. Being different is no legitimation for not caring about the art and its rules. I´ve read quite a few of those unconventional writers of the second half of the 20th century and he is one of the rare ones who really deserved the good reputation and cult status, because he was not just provocative, unconventional, and dirty, but deep, witty, and closer to wisdom than most of that generation. And he was authentic, with no simulated philosophy or profundity, just the grime and filth of everyday life.

All in all, a fitting description of not caring about anything, the manifesto of an atheist, pragmatist, alcoholic, a womanizing, small worker, who is trying to make the best out of the situation while avoiding any unnecessary effort, a perfect average joe antihero.

Tropes show how literature is conceptualized and created and which mixture of elements makes works and genres unique:
Profile Image for Jim Fonseca.
1,084 reviews6,998 followers
April 25, 2023
[Edited for typos 4/25/22]

The author lived the life of his character, Hank Chinaski, and much of that life was as an alcoholic. Bukowski wrote many novels but was better known as a poet in his lifetime (1920-1994). Someone called him the “Poet Laureate of Lowlife.”


The main character/narrator is the same one in Factotum, which I reviewed. But in Post Office, Hank is more settled, having worked 11 years in the post office. He’s more settled in his love life too. There are three or so women he’s fairly steady with (steady is a relative word), each over a few years.

A lot of the book, most perhaps, is about conditions and incidents at his job. Initially he is a substitute mailman, appearing each morning to see if there is work for him or not. (When he tells us he is drinking and having sex until 2:00 am and then getting up at 4:00 am to go to work, we imagine he is exaggerating!) When he fills in for people who call in ‘sick’ it is often because there is torrential rain or it’s a route with steep hills.

Later, a full-time worker, he is in a truck collecting mail from mailboxes on street corners. Then he passes an exam and graduates to mail sorter where he sorts tubs of mail and puts them into slots for the carrier to deliver. He also distributes big piles of 4th class mail – that’s junk mail (although he never uses that term; it must have come into use after 1971 when this was written).


The almost-Orwellian environment he works under seems like something out of the 1800s. Did supervisors really time workers with a stopwatch? Did they really send a nurse to your home to do random checks to see if you were actually sick? Hank, of course, is every supervisor’s nightmare. Even if he is sober he’s likely to curse the supervisor out. Hank is constantly ‘written up’ for his failures and for his attitude. He’s often sent for job ‘counseling’ but somehow he lasts 11 years.

Hank spends a lot of time at the horse track and believes he has a betting ‘system’ that works. So we get a few pages that are a primer on picking the nags.

As I said in my review of Factotum, we have some graphic sex, and a bit about bodily functions, that strike me as ‘in celebration' of the fact that it is 1971 and you could write stuff like that now and still get published. Of course Hank’s a misogynist and we hear stereotypes and read inappropriate remarks about Blacks. But as drinking buddies, Hank loves everyone until he decides to slap a woman or punch a guy out.

Because of the author’s willingness to use coarse language we get some original one-liners like “Moto was grinning from eyebrow to asshole.” And “I got drunker and stayed drunker than a shit skunk in Purgatory.” He also has an original opening sentence “It began as a mistake.”

I liked the story. It’s an easy read with straightforward writing. Thank you to GR friends Bernard and Mark George who commented on my review of Factotum and encouraged me to read some other works by Bukowski. Considering that I had never heard of this author until I stumbled on Factotum a year ago, I was amazed to see that Post Office has more than 100,000 ratings and almost 5,000 reviews.


As you can tell from his photo, the author lived the life he wrote about and still survived to age 73 (1920-1994). He was born in Germany but his parents moved to Los Angeles when he was three. Bukowski was a prolific writer. He wrote six novels (three were made into movies) as well as dozens of plays, screen scripts and collections of poetry.

Web sources say his work addresses the ordinary lives of poor Americans, the act of writing, alcohol, relationships with women, and the drudgery of work. The FBI kept a file on him as a result of his column 'Notes of a Dirty Old Man' in the LA underground newspaper Open City.

Top photo of LA in the 1970s from bizarella.com
Mail sorting in Mobile Alabama in 1956 from about.usps.com
The author from bbc.co.uk
Profile Image for Mutasim Billah .
112 reviews193 followers
July 20, 2020
"It began as a mistake."

No writer has written about the hoodlums, the lowlifes, the lost souls, the unemployed, the castaways etc etc more beautifully than Bukowski. He hasn't pitied them, like Dickens would. He hasn't detested them either. He has made us live their lives: talk their talk, walk their walk.

The charm of this book lies in the relentless attachment of Chinaski to the US Postal Service, as he puts in thankless hours on the trot in pursuit of a life drowned in alcohol, cigarettes, race-horses and (obviously) women.


The novel is a semi-autobiographical account of Bukowski's years working as a carrier and sorter for the United States Postal Service, the novel is "dedicated to nobody". Post Office introduces Bukowski's autobiographical alter-ego, Henry Chinaski. It covers the period of Bukowski's life from about 1952 to his resignation from the United States Postal Service three years later, to his return in 1958 and then to his final resignation in 1969. During this time, Chinaski/Bukowski worked as a mail carrier for a number of years. After a brief hiatus, in which he supported himself by gambling at horse races, he returned to the post office to work as a sorter.
“What's wrong with assholes, baby?”

Jane Cooney Baker, the love of Bukowski's life, is mentioned in the text as Betty. Bukowski's first wife, Barbara Frye is portrayed as Joyce, a wealthy nymphomaniac.

Mickey Rourke and Faye Dunaway in the film Barfly. Dunaway's character Wanda was based on Jane Cooney Baker.

“In the morning it was morning and I was still alive.
Maybe I'll write a novel, I thought.
And then I did.”

In December 1969, John Martin founded Black Sparrow Press in order to publish Bukowski's writing, offering him $100 per month for life on condition that Bukowski would quit working for the post office and write full-time for Black Sparrow. Bukowski agreed; three weeks later, he had written Post Office.

Note: Trigger warnings for rape and misogyny.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.5k followers
May 2, 2022
Post Office, Charles Bukowski

Post Office is the first novel written by Charles Bukowski, published in 1971 when he was 50 years old. In Los Angeles, California, down-and-out barfly Henry Chinaski becomes a substitute mail carrier; he quits for a while and lives on his winnings at the track, then becomes a mail clerk. Chinaski drifts from place to place, surviving through booze and women, with his biting sense of humor and a cynical view of the world. Henry Chinaski has lost more than twelve years of his life to the U.S. Postal Service. In a world where his three true, bitter pleasures are women, booze, and racetrack betting, he somehow drags his hangover out of bed every dawn to lug waterlogged mailbags up mud-soaked mountains, outsmart vicious guard dogs, and pray to survive the day-to-day trials of sadistic bosses and certifiable coworkers.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز پنجم ماه دسامبر سال2018میلادی

عنوان: اداره پست؛ نویسنده: چارلز بوکوفسکی‏‫؛ مترجم فرح آمیلی؛ ويراستار بابک حقایق؛ تهران؛ قاصدک صبا‏‫، سال‏‫1396؛ در196ص؛ شابک9786005675139؛ چاپ دوم سال1397؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان آلمانی تبار ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده20م

