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Alternate cover for this ISBN can be found here Low-life writer and unrepentant alcoholic Henry Chinaski was born to survive. After decades of slacking off at low-paying dead-end jobs, blowing his cash on booze and women, and scrimping by in flea-bitten apartments, Chinaski sees his poetic star rising at last. Now, at fifty, he is reveling in his sudden rock-star life, runn Alternate cover for this ISBN can be found here Low-life writer and unrepentant alcoholic Henry Chinaski was born to survive. After decades of slacking off at low-paying dead-end jobs, blowing his cash on booze and women, and scrimping by in flea-bitten apartments, Chinaski sees his poetic star rising at last. Now, at fifty, he is reveling in his sudden rock-star life, running three hundred hangovers a year, and maintaining a sex life that would cripple Casanova. With all of Bukowski's trademark humor and gritty, dark honesty, this 1978 follow-up to Post Office and Factotum is an uncompromising account of life on the edge.


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Alternate cover for this ISBN can be found here Low-life writer and unrepentant alcoholic Henry Chinaski was born to survive. After decades of slacking off at low-paying dead-end jobs, blowing his cash on booze and women, and scrimping by in flea-bitten apartments, Chinaski sees his poetic star rising at last. Now, at fifty, he is reveling in his sudden rock-star life, runn Alternate cover for this ISBN can be found here Low-life writer and unrepentant alcoholic Henry Chinaski was born to survive. After decades of slacking off at low-paying dead-end jobs, blowing his cash on booze and women, and scrimping by in flea-bitten apartments, Chinaski sees his poetic star rising at last. Now, at fifty, he is reveling in his sudden rock-star life, running three hundred hangovers a year, and maintaining a sex life that would cripple Casanova. With all of Bukowski's trademark humor and gritty, dark honesty, this 1978 follow-up to Post Office and Factotum is an uncompromising account of life on the edge.

30 review for Women

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ryan McDonald

    Misogyny, misogyny, misogyny....that's all everyone sees. Few see the true character of Hank, only the brutal sexual descriptions, the words beginning with "C" and his practice of "mounting" whatever drunken soul may have wandered into his piss-stained bed. This is one of the most American novels I have ever read. It tells the story of the common man, overburdened by the memories of his abusive youth, beleagured by his own unsightly appearance and wallowing in the depths of alcoholism. Few feel Misogyny, misogyny, misogyny....that's all everyone sees. Few see the true character of Hank, only the brutal sexual descriptions, the words beginning with "C" and his practice of "mounting" whatever drunken soul may have wandered into his piss-stained bed. This is one of the most American novels I have ever read. It tells the story of the common man, overburdened by the memories of his abusive youth, beleagured by his own unsightly appearance and wallowing in the depths of alcoholism. Few feel the groan of his body when he rises each morning, the dull thud in his brain, or the unrequited love in his heart. This is not a story of a crude womanizer. This is the story of pain and consistency, his life moving along with each labored step, unwillingly. It is the story of rejection, acceptance and our own inherent ability to survive without really trying. They sounded like really nasty women anyway....

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ratscats

    I discovered Charles Bukowski while in Las Vegas, in December 2000. My dad thought it was a good idea to take his 19 year old daughter to Vegas. Because I LOVE watching everyone else gamble and drink while I can't participate! To be fair, we saw some really good shows (Blue Man Group and Mystere). And the buffets were exciting (Paris was wonderful). And ! I did get screamed at by a lady on the bus that goes up and down the strip. She looked like Mimi from the Drew Carey show. Well, she dropped her I discovered Charles Bukowski while in Las Vegas, in December 2000. My dad thought it was a good idea to take his 19 year old daughter to Vegas. Because I LOVE watching everyone else gamble and drink while I can't participate! To be fair, we saw some really good shows (Blue Man Group and Mystere). And the buffets were exciting (Paris was wonderful). And ! I did get screamed at by a lady on the bus that goes up and down the strip. She looked like Mimi from the Drew Carey show. Well, she dropped her purse and I, being the gentleman that I am, went to pick it up for her because she was obviously too large to bend over herself. And I didnt want her roly poly, blue eyeshadow wearing self to roll down the aisle causing an accident. (To be fair, she probably wouldnt have rolled, just gotten stuck.) So this ass starts screaming at me "Don't touch my purse, don't steal my purse!" So embarassing... So later that day.... I bought a really sweet corset and some cute underoos at the Victorias Secret in Vegas. At 19, I was at my most attractive. Everything has gone downhill since then. The ban on ephedra didn't help either. I swear, a few people die and they go and freakin' ban it. People die from cars and alcohol all the time but they dont go banning those. Whatever, man. (I miss you Xenedrine! Call me! **please email me if you have any black market ephedra, will pay in books**). But the point is, I could wear a corset back then and look mildly attractive in the right lighting. If you squinted your eyes. I do remember trying that get up on in my hotel room and thinking "Ooooh sexy lady, oh yeah. You soooo fine!" That was also the last year I considered myself a female. That was the first and last time I have ever shopped at Victoria's Secret. My friend , Erika, has to remind to me wear bras to this day. (I also bought 2 pieces of cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory and brought them back to my hotel and devoured them both) So back to the main subject matter here... our last day in Vegas, we were in some store and there was this book called "Drinking , Smoking and Screwing". "Yes, yes and yes", I thought to myself. Didn't even read the description, I just immediately bought it. Lucky for me it was a collections of short stories from awesome writers about the title subjects. And an exerpt of Charles Bukowski's "Women" was one of them. He stood out to me because he writes like he speaks. In plain, no frills english. Some call him misogynistic but I disagree. I never felt like he was exploiting or demeaning women (in any of his books). Most of the bitches in his books deserved to be treated like shit. Or wanted to be treated like shit. Because that's how women are sometimes. And that is why I no longer can relate to that gender amoung many other reasons. I guess my connection with Buk lies in heartbreak. That's what he reminds me of. That bittersweet feeling of your heart being torn out but still continuing to beat.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lydia

    The leading crazy lady's name is Lydia. I can relate. Charles Bukowski has a way of betraying you and making you laugh in spite of yourself; disgusting you and then melting your heart with one tender and insightful paragraph you do not expect, at a moment that doesn't seem appropriate in context to that which he is speaking. It is impossible to love Bukowski and impossible not to love him. This book is just a delight, if you can absorb it. He is mushy soft at his core.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Colelea

    boooooorrrrrr-iinnnnnnnnnnnnngggg I loved Bukowski as a young teenager and now that I go back and re-read I can only imagine that I enjoyed the truth and rawness at that age when I was getting lied to everywhere abt. the relations between men and women. NOW the misogyny is effing boring. Like the crap I see every effing day. I find it interesting that some people find it so shocking because I know at least 10 men that feel this way abt. women. OVER IT. Don't wanna read abt. it now.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Demetri Broxton-Santiago

    This book is CRAZY!!! I cannot believe I read the entire thing in 3 days. You can't put it down. In fact, it made it's rounds through at least 8 people I know of, and it's probably still making the rounds. Everyone had the same experience. You start it and Bukowski goes into the most sexist, vulgar, repulsive descriptions of the main character's relationship to women, but something makes you keep reading. I stopped at several points wondering, "why the hell am I reading this?", yet I went on. Th This book is CRAZY!!! I cannot believe I read the entire thing in 3 days. You can't put it down. In fact, it made it's rounds through at least 8 people I know of, and it's probably still making the rounds. Everyone had the same experience. You start it and Bukowski goes into the most sexist, vulgar, repulsive descriptions of the main character's relationship to women, but something makes you keep reading. I stopped at several points wondering, "why the hell am I reading this?", yet I went on. This is a wild feat, making this a brilliant work of art. The main character is an upper middle-aged man. He's disgusting and a complete drunk. He's also a writer. His greatest ambition in life is the "[email protected]*k" an 18 year old girl when he's 80 year's old. Did I say this was vulgar? It's the worst and best reading you've ever done. You'll fly through it, never knowing exactly why....

