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Book Review: “Women” by Bukowski

3 December 2009 7 Comments

DSC03367As most of my readers have noticed by now, my dating advice on this blog aren’t your typical PUA (pick-up artist) modelled tips that guarantee things to work. Instead, I give my honest, humble opinions and formulate advice out of them on how I think guys as well as women should go about in certain situations to come out on top (no pun intended). My interests don’t include reviewing books like The Game, even though it was a quite entertaining read. Instead, I read things like Women by the great and noble Charles Bukowski. I recently ordered the book from Amazon and couldn’t put it down ever since I got it. I missed university readings just to finish the 290 page masterpiece. Though the book is semi-autobiographic and doesn’t directly tell you how to pick up women, or extremely good looking women for that matter, it’s an extremely enthralling read. Before I can review this book, I really have to give you some background info on Bukowski if you don’t know already.

The Old, Fat, Ugly Alcoholic

Charles Bukowski drank in the morning, the afternoon, and the evening. He died at the age of seventy-three in 1994 and between the years of his birth and death he wrote seven semi-autobiographic novels, a bunch of poetry, short stories and non-fiction books. He lived and loved LA and he’s held many small, low-paying jobs throughout his life while continuing to write. There have been films made from his books, most notably Barfly with Mickey Rourke; and Factotum, which I highly recommend you check out if you can handle a little depressive, insane, indifferent, down to earth, alcohol-induced, real life atmosphere for a film. As I understand he had been constantly writing throughout his life without taking any breaks. Any time he had ideas or free time, he would sit with his mug of beer or better yet glass of whiskey and scribble away. He was an ugly brute who loved women and alcohol. After watching interviews and reading his opinions on women, it is clear that there is a huge love/hate relationship that he possesses with women. It’s as if drinking, occasionally gambling, and fucking random women is all he has an interest in doing to pass the time before the Big Sleep. He didn’t appear to shed depression or any real inclination to feel nostalgic about certain things to induce such desire for self-destruction, it just seems like the nonchalantness of his attitude and the lack of desire to achieve what other, “normal” people want out of life is simply really present in his spirit. He didn’t have a God, he didn’t have strict structure, he didn’t have tolerance for carelessness, but at the same time he wasn’t controlling. His biography reminded me of a contradicting man, not knowing what is right or wrong, black or white, but just living day by day without wanting much to change.

“Women”

Women is a collection of chapters that are about his experiences with a variety of women from young girls to mature women to beautiful dames to plump fans of his novels. The characteristics of different women he has “relations” with range from being nice, innocent types to crazy, wild alcoholics to speed-heads to all kinds. The narrator, Hank Chinasky (based on Bukowski himself) goes from having sex with one to another without ever getting too involved with any of them. His relationships with the women are ambiguous and aside from his frequent sexual encounters, he also writes and does poetry readings at bars on the side. He also enjoys going to the race-track and of course, getting drunk any chance he gets, which is almost always. Though the novel doesn’t examine any real social issues or deal with topics you usually expect from best-selling authors like Tom Clancy or John Grisham, the reality of Women is what gives it its edge. But be careful when you read it because it really puts you in the mood to have a drink or two. I won’t give away the ending, but I’ll just say though for some reason I expected some sort of twist even though it wouldn’t be right in the end, the ending unfolded quite nicely and it finished the way it should have. There’s not much else to say about it except that if you enjoy the show Californication then you’ll enjoy this book. They’re very closely related aside from the fact that Californication sheds light on the craziness of alcohol and sex while Bukowski gives you the grim (and sometimes pleasant) realities on the subject.

7 Comments »

  • Marcy said:

    I love how you give reviews. They’re so much different than the formal reviews I read about. Your deep personal opinion here is amazing and I’m definitely going to get this book now. I’ve read some of his poetry and not the biggest fan of it, but the book sounds intense. I read some critics really hate Bukowski, calling him a drunk coward who doesn’t really have writing skills. While others praise him.

    Reply to Comment

    Robby G Reply:

    @Marcy: His poetry isn’t the best thing in the world, but I still enjoy reading it from time to time. His novels are much better though and very easy to enjoy and want to keep reading. About him being a drunk writer… I actually read about the correlation with alcohol and writing and most American greatest writers were huge alcoholics. From Hemingway to Capote to Edgar Allen Poe to Scott Fitzgerald to Faulkner. They were all huge drinkers and almost no one considers them cowards and bad writers. I think Buk can be easily added to that list of being one of the greatest American literature giants.
    .-= Robby G´s last blog ..Book Review: “Women” by Bukowski =-.

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  • Len Butler said:

    I read this book just now and found this review. I love Bukowski and going to buy Ham on Rye next! also his poetry is great in my opinion. It’s real cool that you enjoy his books too.

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  • Alicia Matthews said:

    Californication is great too and involves lots of sexy stuff in this tv series.,-`

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  • Billy Lloyd said:

    i love to watch Californication, all those pretty girls wowwww`~:

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  • Josiah Russell said:

    Californication could be have been better but the story is just average*`:

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  • Candie said:

    A bit sruipresd it seems to simple and yet useful.

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