کتاب «اداره پست»، رمانی نوشته ی «چارلز بوکفسکی» است، که نخستین بار در سال1971میلادی وارد بازار نشر شد؛ «همه چیز، با یک اشتباه شروع شد»؛ «هنری چیناسکی» که اکنون به میانسالی رسیده، دوازده سال از عمر خود را صرف خدمت در اداره ی پست ایالات متحده کرده است؛ در جهانی که سه لذت واقعی، و تلخ و شیرین او (زنان، الکل و شرط بندی) هستند، «هنری» هر روز صبح با منگی و سرگیجه، خود را از رختخواب بیرون میکشد، و با پشت سر گذاشتن مشکلات ریز و درشت، کار خود را انجام میدهد، و تلاش میکند از مواجهه ی هر روزه، با بالادستیهای بیرحم، و همکاران دیوانه اش، جان به در ببرد؛ این رمان کلاسیک که نام آوری را، برای نویسنده اش به ارمغان آورد، بدون تردید، از بهترین آثار نویسنده، و شاعر بیهمتای «آلمانی تبار آمریکایی»، «چارلز بوکفسکی» است

نقل نمونه هایی از متن کتاب: («بتی» فقط به من نگاه کرد؛ همه چیز را در آن نگاهش دیدم؛ دو تا بچه داشت که هیچ وقت به ملاقاتش نیامدند، و حتی نامه ای هم برایش ننوشتند؛ او نظافتچی یک هتل ارزون قیمت بود؛ زمانی که اولین بار او را ملاقات کردم، لباسهای گران قیمتی به تن داشت، و با کفشهای گران قیمتی مچ پاهای خوش تراشش را پوشانده بود؛ بدن ماهیچه ای سفتی داشت، و تا حد زیادی زیبا بود؛ چشمان وحشی و خندان؛ همسر پولداری داشت که ازش طلاق گرفت، و شوهرش در حال مستی، بر اثر سانحه ی رانندگی، در «کنکتیکات» تا پای مرگ سوخته بود؛ آنها به من گفتند که تو هرگز او را رام نخواهی کرد؛ حالا او اینجا بود و من هم کمکش بودم؛ «آقای محترم، آقای محترم، آقای محترم»؛ بندازش دور این کلمه ی آقای محترم رو، ممکنه؟ شرط میبندم اگر اون بیمار، رئیس جمهور یا استاندار، یا شهردار، یا هر عوضی پولداری بود، الان همه ی دکترها توی اون اتاق تجمع میکردند، تا یه کاری کنند! چرا اجازه میدهید اینجور افراد بمیرند؟ گناه فقرا چیه؟؛ فکر میکنم که دومین روز کاری ام به عنوان نامه بر موقت بود، که زن درشت اندامی از خانه اش بیرون آمد، و با من کمی در اطراف قدم زد، در حالیکه داشتم نامه ها را به مقصد میرساندم؛ منظورم از درشت اندام، این بود که به طور کلی، همه چیزش گنده بود؛ به نظر میرسید که اندکی شیرین عقل باشد، اما من به این موضوع اهمیتی نمیدادم؛ زن مرتب حرف میزد و حرف میزد، و در همین حال از خانه بیرون آمد؛ همسرش افسر بود، و به مأموریتی در یکی از جزایر دور دست رفته بود، و اکنون او تنها مانده بود؛ تنهای تنها در یک خانه کوچک زندگی میکرد.)؛ پایان نقل

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 01/05/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 11/02/1401هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Arthur Graham.
Author 70 books648 followers
July 26, 2019
Why is reading Bukowski so much more enjoyable when you've been drinking? Easy: because everything's much more enjoyable when you've been drinking.

Still, for however much the man's life and writing was informed by the bottle, it was informed by a lot of other things as well, and working for the U.S. Postal Service from the early 1950s to the late 1960s was one of them. This is the book where Bukowski explains how he fell into his career as mail carrier (and later mail clerk), why he stuck with the job for as long as he did, and everything that eventually forced him to quit.

"It began as a mistake," he tells us at the outset. Doesn't everything, though? Our parents get together (mistake #1), we're conceived (mistake #2, sometimes also mistake #1), we're not aborted (mistake #3), and then the rest of our lives -- an unending succession of mistakes. Luckily for us, it DOES end eventually, but in between it's nothing but trial and error. What keeps us going is the knowledge that for all our fuck ups, it is precisely these mistakes that teach us how to live, what we love and what we loathe, our aspirations and our aversions.

Bukowski knew this, which is why he wrote the sort of stuff he did, and why it resonates so well with so many. Admittedly, he wasn't the most sophisticated of writers. He does a lot more telling than showing, although the tales he tells show us quite a bit about the absurdities of modern life, the insanities we're so often driven to, and all the myriad ways in which we choose to cope. Post Office is no exception. I would read it if I were you, but then again, if I were you I'd probably kill myself. Or maybe I'd just grab a bottle and try to live for tonight instead. Cheers!

For more Bukowski: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...
Profile Image for Dave Schaafsma.
Author 6 books31.3k followers
April 6, 2023
“We’re forced into absurd lives, against which the only sane response is to wage a guerrilla operation of humor and lust and madness"—Chinaski/Bukowski

I just finished, with a sour taste in my mouth, Bukowski’s Women, infamously making many of the Worst Misogynist Novels of All Time lists, but maybe in part because I am a masochist (and because it just happened to pop up on my audio tape queue and had some time to drive and listen), I jumped right back in to Bukowski, into the novel that catapulted this former postal worker to fame/infamy.

A quick comparison: Women (1978) is mostly sad, woman after woman, without apology or shame. The events of that book describe the time after Chinaski/Bukowski (Chinaski is Bukowksi’s fictional alter-ego) begins to get famous, with opportunities for an unsatisfying parade of women. Both books have lots of women, booze, and gambling, but in Post Office there are places of real regret and sorrow, and a little joy. There’s more humor, genuinely funny spot-on meditations/anecdotes about the absurdities of working at the post office that anyone who has ever worked a shitty job can relate to; there’s a divorce, there’s the death of Betty, his old girlfriend, who visits him before she dies:

“I met Betty on the street.
‘I saw you with that bitch a while back. She's not your kind of woman.’
‘None of them are.’”

And none of them actually seem to be, though he is constantly looking for, or at least settling for, sex. But try as they may, he and Betty can’t recreate the early “magic” of their relationship:

“It was sad, it was sad, it was sad. When Betty came back we didn't sing or laugh, or even argue. We sat drinking in the dark, smoking cigarettes, and when we went to sleep, I didn't put my feet on her body or she on mine like we used to. We slept without touching. We had both been robbed.”

Elsewhere, he speaks a kind of gutter truth:

“Lady, how the hell do I know who you are or I am or anybody is?”

In Women there are far fewer insights such as these, such as they are, anguished. But he grieves his losses here in a way he does not, or does far far less, in Women. And later in this one he and Fay have a daughter, which is a gift for him (though it is not the focus of the book in any way, and that happiness doesn’t seem to last forever, either). These events of ordinary joy and loss seem to humanize Bukowski a bit, though we aren’t talking sainthood here; Bukowski is always Bukowski:

“I put on some bacon and eggs and celebrated with an extra quart of beer.”

He’s a pretty lovable and charming guy at times we connect to especially through our shared experience of terrible jobs, doing “the same thing over and over again,” his humorous self-deprecation/nihilism, and bad relationships. Oh, he’s often a crabby, irascible asshole, but as he says (in a longer meditation on the subject):

“What's wrong with assholes, baby?”