  6. 4 out of 5

    ميقات الراجحي

    هنا فقط نثر رائع ورواية بسيطة جدًا.. بوكوفسكي ورواية تحمل اسم (نساء) حسنًا ماذا ننتظر؟ :) هل ثمة جديد؟ يكمل تشيناسكي حياته الفوضوية التي يوثقها بوكوفسكي - عن نفسه طبعًا - حيث يستمر تنقّله الوظيفي من عملٍ لعمل ولا أعلم ماهذا الحظ الذي يقابله لأجل الحصول على كل هذه الفرص؟ ربما إنخافض الأجور وقبوله بأي عمل يمكنه من ذلك!!... وبالمقابل يستمر هو في عربدته وعلاقاته مع النساء. ولكن في هذه المرحلة يوثق بوكوفسكي لنجمه الشعري الذي بدأ يبزغ أكثر وأكثر. Charles Bukowski : Whisky / Beer.. Women هذه رواية لو حذف هنا فقط نثر رائع ورواية بسيطة جدًا.. بوكوفسكي ورواية تحمل اسم (نساء) حسنًا ماذا ننتظر؟ :) هل ثمة جديد؟ يكمل تشيناسكي حياته الفوضوية التي يوثقها بوكوفسكي - عن نفسه طبعًا - حيث يستمر تنقّله الوظيفي من عملٍ لعمل ولا أعلم ماهذا الحظ الذي يقابله لأجل الحصول على كل هذه الفرص؟ ربما إنخافض الأجور وقبوله بأي عمل يمكنه من ذلك!!... وبالمقابل يستمر هو في عربدته وعلاقاته مع النساء. ولكن في هذه المرحلة يوثق بوكوفسكي لنجمه الشعري الذي بدأ يبزغ أكثر وأكثر. Charles Bukowski : Whisky / Beer.. Women هذه رواية لو حذف منها حديثه المكرر عن النساء كمشاهد عابرة لا تخل بسياق الرواية من ناحية تكنيك النص ولو حذف منها تكراره لمشاهد البيرة والمشاهد المكررة منذ روايته الأولى ثم الثانية لكن العمل أصغر حتى من (نوفيلا).. نعم هي سيرة روائية لكن ربما بوكوفسكي كان لينجح أكثر في توثيق سيرته الروائية كلها في (روايتين) فقط بين رواياته الـ(6) رغم أنه قد تبقى لي منها (3) لكن لو كانت كسابقاتها (نساء جنس / شراب خمر) فلا جديد إلا إن كان "سيلعب" على (تقنية) النص فهذا كذلك لن يشفع له. أنا هنا لا أعترض على صراحة بوكوفسكي عن النساء فهذه حقيقة كل أنثى قابلها فلماذا أعترض؟.. هل أحاسبه على صدقه في تسجيل تفاصيل حياته والألم الذي كان يعيشه وهو يسعي جاهدًا للحصول على (مايريده) نساء وخمر وكتابة.. هذا رجل هذا هو طموحه.. يقترب كثيرًا من عبثية "جوروجي أمادوا” ويقترب كثيرًا من صدق "أوسكار وايلد” لا يعرفون الرتوش والكذب. أراء بوكوفسكي هي في حقيقة الأمر تمثل قناعاته الشخصية. لذا لا يمكنك زن تطلب منه تبديل هذه القناعات حتى الأنثى خارج الكاتب وهي تقرأ عن الأنثى داخل الكتاب يحق لها الغضب لكن هذا عالمه الخاص. بالمناسبة لا أعتقد بوكوفسكي جبانًا.. حتي وهو يهرب باسمه ويصر علي أن ينقل لنا حياته من خلال (هنري تشيانسكي) هو يخبرنا أن هذه الحياة ليست فقط حياتي أنها حياة الكثير وهذا الـ(تشيانكسي) أحدهم. حتى ورن كان تشيانكسي هنا قد أصبح في الـ(50) من العمر. مايزال عنصر الكوميديا قائم في كتابات بوكوفسكي وسط كل هذه السكرات المتكررة، وماتزال قائمة النساء تتضاعف : Mercedes, Lydia, Debra, Tanya , Gertrude, Katherine, وغيرهن كثيرات. فالعلاقات الجنسية - لقاء السرير - سريع بالنسبة لبوكوفسكي وكأنه يؤكد أن المرأة بالنسبة له حالة عابرة بإستثناء تجربة المرأة - الحب - التي مررنا بها في إحدى مراحل حياته قبل هذه الكتاب. لو سأقيّم هذه الرواية وفق ما سبق ليست هي بأعظم مما سبق لكن سأعمد في نهاية أخر عمل له (أدب رخيص) لترتيب روايته (من وجهة نظري أنا) وهي دون شك تحمل الصواب والخطأ. لكن يساعدني على ذلك قراءة أعماله كلها متسلسلة وفق صدورها وفي أقل من شهرين حتى الآن. هذه الرواية كنت سعيدًا أنني أنهيتها. كنت أنظر لمشاهد تعري وجنسية سريعة كأنك وسط (نادي ليلي) لمن مر بمثل هذه التجربة في حياته. المشاهد هنا مشابهة لتلك الذكريات. سأنتقل للجزء الرابع (الشطيرة) وربما أكمل السيرة الروائية المتبقية له بعد رمضان. لا أتخيل بوكوفسكي يقاسمني رمضان!!. رغم زنه لم يتبقي لي سوى (هوليود)، و(أدب رخيص) وبهذا أكون أنهيته جانبه الروائي الذي حتى الآن سعيد به بصفة عامة.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy

    Bukowski is a five star poet writing a three star story, averaging out to four stars: but with a +1 star for pure, unmixed vodkaric fucking artistic courage … if you’ll pardon the bland but necessary tautology. Instead of a Nobel Prize, a Purple Heart and a Medal of Honor should have been meted out to him. When Chinaski—Bukowski’s fictionalized self—is asked about the kinds of writers he likes, the attribute he mentions about them is their bravery. He’s asked: why? “Why? It makes me feel good. It Bukowski is a five star poet writing a three star story, averaging out to four stars: but with a +1 star for pure, unmixed vodkaric fucking artistic courage … if you’ll pardon the bland but necessary tautology. Instead of a Nobel Prize, a Purple Heart and a Medal of Honor should have been meted out to him. When Chinaski—Bukowski’s fictionalized self—is asked about the kinds of writers he likes, the attribute he mentions about them is their bravery. He’s asked: why? “Why? It makes me feel good. It’s a matter of style in the face of no chance at all.” And that’s what he is. The declarations and codifications of his writing seem to baffle him. The misos or the isms. He’s aware of them. But he goes on. You can beat him up. You can run him down. You can trash his typewriter in the middle of the road. He not only takes his chances, he understands them. They are nil. "What do you think of women?" she asked. "I'm not a thinker..." Chinaski seems to be aware of the vanishing-point that is the saturation of hate-ideology, and in the face of it, he places himself, not with any Saint George-like ideal of conquering it, but at least if he can just…be…him… that’s style in the face of no chance at all. That is courage. Once they have absorbed the entire avenue of discourse open to the writer, then ‘fuck them’ becomes all that you have to at least bridge between the body of it all and your own yawp. Love … is like trying to carry a full garbage can on your back over a rushing river of piss Love was for guitar players, Catholics and chess freaks. For Chinaski, the other side of bravery is love. Not in an antonymic sense, but it is the sense, the device, the object by which you fall into something that becomes too great to have courage through. This is why he often expresses awe in its face, because it is the one thing that can really defeat him. He expresses pity for those who he encounters who seem to be under it, he expresses self-pity for the one time in the past when he was also so afflicted. He avoids women who have men who love them. Maybe I should have slammed her? How did a man know what to do? Generally, I decided, it was better to wait, if you had any feeling for the individual. If you hated her right off, it was better to fuck her right off; if you didn’t, it was better to wait, then fuck her and hate her later on. Chinaski is an absurd hero. He is fully aware of the absurdity of his condition in the story, and regularly expresses complete bafflement for how he is making a living as a poet, and how these women are appearing in his life … and what they’re prepared to do for him. But he still takes what is given freely, and he gives freely. He undergoes ordeals that would have me in a homicidal fit of rage, and yet he can go berserk if the music is too loud; a woman can all but kill him in the street, but he will still help them move house; he is contradictory, obtuse, will-full, forgiving, passionate and reserved, destructive and self-destructive, creative and lacking-in-imagination. He is one of us, one of the losers; cast as a winner. He celebrates his winnings, but is humble enough to remain a loser. "I never pump up my vulgarity. I wait for it to arrive on its own terms." Which brings me to his three-star-ish-ness. I take notes while I read for future reference, along with a page number, and this kind of tells the story. Normally, the gems I unearth are pretty evenly spread out page number wise. With this book, there would be forty, fifty page gaps; and then a series of notes over one, two or three pages. It’s as though Bukowski has a series of great poetic works of character insight, and he strings them together to create a book. "I write. But mostly I take photographs." ...he admits, jokingly, but it also rings true. He’s joined a series of fascinating shots together. It’s certainly well worth the read, as a tonic for our only-for-fun or moral-prescriptive emphasis on reading now fashionable. What a rush to stumble upon a poet who is not a sociologist, who is not an organ-grinder, who is his own monkey. This book won’t make you a better person, or a better citizen. It will make you more human ... more or less; it will equip you better for your own silence; it will sheath your soul more comfortably, because it will further develop that discomfort and anxiety that is the very definition of the human soul. And that is the object of literature. "You write a lot about women." "I know. I wonder sometimes what I’ll write about after that." "Maybe it won’t stop." "Everything stops."

  8. 4 out of 5

    Vit Babenco

    Freaks always attract other freaks – it must be some immutable law of nature. I had on my dead father’s overcoat, which was too large. My pants were too long, the cuffs came down over the shoes and that was good because my stockings didn’t match, and my shoes were down at the heels. I hated barbers so I cut my own hair when I couldn’t get a woman to do it. I didn’t like to shave and I didn’t like long beards, so I scissored myself every two or three weeks. My eyesight was bad but I didn’t like gl Freaks always attract other freaks – it must be some immutable law of nature. I had on my dead father’s overcoat, which was too large. My pants were too long, the cuffs came down over the shoes and that was good because my stockings didn’t match, and my shoes were down at the heels. I hated barbers so I cut my own hair when I couldn’t get a woman to do it. I didn’t like to shave and I didn’t like long beards, so I scissored myself every two or three weeks. My eyesight was bad but I didn’t like glasses so I didn’t wear them except to read. I had my own teeth but not that many. My face and my nose were red from drinking and the light hurt my eyes so I squinted through tiny slits. I would have fit into any skid row anywhere. Aloofness, drunkenness, seclusion: Hank Chinaski is a deliberate pariah, a lone wolf, misogynic and misanthropic… I disliked them all immediately, sitting around acting clever and superior. They nullified each other. The worst thing for a writer is to know another writer, and worse than that, to know a number of other writers. Like flies on the same turd. Women come and go, an ensemble of women is exotic and bizarre but all of them are thoroughly unhappy. Emptiness swallows existence and human comedy is hardly distinguishable from human tragedy… I was glad I wasn’t in love, that I wasn’t happy with the world. I like being at odds with everything. People in love often become edgy, dangerous. They lose their sense of perspective. They lose their sense of humor. They become nervous, psychotic bores. They even become killers. A curst cur must be tied short…

  9. 4 out of 5

    Valentina Quiceno

    Es increíble lo sencillo que puede parecer un escrito pero que tenga un trasfondo tal interesante. Si lo vemos muy superficialmente, estamos con Henry Chinaski, (un alter ego de Bukowski) que es un escritor que está muy cerca de llegar a los 60 años, más o menos. La historia nos sigue en como él y otras mujeres mucho más jóvenes tienen encuentros sexuales. Así que el hilo de la historia es básicamente este hombre teniendo sexo con una y otra y otra mujer... Podría sonar tedioso, o con poca graci Es increíble lo sencillo que puede parecer un escrito pero que tenga un trasfondo tal interesante. Si lo vemos muy superficialmente, estamos con Henry Chinaski, (un alter ego de Bukowski) que es un escritor que está muy cerca de llegar a los 60 años, más o menos. La historia nos sigue en como él y otras mujeres mucho más jóvenes tienen encuentros sexuales. Así que el hilo de la historia es básicamente este hombre teniendo sexo con una y otra y otra mujer... Podría sonar tedioso, o con poca gracia, pero Bukowski y su pluma tienen una dimensión impresionante. Henry Chinaski es de los mejores personajes que he leído. Conectar con sus pensamientos tan crudamente reales, es increíble. La forma en la que durante todo el libro se va cuestionando el comportamiento, o el ser de las mujeres, relacionando sus múltiples encuentros sexuales con una especie de investigación indirecta en donde la conclusión resulta que cada mujer es un mundo.... y el desearía descubrir la mayoría, así fuera imposible. El final también es increíble. Ya que en casi todo el libro pensé que Chinaski sería un personaje que no se salvaría.... pero al final lo hizo. Cambió. Evolucionó. Un desarrollo de personaje que se ve notablemente solo en las últimas páginas del libro, pero que fue de las mejores partes, y un toque increíble. Una lectura de todo mi gusto, que leí rápido y con mucho interés. Una lectura muy real, muy cruda, y muy "gráfica". Ya que Bukowski se encarga que el lector le quede claro cada uno de sus pensamientos, y cada uno de los movimientos en sus encuentros sexuales...y esto implica escribir con mucha crudeza. Uno de los mejores libros que he leído.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Eileen

    In the words of a reviewer on Amazon, "First off, this book will offend people. It will probably offend you." This book hit a little too close to home (you could say I've met and loved this man in real life). At first, reading it was easy; the language is not complex and the material is the definition of "page-turner" - sex, love, drugs, alcohol - in raw, unapologetic realism. And then around page 200 it all became too much. Chinaski does another poetry reading, beds (and then rapes, though stra In the words of a reviewer on Amazon, "First off, this book will offend people. It will probably offend you." This book hit a little too close to home (you could say I've met and loved this man in real life). At first, reading it was easy; the language is not complex and the material is the definition of "page-turner" - sex, love, drugs, alcohol - in raw, unapologetic realism. And then around page 200 it all became too much. Chinaski does another poetry reading, beds (and then rapes, though strangely enough he does not call this what it is) a new woman half his age, breaks another woman's heart... and drinks, drinks, drinks. I decided to finish the book, because I was more than 2/3 along the way, and I'm glad I did. Chinaski has a breakthrough eventually, and it is heartbreaking, no matter how much you may have grown to despise him. Whether he'll learn or not, who's to say? But then again, that's life right there. And Bukowski's prose, if nothing else, tells it like it is whether you want to read it or not.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Shayan Foroozesh

