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Post Office

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  116,160 ratings  ·  5,060 reviews

"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

Kindle Edition, 162 pages
Published (first published 1971)
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Andrew Can it? Yes. Should it? No. Looking elsewhere is highly recommended for lessons on what to do when life goes wrong despite our best efforts.
Grigoria Pontiki I would suggest Ham on Rye too. It's about Chinasky's early life and in my opinion, Bukowski's best book.…moreI would suggest Ham on Rye too. It's about Chinasky's early life and in my opinion, Bukowski's best book.(less)

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Average rating 3.95  · 
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 ·  116,160 ratings  ·  5,060 reviews

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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
Aug 21, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 sa
Brent Legault
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 ...more
Vit Babenco
Aug 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 hous
Mario the lone bookwolf
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 weaknesse
Mutasim Billah
May 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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,
Ahmad Sharabiani
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 year
Arthur Graham
Mar 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 t
Jim Fonseca
[Edited for typos and spoilers 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 the author 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, working 11 years in the post office. He’s more settled in his love life too. There are three or so
Jo (The Book Geek)
Jan 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-m-in-love
"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
May 22, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dave Schaafsma
“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 catapult
Dec 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!!
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
Feb 22, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: usa-and-canada
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 nece
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 bastar
Christopher Smith
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
Jul 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, reviewed, fiction
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 relentles
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 ...more
Paul Secor
I worked for the Postal Service for 34 years. I wasn't Charles Bukowski - had neither his talent nor his self destructive ways - but I can say that there's a lot of truth in this novel, along with humor and typical Bukowski attitude. One of his best. ...more
Aug 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ra ...more
Henry Martin
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,
Nov 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“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 employm
Jul 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A brutally honest account of life as a wage slave in a petty fiefdom. I've always heard people talk about government jobs like you'd be set for life. If this account is any indication, it's more like life in prison. (And to think he gave it all up to write!) Bukowski's alter-ego, Henry Chinaski, is a drunk pig for most of the ten years this book describes, and I just loved him :D
Tales of Ordinary Pettiness

Heinous managers, ceaseless overtime, impracticable standards, cancelled days off, infamous afterwork scheme-study... What is there not to love? I've had my couple of burst-out-laughing moments, this one made my night :)

Some crispy quotes:

“All right now, you’ve got a good job. Keep your nose clean and you’ve got the security the rest of your life.”

Security? You could get security in jail. Three squares and no rent to pay, no utilities, no income tax, no child support.
Feb 11, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Jul 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2018-reads, humor
Super funny and quick to read.

This novel is a semi-autobiographical account that tells the story of Hank Chinaski, the literary alter ego of Bukowski. At certain places in the book, I took this simply as his own fantasy of how he saw or wanted to see himself. Anyway, Hank is a cynical antihero. He loves two things more than anything, booze and women.

Hank starts as a post service substitute carrier, a sub mailman. When he finally makes "regular," he quits. He takes to the racetracks, drinking al
Jan 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Post Office is an account of one man's struggle with regular employment. Henry Chinaski is a heavy drinker, gambler and philanderer. His actions are often crass and immoral, and his behaviour gets quite sketchy at times, but despite all this, it's hard not to identify and sympathise with him. For the reader, there is a guilty sense of vicarious liberation that comes from living in his shoes. He acts reflexively according to his desires, with little concern for the long term. His voice is irrever ...more
4.75 Stars — Bukowski seems to cop a fair bit off lack in this World of impassable rivers or paths that turn to scree, a world whereby he is seen as being a miscreant at best or a self-perpetuating chauvinist that’s misguided, at worst.

Bukowski is a true giant of literature. No mater your opinion of him. A troubled man who had his demons but never hid from them. What he has to say here is not only very relevant, but altogether almost consistently profound.

Post Office is one of those novels you
Parthiban Sekar
Screw, shit, Six-pack, and Post office.
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Play Book Tag: [Poll Ballot] Post Office by Charles Bukowski 3 stars 3 13 May 03, 2020 12:56AM  
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Henry Charles Bukowski (born as Heinrich Karl Bukowski) was a German-born American poet, novelist and short story writer. His writing was influenced by the social, cultural and economic ambience of his home city of Los Angeles.It is marked by an emphasis on the ordinary lives of poor Americans, the act of writing, alcohol, relationships with women and the drudgery of work. Bukowski wrote thousands ...more

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