Indeed, what’s wrong with them! Post Office is pretty funny at times, wincingly funny, and very entertainingly written.
Profile Image for Orsodimondo.
2,149 reviews1,678 followers
January 3, 2022

US Post Office

Cominciò per sbaglio è l’incipit di questo breve romanzo (tutti i romanzi di Bukowski sono brevi) che è l’esordio narrativo di Bukowski (1971) ed è il mio primo incontro con lui.

Come si sa Charles Bukowski giunse alla fama tardi. Prima si potrebbe dire che abbia vissuto, e soprattutto scopato e bevuto tutto quello che poi gli è servito per far letteratura.
In Italia è stato pubblicato quasi subito, ma anche qui la fama è arrivata in ritardo, solo che quando è arrivata è letteralmente esplosa. Direi che fosse il periodo a cavallo tra gli ’80 e i ’90.
Fatto sta che quando io scoprivo le sue opere e mi innamoravo di lui, lui stava per andarsene: il che avvenne poco dopo, nel 1994, quasi alla soglia dei suoi settantaquattro.

Viene da credere che l’esordio non avrebbe potuto essere che Post Office, perché per l’ufficio postale degli Stati Uniti Bukowski lavorò effettivamente una dozzina d’anni, il suo lavoro più lungo, quello più inquadrato.
E l’Ufficio Postale, con le sue regole e orari e capiufficio e divise, rappresenta la società intera, quella inquadrata istituzionalizzata regolata, quella che lo spinse a dire col cinismo che lo ha sempre contraddistinto:
La differenza tra dittatura e democrazia è che in democrazia prima si vota e poi si prendono ordini, in dittatura non dobbiamo sprecare il nostro tempo andando a votare.

Nel tempo libero dal Post Office…

Se Hank Chinaski sia il Bardamu della West Coast non saprei. Alcuni punti in comune ci sono: quel tipo di umanità, reietta respinta emarginata, quella disperazione, quella rabbia. E probabilmente anche Louis-Ferdinand Céline avrebbe potuto dire:
Come cazzo è possibile che a un uomo piaccia essere svegliato alle 6.30 da una sveglia, scivolare fuori dal letto, vestirsi, mangiare a forza, cagare, pisciare, lavarsi i denti e pettinarsi, poi combattere contro il traffico, per finire in un posto dove essenzialmente fai un sacco di soldi per qualcun altro e ti viene chiesto di essere grato per l'opportunità di farlo?

Nel tempo libero dal Post Office…

Oltre al lavoro nell’Ufficio Postale, il Post Office del titolo originale conservato anche nell’edizione italiana, in queste centocinquanta paginette sostanzialmente senza un vero plot, Bukowski procede in libertà mischiando i fatti della sua vita con la fantasia laddove gli piaceva intervenire creativamente: e quindi gli incontri femminili, molto più importanti di quanto lo scrittore voglia far credere, visto che è attorno ai personaggi femminili che ruotano i sei capitoli, e la maggior parte della sua vita – il sesso, le bevute, l’alcol in genere come problema e come soluzione, le scommesse alle corse, gli incontri umani, il disimpegno.

La mattina dopo era mattina, e io ero ancora vivo.
Forse scriverò un romanzo, pensai.
E lo scrissi.

Bukowski con Faye Dunaway e un ancora umano Mickey Rourke in "Barfly" il film di Barbet Schroeder del 1987 sceneggiato dallo stesso Bukowski. Il film non è tratto né da racconto né da romanzo, è una sceneggiatura originale e racconta la vita dello stesso Bukowski negli anni '60, '70 e '80.
October 24, 2021
"In the morning, it was morning and I was still alive. Maybe I'll write a novel, I thought. And then I did."

Well, here I am, in 2021, and my love for Bukowski still runs deep. Possibly deeper in fact, now that I've finished this odd, rambling, delicious fuck-up of a book.

It was marvellous.

If you're looking for flowery, intricate prose and a happy ending, then you certainly won't find that here. Instead, you'll find a disjointed prose, which is achingly blunt, slightly nasty, but most of all; it's real, and that is the main selling point of this novel. I mean, nobody likes it sugar-coated, do they?

I pretty much devoured this gem in two days, and I found the words went down better whilst I was glugging down coffee and snacking on salted peanuts. I felt rather disappointed today, once I'd finished it.

Our main guy, Chinaski, is little more than a drunk womaniser, but the story which he tells about his time in the postal service, his drinking escapades, his sexual conquests and the woes of everyday life, are completely fascinating. Despite everything, the story shows the reader than Chinaski is not immune to the feeling of pain and sorrow, and honestly, you feel sorry for the guy before the end.

Bukowski isn't for everyone, but he's definitely for me.
Profile Image for Rosie.
10 reviews40 followers
August 20, 2008
My first affair with Bukowski. I found this book while substitute teaching a group of tranquil 12th graders. I picked up the book, began reading, and couldn't believe that this book was allowed in a classroom.
Luckily the students had no interest whatsoever in the book, so I had it all to my evil self.
The book is hilarious. I read it in an afternoon. I became that crazy person in a coffee shop cackling over her book. The sentences are short and sharp. The protagonist has no regard for anything. He is a fucked up womanizer, but I still love it. The juxtaposition between his attitude and the solemnity demanded by the UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE is too much. I almost died. Plus, Bukowski's use of capitalization is genius. I know he's fucked up, but I love him so.
Profile Image for Fabian.
947 reviews1,560 followers
October 26, 2020
Another masterpiece of feminism in American Literature. JK!

Oh, nah. The daily tale of the proletariat is fully disclosed here in such a disarming & shocking manner. The protagonist is one alcoholic, misogynistic mess! And I love him for it, & perhaps now Bukowski, too. Cannot wait to discover his books!!
Profile Image for Cecily.
1,116 reviews3,955 followers
July 15, 2017
I enjoyed this more than I expected and in some way, more than I think I should!

Hank Chinaski describes a little more than a decade of his life. He is intelligent, but mostly lives the life of a loser: too much booze; menial work, mostly in the eponymous post office; bad relationships; bunking off work; betting on horses; more booze etc. It is all somewhat detached; his daughter is "the girl", even though he knew "as long as I could see the girl I would be all right", but such detachment is necessary for him to survive his lifestyle, especially the times when he is hurt.

Amorality Redeemed by Humour

Despite his general lack of moral compass or consideration of such matters, and the dreadful way he treats some women, it is a compellingly written story, with a wonderful irreverent wit than won me over, rather as an indulgent adult overlooks the worst excesses of a naughty child. At times it appears like a rambling stream-of-consciousness, but I think that is a chimera and that it is actually a carefully crafted story.


The opening line is, "It began as a mistake", section two opens, "Meanwhile, things went on" and the book closes with, "Maybe I'll write a novel I thought. And then I did." Wonderful bathos.

When job hunting, "The first place smelled like work, so I took the second" and much of the humour comes from work, especially satirising the bureaucracy of the post office supervisors and colleagues who are variously incompetent, sadistic and playing the system.

It's not just bureaucracy, but full control, bordering on brainwashing: at one point, they are told "Each letter you stick... beyond duty helps defeat the Russians!" Targets and training are rigorous and a nurse does spot checks on anyone off sick, yet those who miss targets get compulsory "counselling" (as well as disciplinary chits).

