Sunday, September 08, 2013
Ham on Rye by Charles Bukowski
This is some book, though. Apparently a late novel, it is the early years of Bukowski's autobiographical alter ego Henry Chinaski. Poor to a poor family, beaten by his father several times a week for five years as a child, Chinaski never gets a break. Ugly (afflicted with serious skin problems, boils and acne), poor, unloved and unlovable, Henry survives on his stubborness alone, eventually developing a supremely cynical toughness. He is dangerously uncaring about his fate in the world.
Prose is workmanlike but relentless. Couldn't really put it down. Now lining up the collected poems to read, and the other novels.