    This was my first Bukowski and I don’t believe it will be the last. It’s good to take a peek at his writing when you get too serious in your head and your brain begins to get hot, it’s good to take a glance at his writing to cool it down and get into the life of an ugly old son of a bitch who is, as he describes himself: “I’m just an alcoholic who became a writer so that I would be able to stay in bed until noon”, a writer who “write[s] a lot of crap.” But if you ask me I’d say he writes interes This was my first Bukowski and I don’t believe it will be the last. It’s good to take a peek at his writing when you get too serious in your head and your brain begins to get hot, it’s good to take a glance at his writing to cool it down and get into the life of an ugly old son of a bitch who is, as he describes himself: “I’m just an alcoholic who became a writer so that I would be able to stay in bed until noon”, a writer who “write[s] a lot of crap.” But if you ask me I’d say he writes interesting kinds of crap the ones that are not so disgustingly smelly and the way they are crapped are fun to look at. Yeah you got me. Bukowski’s writing somehow reminds me of Confessional Poets, or as M. L. Rosenthal also named them as “the madhouse muses” which very much suits Bukowski, who shares some of their qualities. The emotions he shows are true to his own feelings. His opinions on world surrounding him are derived from his personal convictions and not from the currency of literary fashion, which there are examples aplenty in this book on his distaste for literary fashion or educated kind of writers and their writings. There isn’t any barrier between Bukowski’s self and direct expression of the self, to write with “self” as primary subject; a frank Self, the one with a lack of restraint. But the thing that differentiates Bukowski from confessionals is that he talks through a personae (Henry Chanski) to convey his feelings, thoughts, worldviews, and experiences. But somehow all of us know there is much of Bukowski in that Chinaski guy that we are allowed to see them as one. Like confessionals, Bukowski mythologizes his personal life, but let's not forget that it also has elements of fancy. The facts displayed in his/their writings should not be taken for literal truth. But I’d say he is one lucky bastard if he’s telling the truth! He isn’t afraid of emotions like the writers before him and he doesn’t censor his emotions and thoughts or even he doesn’t soften it with euphemism. At least he’s true to himself, He doesn’t put a mask on his face, and accepts himself as pure shit and presents himself as an old man with roaring shit. But of course his writing is not for everyone and he didn’t expect everyone to like what he was doing to literature. Just as there were no restrictions for confessionals on choosing a subject matter, Bukowski weren’t tied up with restrictions either. He wrote about anything he liked and his subject matters were most often himself and the things he intimately knew. His writings (at least in case of Women) are a declaration of loss, of dependence, of guilt, of anguish, suffering, and his revenge on life. The themes of this declaration are presented in the form of mental breakdowns, personal failure, alienation, whoring, experiments with drugs, alcoholism, and so on. As Bukowski confesses why he was behaving all through his post-50-year-old life as someone debauched, as someone who is beating the hell out of life to give him back what he has lost all his 50 years of miserable life: I had imagined myself special because I had come out of the factories at the age of 50 and become a poet. Hot shit. So I pissed on everybody just like those bosses and managers had pissed on me when I was helpless. It came to the same thing. I was a drunken spoiled rotten fucker with a very minor minor fame. BTW, I found it interesting that some of the names in the novel weren’t the real names (but mostly they were). So some pseudonyms in Women: Lydia Vance: Linda King - one of Buk's longtime relationships (Here's the link on Bukowski and Linda king, the mad Lydia! http://www.vice.com/read/meeting-buko...) Sara: Linda Bukowski (Here's the youtube link when he gets pissed off at Linda (Sarah in Women: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUeGs...) Drop On Inn: Dew Drop Inn Drayer Baba: Maher Baba - indian guru Dinky Summers: Bob Linde - singer/guitarist friend of Buk's Dee Dee Bronson: Liza Williams - executive at Island Records - lover of Buk's Tammie: Pamela Miller ("Cupcakes") - lover of Buk's Arlene: Georgia Peckham-Krellner - friend of Pamelas Sammy Levinson: Neeli Cherkowski - friend of Buk's Tanya: Amber O'Neill (also a pseudonym!) - fan/lover of Buk's Mercedes: Joanna Bull - fan of Buk's William Keesing: William Wantling - poet & friend of Buk's Cecilia Keesing: Ruth Wantling - wife of William Bobby & Valerie: Brad & Tina Darby - friends & neighbours of Buk's Douglas Fazzick: Douglas Blazek - editor of "Ole" & publisher of Buk Bart McIntosh: Ted Laturnus - organizer of Buk's reading in Vancouver 1976

  12. 5 out of 5

    Arda

    It was love at first letter with Bukowski. This was months ago. I read the letter he wrote in ’86, (posted at “Letters of Note” in 2012,) and I just knew. I had a thing for that letter, and wanted to devour the words of the man who wrote it. I gulped down “Women” quickly because that was the type of book it was. Reading Bukowski requires the willingness to loosen up. It is not easy to read this stuff through an ideological, feminist, or moral lens. This man does not bother to brush up his charact It was love at first letter with Bukowski. This was months ago. I read the letter he wrote in ’86, (posted at “Letters of Note” in 2012,) and I just knew. I had a thing for that letter, and wanted to devour the words of the man who wrote it. I gulped down “Women” quickly because that was the type of book it was. Reading Bukowski requires the willingness to loosen up. It is not easy to read this stuff through an ideological, feminist, or moral lens. This man does not bother to brush up his character or polish his words. Whether we like it or not, we are forced to watch Chinaski throw up and throw his seeds in the fleshes of passing women. Chinaski is self-described as a “dirty old man”, “selfish, with deep pleasure”. He is a raging alcoholic, and, really, he is simply not bothered. And so it goes. The more I read, the more Bukowski's appeal started to fade before my eyes. This possibly correlates with his own life-experience and through his sharing of this reality: “Human relationships didn't work anyhow. Only the first two weeks had any zing, then the participants lost their interest. Masks dropped away and real people began to appear: cranks, imbeciles, the demented, the vengeful, sadists, killers. Modern society had created its own kind and they feasted on each other. It was a duel to the death--in a cesspool.” The buried sense of uneasiness on how easy it is to break up, let go and be with someone else adds to the depth of this book, and the book does have depth. Perhaps the easiest way to describe it would be through referencing Milan Kundera’s book title: “The Unbearable Lightness of Being”. While reading Bukowski's “Women”, I started to wonder about the meaning-of-it-all, but had to quickly stop myself from this questioning, and keep on reading. It means nothing. In the words of a friend of mine, "life means nothing and everything, but mostly nothing.” Bukowski emphasizes on the nothingness. He is ‘not wholesome in the sense of wholesome is as wholesome does’: “I liked to drink, I was lazy, I didn’t have a god, politics, ideas, ideals. I was settled into nothingness; a kind of non-being, and I accepted it. It didn’t make for an interesting person. I didn’t want to be interesting, it was too hard. What I really wanted was only a soft, hazy space to live in, and to be left alone. On the other hand, when I got drunk I screamed, went crazy, got all out of hand. One kind of behavior didn’t fit the other. I didn’t care.” For the most part, this book was not rich in context. I wanted to love it, but dare I say: I was underwhelmed. I had this recurring notion that Bukowski was just trying so hard to look as though he was not trying so hard. It seems as though he wanted to give the impression that he couldn't care less about other writers, films, TV, culture, none of it really, and that he wasn't bothered by what people thought about his writing. On the other hand, there are all these self-compliments his characters chip in that disprove his indifference. The constant referrals he makes about himself being “one of the best writers”, and that he has “raw writing”, “humor”, impeccable ease in jumping from one girl to another and “fucking all these women” all start to become less and less amusing. This book, albeit playful, could be helpful for a case-study on polygamy. It is also acute in conveying the harsh economic realities that the Americans of that generation had been going through. Additionally, it could assist women of all generations to understand the true composition of jerks, assholes and dirty old men, and know when to run for their lives if they are in a relationship with one. Was I disappointed with this book? Unfortunately, yes. Would I read more Bukowski? The man is shameless and unbothered by it, but he sticks to his guns and has his own style. Give me another book by him, right now, and yes, yes I will.