When trying to learn the routes, Chinaski comes up with a variant of traditional memory techniques, but instead of visualising ordinary people and objects along the route, his is more like a series of orgies. Like many administratively burdened institutions, "You had to fill out more papers to get out than to get in", but before he leaves, Chinaski has one victory: a small fire from cigar ash heralds the introduction of ash trays: "I had all by myself... revolutionised the postal system", which I'm sure would be an epitaph he'd be happy with.


Despite the light touch, Chinaski isn't immune from hurt, grief and introspection: "We slept without touching. We had both been robbed" and "How the hell do I know who you are or I am or anybody is?". Nevertheless, dirt and depravity notwithstanding, the overall tone is humorous.

Insane but Never Dull?

Early on Chinaski realises "the streets were full of insane and dull people"; he is probably the former, but certainly never the latter.
Profile Image for Matthias.
107 reviews338 followers
October 13, 2017
Thank you for registering to BarBud!

Ever wandered into a bar, hoping to meet a fellow to philosophize with deep into the night, only to find yourself alone with a student bartender who simply doesn't have it in him yet? Ever wanted to approach that old lonely drunk staring into his glass, so deeply lost in his thoughts that you dare not disturb him? Ever wanted to talk nonsense with a sleazy, voluptuous barfly, laugh and kiss and stroke and fuck and drink and drink and fuck and smoke and drink and sleep and drink, but found no such willing individual during your outings? Can't find someone with whom to share the drink Billy Joel called loneliness?

The times they are a-changing!

BarBud is here to help. Based on your preferences, we will find the perfect selection of bar buddies for you, right in your neighbourhood. Get yourself your favorite drink and let's get crackin'.

Gender preference: Irrelevant
The romantic tension that comes with meeting a strange lady in a bar will potentially crowd out any other thoughts in my mind, effectively reducing my conversational skills and potential for philosophical questing, but if she doesn't mind me just paying for her drinks and hearing her out and not have any of the romantic stuff happen that's fine by me. Also, my girlfriend is watching over my shoulder as I'm filling out this form. Just to make clear that sad, dirty old men are just as welcome!

Political views: No strong ones
I aim to find someone to get along with, not someone who bores and aggravates me all at once.

Favorite drink: Irrelevant
I'll drink anything, as long as it's much of it!

Interests: Women, the little things, personal anecdotes
I like hearing about a guy's romantic conquests. Even when they're exaggerated and unbelievable, it's nice to compare notes or just be happy for the guy.

By the little things I mean the stuff that's easy to hide but shouldn't be. Little physical ailments, little frustrations, little reasons to smile, little reasons to complain, the little things that fill a day and make a person.

And personal anecdotes to add color and context to the BarBud. I want to know where he works, where he sleeps, his favorite swearwords used to coat around his soft nature. I want him to complain in a way that makes me laugh. I want to see his eyes glaze over with sadness and disappointment. I want him to regale me with stories of the strange people he's met in his life, the people who made him happy, who made him sad, who brought out his kindness and generous spirit, who made him violent and who made him despair. I want to hear about his bad days at work and his good days in the bedroom. I want to get to know my BarBud, the good and the really bad. I want to be the guy who understands him, pats him on the back, reassure him he's a good bloke no matter what the people in corner of the bar are saying about him and buy him a couple of drinks.

Level happiness: Low - Medium low
I can see happy people on TV and Facebook all the time. Their stories mostly sound all the same. I think there's a famous book that starts with that kind of wisdom. My BarBud should be able to tell me which one, because I forget these things.

Level of education: Irrelevant
We'll be meeting in a bar, not some fancy shmancy conference, so that "the university of life" stuff should do. Only my BarBud shouldn't mention that cliché or I'll kick him in the teeth and ask him to thank me for a free lesson.



We have found (1) match!

Charles Bukowski, also known as Henry Chinaski. Do not disturb before 5pm. He used to be spotted in several bars, around the post office, at the racetrack or in his moldy appartment, but since he's dead now we recommend looking for him at the library. In fact, we highly recommend it. Be sure to bring him with you on your next visit to the bar, it's where he truly shines.
Profile Image for KamRun .
376 reviews1,415 followers
March 29, 2017

امتیازی که به کتاب دادم مربوط به نسخه‌ی اصلی می‌شه، نه این نسخه‌ی مثلا ترجمه شده


تاحالا پیش نیومده بود که خوندن یه کتاب به این اندازه باعث عصبانیت‌م بشه، ولی با خوندن این کتاب واقعا عصبانی شدم و تاسف خوردم از اینکه فرد گمنامی تحت عنوان متجرم به خودش این اجازه رو بده که با این وضع ترجمه و با این حد از وقاحت به شعور مخاطب توهین کنه. من هیچ شناختی از مترجم نداشتم و خیال کردم چون سن و سالی از مترجم گذشته، پس حتما باتجربه و کارکشته‌ست، اما اشتباه می‌کردم

بعد از خوندن چند صفحه ازداستان، تصمی�� گرفتم از روی متن اصلی پیش برم. بطور اتفاقی قسمتی از کتاب رو باز کردم تا ترجمه رو با متن اصلی مقایسه کنم و در کمال تعجب با ترجمه‌ی عجیب و غریبی روبرو شدم. روی هر صفحه‌ای که دست می‌ذاشتم امکان نداشت بدون اشتباه یا حذفیات بی‌مورد و مغایرت باشه. در ادامه فقط به تعداد محدودی از اشتباهات فجیع مترجم اشاره می‌کنم تا علت عصبانیت من و توهین قلمداد کردن این نسخه از کتاب رو متوجه بشید

I told him
صفحه 49: به او گفت

Are you her husband?
I used to be her common-law husband.
صفحه 120: شما همسرش هستید؟
من وکیل همسرش هستم

I was walking down the hall
صفحه 92: من داشتم بطرف تپه قدم می‌زدم

We had both been robbed
صفحه 102: ما هردو روبدوشامبر پوشیدیم

You shouldn’t suck up to that woman. She’s got a dirty mind. Half the mothers in America, with their precious big pussies and their precious little daughters, half the mothers in America have
dirty minds.
صفحه 49: تو نباید در مقابل اون زن خودشیرینی می‌کردی تا فکرهای بدی کنه. نیمی از زنان امریکایی مادران و دخترانی کوچک هستند و با آن همه پز و ادا افکار بدی در ذهن دارن و نسبت به بقیه مردم بدبین هستن

I kept coming back, day after day, winners, giving Betty the thumbup as I drove in the driveway.
صفحه 59: من هر روز تلاش بیشتری می‌کردم تا برنده باشم و امکانات بیشتری در اختیار بتی بگذارم و به او با انگشت شست علامت پیروزی را نشان دهم

And went to the racetrack together She was a looker, and everytime I got back to my seat there would
be some jerkoff sliding closer and closer to her. There were dozens of them. They just kept moving closer and closer. Joyce would just sit. I had to handle them all one of two ways. Either take Joyce and move off or tell the guy: “Look, buddy, this one’s taken! Now move off!
صفحه 59 : ما به مسابقه‌ی اسب دوانی رفته بودیم. دخترک فقط یک تماشاچی بود و هردفعه که می‌رفتم و برمی‌گشتم، یک قدم بیشتر به او نزدیک می‌شدم و سعی می‌کردم فاصله‌مان تا فاصله‌مان را کم کنم و روی صندلی نزدیک‌تری به او بنشینم. هنوز فاصله بین ما زیاد بود. برای اینکه به او نزدیک‌تر شوم، یا باید ردیف‌های نیمکت را دور می‌زدم تا ب�� او برسم یا به دیگر تماشاچی‌ها می‌گفتم که به من راه بدهند تا به جویسی برسم. به ان‌ها می‌گفتم ببین رفیق، یه جای خالی اینجاست، برو جلوتر

