So if you’ve never picked up a novel, or anything else, written by Charles Bukowski then I don’t really know what you’ve been doing with your life. Bukowski is blunt, offensive, crude and one of my favorite writers of all time. Sure he doesn’t have the eloquence of Shakespeare or the profound mind of Hemingway, but he is up there with the best of them. Will you ever find a high school student being asked to read Bukowski for their AP English class? No, but maybe someone should look into that.
Now that I’ve said a little about the writer, let me say something about his work. Charles Bukowski’s first novel Post Office, written in 1971, follows the events that surround Henry Chinaski as he works as a mailman then a post office clerk. This is actually an autobiographical account of the many, many years Bukowski spent working at the post office. The book is a quick read as it is both very entertaining and written simplistically. Now when I say simplistic I don’t mean it’s uneducated or “dumb” by any means. I mean that it’s in a vernacular that the average English speaking person understands; it has just the right amount of vulgarity…well the right amount and then some.
It’s amazing to find that an entire book about a post office worker could be so hilarious! Bukowski has this way of being the perfect smart ass that gets you every time. Many times I found myself thinking, “man, I couldn’t even be mad if it was me he was bitching at because that was funny.” He is witty and quick to the draw and that translates over in his work. It’s also very interesting to know that someone as blunt and open a Bukowski can be considered to be such a great writer. Situations where someone that is not conventional can be just as great as someone who is gives me hope for humanity. The fact that Charles Bukowski is commended for his honest writing and unique techniques gives all aspiring writers hope that you don’t have to be the next great classical writer to get your words out there. Just go out and write and I guarantee someone, somewhere will appreciate it just as many appreciate the interesting works of Charles Bukowski.