  13. 4 out of 5

    RandomAnthony

    I feel stupid getting into Charles Bukowski so much as a 43 year old guy with kids, a house, and a job. I mean, I read him in my late teens with all my friends and we romanticized his shitty SRO hotel existence. But over the last year I've either read or re-read all of his (non-poetry) books except Pulp, and I can see a depth and craft of which I wasn't aware as a kid. Women, turns out, is my favorite of the catalog. I don't get much voyeuristic pleasure from Women. You know how recently-divorced I feel stupid getting into Charles Bukowski so much as a 43 year old guy with kids, a house, and a job. I mean, I read him in my late teens with all my friends and we romanticized his shitty SRO hotel existence. But over the last year I've either read or re-read all of his (non-poetry) books except Pulp, and I can see a depth and craft of which I wasn't aware as a kid. Women, turns out, is my favorite of the catalog. I don't get much voyeuristic pleasure from Women. You know how recently-divorced people say things like, “Ugh, I hate dating”? Well, Bukowski's twilight years, according to Women, function like The Bachelor except sometimes he can't get it up and just about all the women he meets are sad and bonkers. But the depth of his desires, his ambivalence, and self-loathing raise Women beyond, you know, “check out how many women I fucked” or whatever. He tries to go along with a few of his companions' everyday lifestyle (Bukowski antique shopping...I can't imagine) but feels trapped and suffocated. So he moves on to the next girl who's been sending him letters and dirty photographs. Literary success has its drawbacks but Bukowski's not dumb enough to pretend that nailing fans and waking at noon is harder than working a shit job. He's scared, amused, almost waiting for the other shoe to drop, if you will, like he's lost his young man's anger, wants to live in peace, but, Jesus, these women keep sending these letters, and...who wouldn't? Women seems to me the most mature and quotable Bukowski. He's less caricature and more human than in his other works. He's more removed and reflective. Women is more than a laundry-list fuckfest. Go beyond the surface. Dig deep.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Arthur Graham

    Probably my least favorite Bukowski novel, if only because it is the one most commonly used against him by readers with a college freshmen understanding of what misogyny is. Anyone who's ever read the man's oeuvre or seen any of his interviews and walked away with the impression that he was anything but an equal-opportunity misanthrope might have a slightly skewed view of things. If anything Bukowski was harder on the men around him, and he hated everyone for their greed, cruelty, and dullness, Probably my least favorite Bukowski novel, if only because it is the one most commonly used against him by readers with a college freshmen understanding of what misogyny is. Anyone who's ever read the man's oeuvre or seen any of his interviews and walked away with the impression that he was anything but an equal-opportunity misanthrope might have a slightly skewed view of things. If anything Bukowski was harder on the men around him, and he hated everyone for their greed, cruelty, and dullness, but he only fucked the female portion of them, so I guess that made him a misogynist.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Elliott

    Reading "Women" is like watching a porno. At first, all that wanton sex is exciting and seductive and yeah, kind of funny too; then it starts to get repetitive and a little disturbing; pretty soon you're disgusted with all of it: sex and women and men and most of all, yourself. You promise that you'll never watch again but, deep down, you know you will. You dirty bastard.

  16. 5 out of 5

    David Schaafsma

    "I never pump up my vulgarity. I wait for it to arrive on its own terms."—Chinaski/Bukowski, responding to a woman who has organized his poetry reading and is surprised to find him rather nice and “normal” in person. I am in general a kind of fan of Bukowski, especially his poetry and early Henry Chinaski novels. He’s brutally honest, nasty about pretentious people, and at the same time viciously self-deprecating. He worked for decades in factories, in the post office, in a variety of odd jobs he "I never pump up my vulgarity. I wait for it to arrive on its own terms."—Chinaski/Bukowski, responding to a woman who has organized his poetry reading and is surprised to find him rather nice and “normal” in person. I am in general a kind of fan of Bukowski, especially his poetry and early Henry Chinaski novels. He’s brutally honest, nasty about pretentious people, and at the same time viciously self-deprecating. He worked for decades in factories, in the post office, in a variety of odd jobs he talks about in Factotum and Post Office and other books, so when it came to being part of the literary world, Bukowski just found it silly and self-important. He doesn’t write about himself as anything other than what he is: Drunk, vulgar, rude and sometimes very funny. Women is a later novel about the older, early-fifties-aged Chinaski that quite obviously focuses on his usually disastrous (primarily sexual)relationships (you wouldn’t call them romantic, really). And less funny than the earlier books, but no more insightful, really. He just tells it like it is and doesn’t claim any particular wisdom about anything he does. Early on, in the first Chinaski novel, Ham and Rye, we see Henry’s drunkenness and madness in the light of the chaos of his family upbringing, his abusive father. In that book there’s no sex and much humor. By now, in Women, Chinaski is a newly famous writer and shares altogether too much of his “experience” with women, having learned almost nothing about them along the way. All sex and ignorance, a parade of woman after woman for 291 pages. And this is his point, that he knows nothing about women! Which is sometimes funny, more often than not offensive, and ultimately a bit boring. I was listening to the book or I would have thrown it across the room several times. Sometimes it is funny, especially when he touches on writing and the writing life, or when he is describing this or that insanity. But I truly think he could have cut this book in half; it just goes on and on from “relationship” tragedy to tragedy. Chianski's drunk all the way through, 300 hangovers a year, as he admits. “I’m just an alcoholic who became a writer so that I would be able to stay in bed until noon” I was reminded of Robert Crumb’s Trouble with Women, where Crumb shares some of the comics feminists have called misogynist. Like Crumb, Bukowski seems to have no ethical filters, no lines he is not willing to cross, and this makes him hilarious for many readers, and even, I am ashamed to say, me. He’s an asshole, he admits this, but he’s still doing the same thing at 50 that he was doing when he was 20, and this act is now a bit boring. He even knows this and keep writing,knowing his loyal fans (like me, damn it!) will keep writing. He uses some excuses at this point to justify his behavior: “I had imagined myself special because I had come out of the factories at the age of 50 and become a poet. Hot shit. So I pissed on everybody just like those bosses and managers had pissed on me when I was helpless. It came to the same thing. I was a drunken spoiled rotten fucker with a very minor minor fame.” So does he get credit here for brutal honesty or is it just more of the same reader abuse? Bukowski is more miserable here than in previous books: “Human relationships didn't work anyhow. Only the first two weeks had any zing, then the participants lost their interest. Masks dropped away and real people began to appear: cranks, imbeciles, the demented, the vengeful, sadists, killers. Modern society had created its own kind and they feasted on each other. It was a duel to the death--in a cesspool.” Oh, it’s a cesspool, all right, Buk’s life, played for dark comedy, with Bukowksi/Chinaski the central comi-tragic figure, but too often at the expense of women, though several of them also mistreat him as he mistreats them. So why didn't I love Women? I’ll call some of it here blatant misogyny, even though he’s as usual as hard on himself as any of the women he sleeps with. This is how he thinks he can get away with the abuse, but by now I am not quite buying it as interesting. So why did I like Women at all? I guess because he does tell the truth, and writes that truth in a still interesting way in places: “I liked to drink, I was lazy, I didn’t have a god, politics, ideas, ideals. I was settled into nothingness; a kind of non-being, and I accepted it. It didn’t make for an interesting person. I didn’t want to be interesting, it was too hard. What I really wanted was only a soft, hazy space to live in, and to be left alone. On the other hand, when I got drunk I screamed, went crazy, got all out of hand. One kind of behavior didn’t fit the other. I didn’t care.” Sexual Politics by the late Kate Millett nails Henry Miller and Norman Mailer for being essentially misogynist, disguising it in a kind of macho romanticism. Bukowksi is also misogynist here, almost exclusively describing women in sexual terms, woman after woman, drink after drink, horse race after horse race. Often repulsive. Occasionally amusingly decadent. A self-confessed fat, ugly drunk, who sometimes makes me smile. Not in this one so much as the others, though. "You're so full of shit!"--Lydia I laughed. "That's why I write."--Bukowski