When you didn’t know how to do anything that’s what you became—a shipping clerk, receiving clerk, stock boy.
صفحه 69 : هرگاه بدانی که چه کار می‌خواهی بکنی و هدفت را نیز مشخص سازی، به همان چیزی که می‌خواهی می‌رسی. حالا یک کارمند حمل و نقل بودم و با همین عنوان کلی ذوق می‌کردم

I set the alarm so that I would be at the art store at 8 a.m.
صفحه 76 : زنگ ساعتم را طوری کوک کرده بودم که انگار می‌خواهم ساعت 8 صبح به فروشگاه صنایع دستی بروم

Then I’d go out into the backyard, naked, too tired to dress.
صفحه 77 : با همان وضعیت به حیاط خلوت رفتم، چون حوصله نداشتم چیزی بشنوم

- God damn it, Joyce! I’ve told you and told you and told you.
- Well, you were the one who housebroke him. He’s got to go out there to crap!
- Yes, but when he’s through, bring him in. He doesn’t have sense enough to come in himself.
صفحه 78: صد دفعه بهت گفتم که پیکاسو رو به امان خدا رها نکن
خب تو اولین کسی هستی که سگ رو به داخل خونه میاریو اون باید بیرون باشه و برای خودش بگرده
اما وقتی می‌خواد بیاد داخل اذیتش نکن، بیارش تو، اون زیاد دوست نداره که بیاد توی خونه

Then as soon as I fell asleep, Joyce would begin stroking me again. That couple of million was a long time coming.
صفحه 78 : وقتی از خستگی خوابم برد، دیگر جویسی دوباره مرا برای ارضای تمنای خود بیدار نکرد. چند میلیون پشه و مگس هنوز در حال پرواز و تردد بودند

صفحه 87
All right, tell mama how the parakeets are driving you nuts.
به مامانم می‌گم که این طوطی‌ها چطور مغرم رو می‌خورن و دارم دیوونه می‌شم
All right, little baby. If they keep you awake, put them out.
باشه، اگر اونا نمیذارن استراحت کنی،بیرونشون کن
Put them out, mama?
اگر مامانت این حرف رو زد بگو: بیرونشون کنم مامان؟

The people are bored, they don’t know what to do, so they play the office-romance game
صفحه 92: مردم اینجا بی‌حوصله‌ان و نمی‌دونن که باید چیکار کنن، واسه همین فکر می‌کنن که این کاغذبازی ادارات یه قضیه رومانتیکه

That’s when people don’t put down zone numbers
صفحه 113: طبیعیه که مردم عادی از تعداد مناطق پستی و جدا کردن نامه‌ها مطلع نباشن

I’ll stand it up in the morning
صفحه 116 :تا صبح بیدار بودم و نتونستم بخوابم

That horse is a quitter
صفحه 124: نه، اون اسب دست و پاش ایراد داره

Then he leaned back and looked at me.
“Mr. Feathers,” I told him, “you can go to hell.”
صفحه 132: با شنیدن این حرف به صندلی‌ام تکیه دادم و به او بر و بر نگاه کردم
سپس رو به مرد دیگری کرد و گفت: آقای فدرز، من حرفام رو بهش زدم، حالا نوبت توئه که بهش حالی کنی

He immediately mistook me for a learned man
صفحه 134: او به خطا مرا نزد استادی برد تا در محضور وی درس موسیقی بیاموزم

When I came to I was in the front room of my apartment
صفحه 194: وقتی به جلوی در آپارتمانم رسیدم

بجز اشتباهات ترجمه، عباراتی کوتاه بدون یهچ مورد خاصی در نسخه فارسی حذف شده بود. در صفحه‌های پایانی علت این حذف شدن این عبارت‌ها رو فهمیدم. مترجم بهضی از بخش‌ها رو نمی‌تونسته درک کنه یا حتی چیزی نزدیک به معنای اون رو حدس بزنه، در نتیجه کلا از ترجمه صرف نظر کرده. مثلا این مورد
he got his little playbag and the rubber wraparound for the arm and he squeezed the ball and the rubber inflated

مترجم در خیلی از قسمت‌ها اصلا متوجه نشده که داستان از چه قراره و بخاطر این کج‌فهمی، در ترجمه‌ی دیالوگ‌ها دچار مشکل شده و در پنج، شش مورد کلا دیالوگ‌ها رو تغییر داده، به طوری که من در ابتدا فکر کردم شاید دارم نسخه‌ی اشتباهی از کتاب رو به جای نسخه اصلی می‌خونم

با این شرایط ممیزی، بخاطر سانسور نمی‌شه از مترجم‌ها آنچنان خرده گرفت و خب نوشته‌های بوکوفسکی هم که بنظر من اصلا قابل ترجمه نیستند، ولی در این کتاب با پدیده‌ای متفاوت از سانسور روبرو هستیم، پاراگراف پاراگراف متنی که بدون دلیل حذف شده، لغاتی که به سلیقه ی مترجم وارد متن شده و معنی و مفهوم بطور کل تغییر کرده. اسم این عمل سانسور نیست، یاوه‌سرایی و خیانت در ترجمه‌ست
Profile Image for Lynda.
204 reviews80 followers
December 12, 2014
Allow me to introduce you to...


> Monumental asshole and perpetual slob.

> Self destructive alcoholic.

> Insincerely servile and unrepentantly sarcastic.

> Void of ambition.

> Unpleasant, crass, cynical, womanising jerk.

> Spends his time:
- propping up bars; or
- losing a small fortune at the racetrack; or
- brawling; or
- f**king;
...the latter with a claim he's an expert!

Never have I come across a character that is just so disgraceful; a sad, lousy, pathetic bastard!

The opening line of Post Office is:
"It began as a mistake."
I hoped the mistake was not mine in deciding to read this novel!

The novel's narrator is Henry ("Hank") Chinaski, a middle-aged alcoholic, willing to buck any system, void of ambition, yet exhibiting superior intellect and reasoning. In his youth, Hank worked in slaughterhouses, crossed the country on a railroad track gang, worked in a dog biscuit factory, slept on park benches, and worked nickel-and-dime jobs in a dozen cities. He tells his story after waking up from a terrible drinking spree.

During one christmas season, after hearing from a drunk that the Post Office would hire "damned near anybody to deliver the mail", Hank applies and is successful at securing a delivery job as a temp.

Oh…but hang on a minute…it's not just mail that Hank is interested in delivering!
"I think it was my second day as a Christmas temp that this big woman came out and walked around with me as I delivered letters. What I mean by big was that her ass was big and her tits were big and that she was big in all the right places. She seemed a bit crazy but I kept looking at her body and I didn't care.
She talked and talked and talked. Then it came out. Her husband was an officer on an island far away and she got lonely, you know, and lived in this little house in back all by herself.
"What little house?" I asked.
She wrote the address on a piece of paper.
"I'm lonely too," I said, "I'll come by and we'll talk tonight."
I was shacked but the shackjob was gone half the time, off somewhere, and I was lonely all right. I was lonely for that big ass standing beside me.
"All right," she said, "see you tonight."
She was a good one all right, she was a good lay but like all lays after the third or fourth night I began to lose interest and didn't go back.
But I couldn't help thinking, god, all these mailmen do is drop in their letters and get laid. This is the job for me, oh yes yes yes."
Are you getting the picture here, my fellow GR readers?

