Factotum, Paperback
3 out of 5 (1 rating)


Henry Chinaski, an outcast, a loner and a hopeless drunk, drifts around America from one dead-end job to another, from one woman to another and from one bottle to the next.

Uncompromising, gritty, hilarious and confessional in turn, his downward spiral is peppered with black humour. "Factotum" follows Charles Bukowski's bestselling "Post Office", his highly autobiographical first novel.

Bukowski's Beat Generation writing reflects his slum upbringing, his succession of menial jobs and his experience of low life urban America.

He died in 1994 and is widely acknowledged as one of the most distinctive writers of the last fifty years.

Neeli Cherkovski was a close friend of Bukowski and is the author of "Hank: The Life of Charles Bukowski" (Random House, 1991).




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Bukowski is great, but of the novels of his I've read (Post Office, Women, Ham on Rye) this was the least good. The drift from job to job, woman to woman and beer to beer didn't quite add up to something satisfying. There are some great scenes and observations, but they are too sparse even in such a short novel to make it excellent in the way those other novels are. Worth a read if you're a fan, but I'd recommend starting elsewhere if you haven't read him yet.

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