  17. 5 out of 5

    Henry Martin

    Women is definitely not Bukowski at his finest, nevertheless, the book has its merits. In this book, we get a slightly different glimpse at Henry Chinaski, Bukowski's alter ego, and once we get past the same scenery in which the only thing that changes are the sets of legs spread before him, we are offered a look into a life of a man who is nearing his top game (in term of recognition) while being torn inside. Torn by the insatiable appetite to taste all the fruit forbidden to him for the first Women is definitely not Bukowski at his finest, nevertheless, the book has its merits. In this book, we get a slightly different glimpse at Henry Chinaski, Bukowski's alter ego, and once we get past the same scenery in which the only thing that changes are the sets of legs spread before him, we are offered a look into a life of a man who is nearing his top game (in term of recognition) while being torn inside. Torn by the insatiable appetite to taste all the fruit forbidden to him for the first fifty years of his life, torn by the superficial attempts to fill a void, torn by his inability to attach, to be satisfied. We get the same gut-level honesty, the same raw emotions and descriptions Bukowski does so well; the same seedy neighborhoods and their protagonists; the same booze-fueled nights and sleepy days that pass in a haze. But we also get more. We get a vulnerable human being that on one hand desires to be good while on the other hand acts like a jerk. Can he help himself? Perhaps, yet he has no desire to. Some reviewers mention redemption at the end of the book. I did not see it that way. Hank became softer, yes, he did. But entering a relationship that would clearly not work in the long run is certainly not redemption. I view it more like a momentary break, a pause on his path towards self-destruction that marred Bukowski's real life. For the most part, this book deals with sexual encounters of a random order, some lasting, some not. But are the short-lived ones an attempt to "crawl back to the womb", an attempt to find comfort and affection not allowed to him for the past five decades? Are the lasting encounters an attempt to find a woman crazier than he is, a woman more self-destructive than he is? Are those an attempt to reassure himself that there is nothing wrong with his own ways? I loved Bukowski's own revelations and reflections in Hollywood. There was more to it than the book suggested. In Women, there is also more, but he has not yet reached a state of self-discovery, of self-observation. He is a kid in the candy store, except he is not a kid and the candy are the various women sleeping with him due to his recently acquired rock-star status. Does he suffer inside? Sure, but he does not see it that way, not yet. He, nevertheless, feels a void, he just didn't name it yet, and all the candy he get is not going to fill it. To me, Women is a story of a man at the threshold of discovering himself. His path and method are rugged, his encounters utterly meaningless, but with each new woman that spends a night in his old, crappy bed, he inches closer to finding the lack of meaning in it all, closer to feeling something. And for this, Women makes for a good human story. It's not Factotum, Post Office, or Pulp...it's Bukowski in a relative material comfort, struggling to pull himself out of an emotional abyss.

  18. 5 out of 5

    FeReSHte

    اولین تجربه پر از شوق و ذوق بوکوفسکی خوانیم چندان آش دهن سوزی از آب در نیومد. جملات ساده و کوتاه و فاقد هرگونه استعاره ادبی و لغات نه چندان سنگین و پیچیده یه جور بی تفاوتی نویسنده رو نسبت به محبوب شدن اثر نزد خواننده به چشم میاره که اتفاقن در کمال تعجب دلنشین هم بود. بوکوفسکی با کلمات و جملات بازی نمی کنه انگار مدام داشت داد می زد: من همینیم که هستم! همین قدر آشغال تو زندگی ،همین قدر فاسد تو اخلاق و همین قدر تنبل تو نوشتن! میخوای بخواه نمیخوای هم به سلامت من هم تا شصت درصد داستان تحملش کردم ولی صف اولین تجربه پر از شوق و ذوق بوکوفسکی خوانیم چندان آش دهن سوزی از آب در نیومد. جملات ساده و کوتاه و فاقد هرگونه استعاره ادبی و لغات نه چندان سنگین و پیچیده یه جور بی تفاوتی نویسنده رو نسبت به محبوب شدن اثر نزد خواننده به چشم میاره که اتفاقن در کمال تعجب دلنشین هم بود. بوکوفسکی با کلمات و جملات بازی نمی کنه انگار مدام داشت داد می زد: من همینیم که هستم! همین قدر آشغال تو زندگی ،همین قدر فاسد تو اخلاق و همین قدر تنبل تو نوشتن! میخوای بخواه نمیخوای هم به سلامت من هم تا شصت درصد داستان تحملش کردم ولی صفحه به صفحه جلو رفتم و هیچ اتفاق جدیدی نیفتاد...چرخه ی آشنایی، همخوابگی، الکل، خیانت ....و زنها امدند و رفتند و من حسابشون از دستم در رفت واین آمد و رفت ها این قدر سریع و پشت هم تکرار شد که اگه تفاوتی هم بینشون بود کم کم از بین رفت و فقط یک چیز باقی موند: جنسیت! و همه المان ها مهیا بود تا نشون بده که چه قدر نکبت داره از سر و کول این زندگی بالا میره. طنز ملایم نویسنده دلچسبه و قسمت هایی که با خودش راجع به زنان زندگیش و این سبک زندگیش فکر میکنه هم دوست داشتنیه ولی به نسبت کل داستان همین دو ستاره کافیه براش.در واقع اگه همین رو هم نداشت میشد داستان زرد به حساب اوردش حقیقت اینه که داستان ابتدا خوب همراهم کرد و سریع پیش رفت ولی تکرار و تکرار و این تکرار لعنتی من رو از خودش دفع کرد.اواخر دیگه نمی خوندم فقط ورق میزدم چون بر اساس استدلال استقرایی می دونستم قراره چه اتفاقی بیفته!!! نمیگم تا اینجایی که خوندم بد بود. کتاب رو رها کردم صرفن به این دلیل که حس کردم باقی کتاب هم همین آشه و همین کاسه و اتفاق جدیدی قرار نیست رخ بده. اگه رخ بده هم که به هر حال من از دست دادمش پ.ن اول: این سبک زندگی چه جذابیتی می تونه واسه خواننده داشته باشه حتی اگه زندگی نویسنده ای معروف باشه؟!؟ واقعن بعضی جاها دلم میخواست بهش بگم Hey man! Give it a rest! :-| پ.ن دوم: باعث تاسف بنده است که برای شخصیت های این داستان ،شخصیت های حقیقی سراغ دارم