But while Hank is interested in the ladies, dogs are interested in Hank!
"Let me tell you about the dogs. It was one of those 100 degree days and I was running along, sweating, sick, delirious, hungover. I stopped at a small apartment house with the box downstairs along the front pavement. I popped it open with my key. There wasn't a sound. Then I felt something jamming its way into my crotch. It moved way up there. I looked around and there was a German Shepherd, full-grown, with his nose halfway up my ass. With one snap of his jaws he could rip off my balls. I decided that those people were not going to get their mail that day, and maybe never get any mail again. Man, I mean he worked that nose in there. SNUFF! SNUFF! SNUFF!"

Get outta there!

It wasn't just private houses where Hank delivered the mail. Businesses were also included on his run, including the local Roman Catholic Church.
"I went around to the side of the church and found a stairway going down. I went in through an open door. Do you know what I saw? A row of toilets. And showers. But it was dark. All the lights were out. How in hell can they expect a man to find a mailbox in the dark? Then I saw the light switch. I threw the thing and the lights in the church went on, inside and out. I walked into the next room and there were priests' robes spread out on the table. There was a bottle of wine.
For Christ's sake, I thought, who in hell but me would ever get caught in a scene like this?
I picked up the bottle of wine, had a good drag, left the letters on the robes, and walked back to the showers and toilets. I turned off the lights and took a shit in the dark and smoked a cigarette. I thought about taking a shower but I could see the headlines: MAILMAN CAUGHT DRINKING THE BLOOD OF GOD AND TAKING A SHOWER, NAKED, IN ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH."

Thanks for your 'contribution', Hank!

Post Office is broken down into six distinct parts that recounts Hank's life as a succession of boring interludes over a fourteen-year period of employment in the postal service. The plot moves along on the intensity and energy of various crises involving Hank and his supervisors, coworkers, and lovers. He is a typical picaresque hero, the rogue who satirizes his authoritative supervisors. His tone is consistently cynical, he drinks excessively, and he appears to positively avoid success or happiness or comfort, preferring to subsist in penury and even misery. He's a congenital loser trapped in a dead-end profession from which he can derive no personal satisfaction, yet possessed of enough self-awareness to recognize the absurdity of his situation.

It is widely reported that Hank is, in fact, the author's (Charles Bukowski) alter-ego and that is why the novel is written straight from the hip in unambiguous, accessible prose.

Charles Bukowski. I swear I had this image of Hank when I was reading Post Office!!!!

The novel sheds light on Bukowski's life during the period from 1952 and until he resigned from his job at the post office in 1955, before returning to his position in 1958, where he continued to work until 1969.

One never knows just where Bukowski's life ends and Hank's life begins! It is widely written that Bukowski too led a reckless life; his relationships with women and his world, which was full of gambling at horse races, booze, sex, homelessness, postal service, and crazy events, were full of black comedy at times and yet deeply tragic at others. This unfolds as Hank recounts his history of working at the post office.

The closing lines of Post Office are as brilliant as the opening and one gets a sense here that this was Bukowski speaking through Hank again, during a life-affirming moment:

"In the morning it was morning and I was still alive.

Maybe I’ll write a novel, I thought.

And then I did."

It was not a mistake to read this book. I'm glad I did. I went through the gamut of emotions, including laughing at the moments of levity. I recommend Post Office with caveats. If easily offended by language then think twice about reading it.

Looking at the big picture, this is an insightful and thought-provoking story about a working man trying to survive the day to day. A classic read.
Profile Image for Alex.
1,418 reviews4,381 followers
November 13, 2017
There's this whole hallowed tradition of guys writing about their dicks, right? And it's boring. Sometimes some guy will come up with a new way of writing about his dick, your Ulysses or Gravity's Rainbow, or someone's particularly good at writing about his dick, like Philip Roth or Bukowski, and everybody's like, ta-dah! New horizons in dick literature! But it's still just dicks, isn't it? How guys feel about their dicks, and what guys would like to do with their dicks, and whether guys' dicks are any good, and it's all so boring. I'm not part of any movement here, I'm not trying to make some political point, I'm just saying you guys gotta shut up about your dicks. It's fuckin' boring.
Profile Image for Christopher Smith.
8 reviews10 followers
June 2, 2007
What do you get when you mix two cases of beer, chronic gambling, and a vulgar, "Fuck this world and fuck you if you live in it" attitude?

Probably not a very nice person. But after reading "Post Office", my first by Bukowski, you start to realize that there are too many fucking pussy ass nice people in the world. I wish sometimes that I could live ten minutes of my life the way Henry Chininski wakes up every morning. Maybe then my balls might drop just an inch or two and I could get the fucking cohones together to do something REAL and FRESH.

Not that Chininski was any Henry fucking Ford. The opposite, actually. This mofo was lazy, self-destructive, and pretty much just amazing. Reading "Post Office" isn't just an entertaining romp into the mind of a tortured genius drunk shithead (it is); it's also an excellent resource for figuring out why modern writers have such stupid literary style (it all started with you, Bukowski).

So, next time you wake up and you feel like fucking pounding a case of Schlitz right after you beat the shit out of your cute ass toy poodle, read "Post Office" and get motivation to sit on your ass, complain about your job, shit on the opposite sex, and really, really, really fucking appreciate the finer delicacies of life.

Because life is amazing, you just gotta punch the shit out of it sometimes.
Profile Image for Kirstine.
453 reviews564 followers
November 14, 2015
Bukowski puzzles me.

This could be a true story, he could honest to god have sat down one day, with a hangover from hell, and decided to write this book, for no other reason than to tell the world "I exist. Lives like this are lived every day".

Something struck me, not in the book (well, to be honest, the entire book struck me), but there was something on the back of it. One of the reviews read: "Cunning, relentlessly jokey and sad". That broke me. It isn't relentlessly funny, no, it's relentlessly jokey. What's the difference? Funny is clean, it makes you feel good, like it'll all work out in the end. Jokey is when you're standing in the gutter knee deep in shit and you make a joke about not lighting a cigarette because it would set the world on fire.
Or something like that.

So I agree this book isn't funny, there are no thought through jokes, they were never meant to be written down on paper and told in a microphone for a well-dressed crowd, the world simply shoved situations in his face and he decided to laugh. Jokey indeed, and well done, Bukowski has you laughing with him.

Then there's the other part "and sad". And sad. At the end of the sentence, like it's an afterthought, the feeling you're left with when all the others have come and gone. It's so simple, no fancy word, no 'sorrowful', no 'endlessly depressing'. It's sad. Like that. There's not a damn thing you can do about it, it's the way it is. It won't make you cry, but it will make you feel like drinking.

I wasn't sure how much I liked it when I finished it last night. But then I woke up this morning and I felt a strange desire to read it again. It just hit me out of nowhere, it was like realising you're hungry, instead I just wanted more of this, this book, of Henry Chinaski. Perhaps it was simply the pull of a life I'll never know, of struggles I'll never endure.

