Brendan's Reviews > Ham on Rye

Ham on Rye by Charles Bukowski
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's review
Sep 30, 2008

really liked it

im reading this on the plane (qf12) and im nearly done (american term meaning finished). anyway reading it and deborah the chirpy as fuk flight attendant comes over and asks me what i do and i say im a writer and she says to me wow and sees what im reading and says that bokwoski was a very cynical writer. then she pours me a guava juice ('feed the mind') and continues to rattle on about how i NEED TO READ JEFFREY ARCHER and i said im not wild about jeff and she said you have to be open to things! dont shut things out - she beamed at me, seriously. and all i could think was deb is the exact kinda person that bukowski couldnt stand. such broad enthusiasm. he woulda hated her. but probably would have had sex with anyway. deb is 52 and said she loves nothing more than a glass of red and a miles davis cd and she only does flight attendance for fun as she made millions in property cos she is smart and bought in arncliffee in the 80's. i asked her if the jet lag got to her and she shook her head like an r and b singer and said 'i sleep when im tired and live when im awake darlin'.

anyway the books great. i thought i had a tough school time but its all cotton wool compared to this bloke. abusive father, distant submissive mum, and horrible boils that made him the reclusive drunk he would continue to endorse. girls stayed away and he lived life as an outsider. but he made up for it in his 50's and 60's. just read 'women'. this is a great book about america and about americas greatest writer. who said that? funny and brutal and good.

debs not sold though
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca that's a funny story. thanks. Bx

Benito It is a great read. Strange at first to think of Hank as a sprog - before I read this I always imagined him as one of those guys who seem born 40... Well, except when he's drinking malt liquor as a young man after been throwing out of employment offices... or sneaking off from the Post Office to catch the ponies...

Have you much of his poems yet? I think the best collections are "Love Is A Dog From Hell" and "The Days Run Away Like Wild Horses Over The Hills."

Once to save a friend time I attempted to condense the complete works of Bukowski. It ended up looking like this -

"So I went to the bar
at the track and got loaded,
then I met this ugly
drunken piece of ass.
We bought a bottle of
Kentucky rot-gut
and went back to my place.

After we fucked
I felt sick,

So I went to the bar
at the track and got loaded,
then I met this ugly
drunken piece of ass… (repeat till fade)"

I got my version of Joyce's "Finnegan's Wake" even shorter -

Irish Git: What did ya do yesterday Finnegan?
Finnegan: Went to pub, got pissed, fell over, napetygoddebeblarneyplumpmulligan.
Irish Git: (To Audience) Kind of makes you think doesn’t it?

PS: Liked your little video from NY at Belvoir launch the other night. Pity those bottles were obviously water and you were really at a mate's place in Fitzroy...

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