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    I really didn't know how to take this book and I'm not sure that I have it figured out yet. I knew little about Bukowski going into this one but it didn't take very long to figure out that the antihero Hank Chinaski is actually the alter ego of Bukowski. Both aging writers, German birth, -ski surname, etc, etc. The story seemed pointless at first, very sexual in nature; grittily,needlessly specific sexual content that couldn't even claim to be erotic in nature. Chinaski has carnal relations with I really didn't know how to take this book and I'm not sure that I have it figured out yet. I knew little about Bukowski going into this one but it didn't take very long to figure out that the antihero Hank Chinaski is actually the alter ego of Bukowski. Both aging writers, German birth, -ski surname, etc, etc. The story seemed pointless at first, very sexual in nature; grittily,needlessly specific sexual content that couldn't even claim to be erotic in nature. Chinaski has carnal relations with so many different women that he can't remember their names. Unfortunately, the reader is just as confused. So I kept asking myself: what is the actual point here? The female characters who climb into bed with Chinaski don't get fleshed out; they form a long line of (usually) willing bed partners for Chinaski who regards them as little more than sperm receptacles. Does this story mirror Bukowski's actual sex life? Do women actually have so little self-respect as to allow themselves to be used in this manner by a coarse and brash man who obviously has no respect for them, possibly even hates them? I was starting to hate both Bukowski/Chinaski and the women who slept with him! But in the last half of the book, Bukowski starts to put everything together. Chinaski undergoes a period of self-analysis in which he questions why he is such a philandering prick and speculates on the origins of his need to be embraced by the female half of humanity. He even takes baby steps at improvement, giving the reader hope that, against the odds, he may eventually settle into a mutually fulfilling relationship with someone. In the end, I realize that although the book may have engaged me in a negative way, it still engaged me. Make me happy or rattle my cage, but don't bore me! This one kept me reading: moreover, I will read more Bukowski in the future.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    Repulsive. There it is, my one word review of Women. As I'm reading the book, hating it more and more, I'm wondering how I can ever review it. I'm not too fond of reviewing books anyway, but I didn't know how I could even share my thoughts on it. I decided I'd just do an alphabetical 26-word review, starting with "atrocious" and ending with "zany" with each word a representation of what I hated about the book. Way too much work. So why didn't I like Women? I was turned off by what I perceived as Buk Repulsive. There it is, my one word review of Women. As I'm reading the book, hating it more and more, I'm wondering how I can ever review it. I'm not too fond of reviewing books anyway, but I didn't know how I could even share my thoughts on it. I decided I'd just do an alphabetical 26-word review, starting with "atrocious" and ending with "zany" with each word a representation of what I hated about the book. Way too much work. So why didn't I like Women? I was turned off by what I perceived as Bukowski's misogyny and his lack of humanity. I didn't enjoy that the story read like a broken record, I was unhappy with the bleakness of love, I was bored listening to a loudmouthed drunk telling me exaggerated stories of his past and his love life. So why do I rate a book I disliked so highly? Because when I finished I realized that no one, at least no one I know, writes with this much truth and this much passion and this much honesty. No one I know has the guts to rip himself open and throw himself on the table for pedantic lubbers like me to criticize. And I also realized that Charles Bukowski is the only writer I've ever read who can make me laugh out loud. Sometimes not for the right reason. Women is raw and offensive and insulting and repulsive but it's thoroughly honest, disturbingly brutal and undeniably real.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    I enjoyed this novel. Though it's thick, I found it an easy read, the type of book that I could dip into at any time. The structure of this novel is odd or unconventional in that at first it seems repetitive, this happens then that, with women entering and leaving his life. But somehow you grow used to it. It's almost like a compilation of episodes that often don't lead anywhere but allow you to understand the protagonist who's obviously Bukowski. I'll say it's pretty funny too. Bukowski's sense I enjoyed this novel. Though it's thick, I found it an easy read, the type of book that I could dip into at any time. The structure of this novel is odd or unconventional in that at first it seems repetitive, this happens then that, with women entering and leaving his life. But somehow you grow used to it. It's almost like a compilation of episodes that often don't lead anywhere but allow you to understand the protagonist who's obviously Bukowski. I'll say it's pretty funny too. Bukowski's sense of humor is blunt and often dirty, which I kind of appreciate. In a way I was reminded me of another recent novel I read, Permanent Obscurity by Richard Perez. Both books have a raw and ugly style, both quite funny. Bukowski's Women ends with Henry, the main character losing control a little. The portrait is deadly honest, and I know a lot of people who might consider him an A-hole, but that's exactly why he's interesting: you don't often see his kind in fiction. Bukowski does nothing to cover up the fact that he's a bit of a monster. So the end result is a realistic portrait. Anyway, I enjoyed this book, and I would recommend it to others.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tia

    My God, this book is perfect. I finished it a day ago, so I've had time to digest it. It's gonna be hard to move onto my next book, my rebound read, because I'm still hung up on this one. I'm in love with it. I can't find a single flaw in it. This was my first Bukowski book, and I doubt his others will be able to live up to it for me. This would have to be one of my favorite books of all time, right up there with House of Leaves. Basically this is autobiographical fiction about a brief period in My God, this book is perfect. I finished it a day ago, so I've had time to digest it. It's gonna be hard to move onto my next book, my rebound read, because I'm still hung up on this one. I'm in love with it. I can't find a single flaw in it. This was my first Bukowski book, and I doubt his others will be able to live up to it for me. This would have to be one of my favorite books of all time, right up there with House of Leaves. Basically this is autobiographical fiction about a brief period in Bukowski's life. He was divorced, he'd had his heart broken, and he was starting to get mild fame for his writing. He was actually a romantic deep down, he was looking for a true connection with a woman. He hadn't had his pick of women in his past, since he was not a good-looking man and he had an awful childhood. He was insecure around beautiful women. But suddenly he found himself having groupies, in his 50's. He was a broken man and he attracted broken women. His alcoholism meant he ended up with other drunks and addicts, or women who became frustrated with his drinking. Strange as it may seem, I related to this book more than anything I've read before. That's why I like it. That's why I read. I'm always looking for books that can put my own feelings into words. I don't agree with people saying this book is full of "misogyny." I'm not even sure they know what that word means. I've yet to find a female author's work that resonated with me half as much. If anything, this book showed how much he truly loved women, even when he was unlucky in love. He seemed to be a sucker for them. He was a bit intimidated by them, especially when sober. He couldn't believe it when beautiful or kind women had an interest in him. Yet, somehow he always found a way to mess it up. Some women he just didn't have feelings for, and their relationships were amicable. But whenever he fell hard for women, it didn't seem to work out. I don't think that's him being a jerk, that's just how life goes sometimes. He was always very honest with all of them. Brutally honest. He never cheated or led them on. This book reminded me so much of a year in my life. I was 28. I'd been in three serious long-term relationships. Those were the only men I'd slept with, and all of them broke my heart. So I went a little wild. I drank a lot, and I slept around a lot. Some of the men I got attached to, but they did not want to date me. Other men fell for me, but I did not feel anything for them. I spent that year drinking and fucking and writing before meeting the man I would marry, and I don't regret it at all, but I'm glad it's over. Bukowski's alter ego, Chinaski, is the perfect antihero. The kind of flawed protagonist I'm always searching for. He's a piece of shit, his life is a mess, but you'll root for him anyways. You'll want him to find the love he's looking for, and in the end he does. He meets a woman who won't sleep with him for a long time, so they develop a true friendship. She's a good woman, easy to talk to, not willing to put up with his crap. And he really likes her, and she likes him, and in the end he realizes what that's worth. She's based off a woman he married. So I think the book ended rather sweetly. Also, Bukowski can really write. This book was a joy to read. I couldn't put it down! Here's my problem with memoirs - just because it happened, doesn't mean it's interesting. Bukowski knew the power of fiction. He knew exactly what to keep, what to leave out, and what to fabricate. So this story is very readable. There was nothing I'd change about it. I loved what Chinaski said about The New Yorker featuring writers that are too educated, and about Hemingway being talented but not knowing how to have fun. Bukowski is like Hemingway in that his prose is sparse - maybe not "clean" since he's such a dirty old man, but it's minimal. That's what I admire about Hemingway. What I don't like about Hemingway is he was so serious and wrote about very dull things, so his talent was wasted. Women is not a dull book! I think even people who hate it will stick with it. They may be disgusted, but they'll still be entertained. I was hooked within the first few pages. You don't have to wait for this one to "start." It was hilarious, too. Not since Augusten Burroughs have I laughed out loud so much. And this book was insightful. There were quotable lines or paragraphs in every single chapter. This is going to be one of those books that I read again and again. One of those books I wish I would've found 10 or 15 years ago. Finding this book was like finding my husband. It made me think, "Where have you been all my life" but then, also, "I probably wouldn't have been ready for you when I was young and too close to things." I'm in a place right now to appreciate this.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Frances