In any case, it made an impression. I recommend you try it out for yourself.
Profile Image for Sawsan.
1,001 reviews
July 29, 2021
هذا الرجل لا يتجمل ولا يُبالي..
Profile Image for ميقات الراجحي.
Author 6 books1,973 followers
May 24, 2017
أعرف اسم تشارلز بوكوفسكي منذ المرحلة الجامعية لكن كثرة الكتب وبروز كتب يُحسن بعض دور النشر الترويج لها يؤخرنا عن قراءة كتب هي مؤجلة. ماتبقى من هذا الشهر والذي يليه سأعـكف على قراءة هذا المبدع الذي تصدّره بلاده والدراسات شاعرًا أكثر من كونه روائيًا – سـاردًا – في المقام الأول ، وأعـترفت به أوروبا روائيًا وأديبًا بصفة عامة قبل امريكا .

لا أذكر له غير جملة " الحب كلب من الجحيم" وهو عنوان لإحدى قصائده وستجده يحتل عنوان لمجموعة أشعار مختارة مترجمة للعربية .

كنت أود البداية مع أول أعماله الروائية (مكتب البريد : حسب علمي) لكن وجدت بين يدي (هوليود) وتجاوزت صفحاته الأولى أثناء لحظة إنتظار في المستشفى فلم أستطيع قطعه وقراءة "مكتبب البريد" الذي كنت قد نويت البداية به لكنني عرفت أن رواياته تمثل بطريقةٍ ما سيرته الذاتية فتوقفت مرغمًا عليّ أتلمس جمالًا سأندم لو أكتشفت معرفتي لمراحل تسبق تطورها في أعماله السردية، فبدأت بهذا النص، وندمت أن مثل هذا المبدع كان مؤجل كل هذه الفترة.

يجوز تسمية بوكوفسكي = بو كو"ويسكي" رائحة الخمر والسكر تجاوز بها حتى (جورج أمادو) وشرابه الشهير "الكشاسا" الذي تجده لا يفارق شخصياته الروائية. في نهاية "مكتب البريد” قائمة أعماله التي تجاوزت 50 عمل مجملها كان في الشعر، وتركزت رواياته على سيرته الذاتية. هذا الرجل أجزم أنه يكتب أشعاره ورواياته دخل مصنع خمر تم بنائه في مزرعة كروم – عنب من قبل بنائون "سكارون” بدرجة عالية.

تكاد وظيفة مكتب البريد أول أعمال بوكوفسكي الرسمية التي أستقر بها بعد سنواته العشر التي سبقت هذه الوظيفة فينقل تجربته في هذا الجزء بمرارة وهو يندب حبيبته الأولى أوائل الخمسينات ولمدة ثلاث سنوات، ثم عاد من جديد ليغطي هذه الأحداث لكن بطريقة تسلسلية منذ ولادته. لكن يركز على الفلاش باك ويحدث بعض القفزات الزمنية في أحداث ررواياته حيث أنه في روايته الرابعة "هام أون راى" سيعرج على الكثير من الطفولة. بينما هنا حديثه عن سنوات مكتب البريد. الذي كان – كما يبدو – من حديثه سنوات الجحيم "لدي أحد خيارين، إما أن أظل (عاملًا) في مكتب البريد وأموت مجنونًا، وإمّا ان أستمر بالكتابة وأموت جوعًا، وقد قررت الموت جوعًا"، وهي مرحلة قاربت (18) عام من حياته كان مخلصًا فيها للشعر ولا يعرف غيره ربما ليس سوى بعض النثر.

الموظف "هنري تشيناسكي" هو في الواقع بوكوفسكي الذي يتناوله في الرواية من خلال فضائحيته وعربدته وعلاقاته بالجميع في مؤسسة البريد وتعرضه لزملاذه وتشريح سلوكهم الذي يمثل النماذج الأمريكية وطبيعة الحياة الامريمية أثناء حرب فيتنام وأثر ذلك. يتحدث بصدق هذا الرجل دون رتوش ولا يعرف متى يمسك لسانه خصوصًا فيما يتعلق الخمر والنساء. بسيط غير معقد ومضحك رغم غيمة الحزن التي تعلو جمله القصيرة الشاعرية.

سأنتقل لعمله الثاني روائيًا (فاكتم) عليّ أستمتع أكثر وأكثر.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
10 reviews
August 20, 2010
This is my first Charles Bukowski reading experience after watching the documentary on him called BORN INTO THIS. I found that film moving and Bukowski to be someone endearing --a misfit and self-hating artist--who set out to do for writing and poetry what the punk rockers did -- bring it back “to the people.” This then is a proletariat novel of sorts, about “the working class.” But it’s also very funny in its bluntness and admirable in its honesty. And that seems to be Bukowski’s gift -- his raw honesty.

The story is about the drudgery of being a working stiff. It covers his run with the post office as a postman and a mail sorter. And it seems to be about his years “in Hell.” It’s a story that most people can relate to because most people hate their jobs -- and yet they’re forced to put up with the constant humiliation out of necessity. Here the post office represents the demeaning and stupid bureaucracy with its constant idiot regulations and write-ups and other demeaning practices.

I wonder if this novel were written today if it would not be labeled a “memoir.” Because largely it seems to be true. And the book has a quasi-documentary feel.

POST OFFICE by Charles Bukowski is a great book. Raw, vulgar and a little nasty -- and in that way it reminds me another novel I just finished reading -- and one I recommend -- PERMANENT OBSCURITY by Richard Perez. That novel is also gritty and blunt and “real.”

I’ll be picking up more of Charles Bukowski’s books in the future!

Profile Image for Mohamed Al.
Author 2 books4,817 followers
September 29, 2014
لا بد، قبل أي شيء، أن نثني على دار الجمل لإقدامها على هذه الخطوة غير المسبوقة لترجمة رواية لهذا الكاتب الأمريكي الذي لم يصل إلينا من نتاجه سوى بعض القصائد والمقالات!

ومع أن الخطوة/الترجمة كانت متعثرة نوعًا ما، سواء من ناحية الإخراج أو من ناحية الأخطاء التي اكتظ بها النص، إلا أنها مع ذلك تظل محل تقدير!

فبوكوفسكي واحد من هؤلاء الكتاب الذين ظلوا منبوذين لزمن طويل في أمريكا نفسها بسبب حديثه بكل صدق وتسميته للأشياء بمسمياتها دون تزييف ومواربة، فالكاذب يسميه كاذبًا، والسارق يسميه سارقًا، والمحتال يسميه محتالاً.. وابن ال**** يسميه ابن ال****!

هذا النوع من الصدق يمكن أن تكون إحدى تبعاته عدم رضا المتلقي وامتعاضه من الكاتب وما يكتب، ولكن يبقى لهذا الصدق حلاوته وطعمه الغريب الذي لم نعتده من كثير من الكتاب، وبالذات كتابنا العرب الذين تعودوا تغليف الحقائق بورق سوليفان لتتناسب والمكانة الاجتماعية المرموقة للكاتب، فما بالك عندما يكون الموضوع سيرة ذاتية كهذا الكتاب!

في "مكتب البريد" ينسف بوكوفسكي الحدود بين الأشكال والأجناس الأدبية، بحيث يمكن اعتبار هذا العمل روايةً وسيرة ذاتية في آن واحد، فهو يروي سيرته الذاتية عندما كان موظفًا في مكتب البريد لأكثر من عشرة أعوام قبل أن يتخذ قرارًا بالإستقالة والتفرغ للكتابة، أي أنه يمزج بين الواقعي والتخييلي. وهنا ينشأ ما يسميه النقاد بنشوة التدمير؛ أي تدمير الأنماط السردية السائدة.

أما على المستوى الشخصي، فيمكن اعتبار بوكوفسكي من الأشخاص الذين حذرتنا أمهاتنا من الإختلاط معهم ونحن صغار، ومن الأشخاص الذين قد لا نتمنى اللقاء بهم في مكان عام أو شارع أو حتى الجلوس بجانبهم في مقعد حافلة!
Profile Image for Henry Martin.
Author 90 books145 followers
January 6, 2013
There are already so many reviews of this title, that I may not be saying anything new. Yet, I feel there is one piece missing. Bukowski was a fascinating author and although I do find his short stories to be among the best shorts ever written, I also enjoy his longer pieces, such as the Post Office.
Bukowski's writing always fills me with inspiration. His short, seemingly uncombed, sentences penetrate my brain like spears, flow off the tongue with ease, and never fail to leave something behind, long after I am done with the book. I admire his style, his honesty, his raw nature, and his unique approach when it comes to portraying life in its purest. He does not try to impress with elaborate sentence structure or flowery vocabulary, he does not try to romanticize life. His views, his images, his words...are all real; as real as it gets.
Bukowski's alter ego, Henry Chinaski, is a man -- a simple, living, breathing man, playing whatever cards life had dealt him. He is a smoking, drinking, farting, gambling man struggling to maintain his head above water, while bound by the chains society ties him with. He is moving through life, seemingly with a certain nonchalance, yet suffering. Suffering from the all-too-human condition many of us know. For one, he is not attached enough to bleed when faced with a loss, yet, he is not completely detached to be indifferent when served a blow. And he is served plenty of blows.
Whoever put together this edition, decided to call it "one of the funniest books ever written" I disagree. Bukowski, and Henry Chinaski's "adventures" are humorous, but most of all, his stories are sad. Sad on the human level. While reading, we are bound to smile, laugh and grin, yet, below the surface, between the lines, is hidden human suffering. Suffering we can all relate to, whether dealing with an "impossible" life partner, or with the "evil" boss, we all have something in common with Chinaski. We may not drink as much, smoke as much, eat better, live in better conditions, but we can relate. And this is exactly what makes Bukowski as relevant today, as it did when the book was first published. It is the most precious of connections -- connecting with the author on a human level.
Along with Miller, Steinbeck, Kerouac, Harold Maine and Albert Cossery, Bukowski remains one of my favorite authors; the sort of author I can go back to at any time and find his writing relevant and entertaining. If you never read Bukowski, go give him a try. You won't be disappointed.
Profile Image for Chris.
577 reviews24 followers
November 23, 2009
The cover said: "One of the funniest novels ever written." The little Joe Pesci on my shoulder kept chiming in, "Funny how?...I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you? I make you laugh, I'm here to f@$%in' amuse you? What do you mean funny, funny how?..." No, I must say not amusing funny, little Joe on my shoulder, definitely not amusing. I'm guessing funny as in no matter what this loser Chinaski does, he always ends up getting drunk and then working, while hungover, at his soul deadening job throwing letters into the appropriate cubbyholes.

The protagonist has no redeeming qualities and revels in his drunken squalor. He only finds companionship because it's 1968 in San Francisco or LA...hippie sluts falling out of the woodwork...and in the 15 years the reader is drug through this drivel, no one learns a lesson, is left for the better, changes their direction in life or even follows a plot line.

I can see why "critics" like this book: the author's photograph is grainy, while the author himself and his pockmarked, bulbous, whisky reddened nose is obscured by a thick haze of cigarette smoke. (I could smell him through the picture.) The story starts out following a drunk scumbag who is of no benefit to society (other than purchasing from liquor stores.) This scumbag gets a job in gov't service, complains that the bosses make him, like, actually work (geez, don't they know he's hung over, they're harshing his mellow!) he quits the job for no obvious reason, but--this is key to the critics--he learns no lesson, and forgets that he hates it, and goes back to the job. Hooray! Critical success.

I got the same vibe from this book as I did from Rabbit, Run and Catcher in the Rye, only this time I feel dumber for having read this crap, because in these two books I had the desire to reach into the books and smack the snot out of the protagonists. In Post Office, I could not have cared less about Chinaski, and may have preferred that he died.
Profile Image for Mohammed.
429 reviews529 followers
September 24, 2020
رواية خفيفة، بذيئة ومضحكة وفيها مسحة من حزن. تفاجئت بنبرتها وأسلوبها واستمتعت بأغلب محتواها مع تحفظي على بعضه.

سردية عن العمل المرهق والممل في الوقت نفسه، عن العمر الذي ينقضى دون منجزات، وعن الحمقى الذين لا يكفون عن جعل حياتنا لا تطاق.
Profile Image for Kaya.
217 reviews218 followers
March 14, 2021
“Can you remember who you were, before the world told you who you should be?”

This was my first book by Bukowski and I am pleasantly surprised. He provokes the reader’s intelligence and tolerance with every sentence he writes. I enjoyed every page, though it’s definitely not a light read. His writing style is everything but poetic or cultivated, but consumes you into the story almost instantly.

Post Office consists of six parts that depict on Hank's life over a fourteen-year period of employment in the postal service. With constantly being under stress, frustration and full of hate for his life, the narrator is a great host for this character-driven plot. Basically, this book is an ode to the reasons why the tyranny of bureaucracy is worse than any dictator.

“The first place smelled like work, so I took the second.”

This sentence shows how the story moved forward.

The plot becomes more intense after various crises and stories involving Hank and his supervisors, coworkers, and lovers. It's refreshing to read a book so straight to the point while making me laugh on many occasions. The sentences are short and sharp, there is an element of "everyday life" situations that everyone can identify with - looking at your job like it’s a trap that eats all of your positive energy. The novel is underlaid with hollowness and misery. Despite his general indifference to social conventions and the outrageous way he treated some of the women he crossed his path with, this is an intriguing story.

“The streets were full of insane and dull people. Most of them lived in nice houses and didn’t seem to work, and you wondered how they did it.”

Honestly, if some of you didn’t experience this while driving to the job, you probably shouldn’t read this book. While it doesn't look like it at a first glance, this is an emotional book. It shamelessly digs into the deepest corners of an average human, and I suppose everyone is afraid of remaining average.

Hank is spoiled and has a horrible personality but is such a compelling character and unexpectedly likable. The protagonist has no respect for anything, not even for himself. While being a fucked up womanizer, in addition, he’s a lazy, self-destructive alcoholic. His tone of narrating is consistently cynical, he drinks excessively and successfully avoids any kind of happiness or comfort.

"In the morning it was morning and I was still alive. Maybe I’ll write a novel, I thought. And then I did."

This is the last sentence of the book. It is effective but doesn’t really give closure. It bugs me that I don't know the outcome of his story. Not that I expected some deep conclusion or anything, but any kind of retrospective would’ve been warmly welcomed. That is why I give the novel only 4 stars instead of 5.

“I wasn’t much of a petty thief. I wanted the whole world or nothing.”

It’s hard to believe that the same man who said this is the one who lacked any ambition or desire to lead a decent life. I wanted him to escape from obscurity, but all he did was fall deeper into the mud. It saddens me even more that not much of this is fiction, but fragments from author's life. I just hope he found some peace.
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