    I know I am not the only one who has a love and hate relationship with Bukowski. Some said he was their hero. I can understand you, though. Partly because he was so relatable-in a sense that my (our) feelings and thoughts were articulated and was better put into words in his writings. In my age, I have no idea what I'm doing and Bukowski made me feel that it is okay to feel so. To hate my job. To hate my past lovers. To feel lazy. To feel lonely. To feel unsatisfied. To feel degraded just becaus I know I am not the only one who has a love and hate relationship with Bukowski. Some said he was their hero. I can understand you, though. Partly because he was so relatable-in a sense that my (our) feelings and thoughts were articulated and was better put into words in his writings. In my age, I have no idea what I'm doing and Bukowski made me feel that it is okay to feel so. To hate my job. To hate my past lovers. To feel lazy. To feel lonely. To feel unsatisfied. To feel degraded just because we thought we deserve better-although we will never talk about it to any one because that's how egotistical we are. Bukowski is so real. So real that I feel so close to him. I always refer to him as my scumbag Dad. :) There are parts in this book which some would find gross, that women are objectify-which I know is the sign to hate him. But he was not trying to objectify, he was just a man. Just as some women would treat their male partners in the same manner that he does. But the sad fact is that, when a woman writes a sexual encounter, or the men she has had sex with, and how did they do it, she will just be assumed as slut. This book reminds me so much of what the world lacks-a woman who can write like Bukowski. So brave and so real and so on-point. If you know one, let me know.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Po Po

    I'll sum it up for you. Drink, fuck, drink, horse race, drink, driiiiiiiink, write, drink, drink, watch a boxing match, give a reading, drink, fuck, drink, fuck, fuck, sleep, drink, write, drink, drink, fuck, drink, fuck, give a reading, drink, fuck, drink, fuuuuuuuck, drink, drink, fuck, fuck, drink, fuck. These are the names of the ladies in his life: Lydia, Katherine, Joanna, Nicole, Debra, Tanya, Gertrude, Hilda, Iris, Mercedes, Liza,and Tammie. (There are others; I missed a few.) There is some I'll sum it up for you. Drink, fuck, drink, horse race, drink, driiiiiiiink, write, drink, drink, watch a boxing match, give a reading, drink, fuck, drink, fuck, fuck, sleep, drink, write, drink, drink, fuck, drink, fuck, give a reading, drink, fuck, drink, fuuuuuuuck, drink, drink, fuck, fuck, drink, fuck. These are the names of the ladies in his life: Lydia, Katherine, Joanna, Nicole, Debra, Tanya, Gertrude, Hilda, Iris, Mercedes, Liza,and Tammie. (There are others; I missed a few.) There is some remarkable insight hidden within these pages. What I liked most is the crude honesty and the brutal humanity. Bukowski's passion is exhilarating. * * * "You're so full of shit!" I laughed. "That's why I write."

  25. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Strömquist

    I got this from a friend and read it at an age when guess I could have liked it - I didn't (like it that is, that's what a GoodReads one star is - Didn't like it). Everything that positive reviews list as reasons to like this book are the same ones that makes it utterly uninteresting to me. Never got it, had it been today there's no way I would have finished this. But I learned from the experience and won't ever pick up anything else by him.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ana Carvalheira

    “A noite de quarta-feira apanhou-me no aeroporto à espera de Iris. Estava para ali sentado a olhar para as mulheres. Nenhuma delas, tirando uma ou duas, era tão boa como a Iris. Algo estava errado em mim: eu pensava, de facto, imenso em sexo. Imaginava-me na cama com todas as mulheres para as quais olhava. Mulheres: eu gostava das cores das roupas delas; da forma como elas andavam; da crueldade de certos rostos; de vez em quando da beleza quase pura de um outro rosto, total e encantadoramente fe “A noite de quarta-feira apanhou-me no aeroporto à espera de Iris. Estava para ali sentado a olhar para as mulheres. Nenhuma delas, tirando uma ou duas, era tão boa como a Iris. Algo estava errado em mim: eu pensava, de facto, imenso em sexo. Imaginava-me na cama com todas as mulheres para as quais olhava. Mulheres: eu gostava das cores das roupas delas; da forma como elas andavam; da crueldade de certos rostos; de vez em quando da beleza quase pura de um outro rosto, total e encantadoramente feminino. Elas batiam-nos aos pontos: eram muito melhores a planear e a organizar. Enquanto os homens estavam a ver futebol ou a beber cerveja, elas, as mulheres, estavam a pensar em nós, concentradas, estudiosas, a tomar decisões: se haveriam de nos aceitar, descartar, trocar, matar ou simplesmente deixar-nos. No fim de contas, pouco importava; independentemente daquilo que fizessem, nós acabávamos solitários e loucos”. E neste parágrafo pode-se resumir toda a narrativa de “Mulheres”, romance que se enquadra no realismo literário, muito característico de toda a obra de Charles Bukowski. Henry Chinaski, alter-ego ou avatar do próprio Bukowski, tem 50 anos de idade, é um poeta e romancista marginal mas medianamente conhecido, alcoólico inveterado e profundo admirador do género feminino. Mantendo um relacionamento fortemente sexualizado com as várias mulheres com as quais se vai cruzando, Chinasky, é o estereótipo do verdadeiro sedutor. Muito por força das leituras públicas que faz das suas próprias poesias, em vários estados norte-americanos e mesmo ultrapassando as fronteiras geográficas do seu país, o narrador vai tendo contacto com algumas mulheres que, por sua vez, talvez por força da figura pública que encarna, também o desejam. Mas excetuando Lydia, com quem tem um relacionamento fortemente conturbado, e Sara, Hank, pese embora a forte atração que sente por cada uma delas, não quer ou não se deixa apaixonar. “Ao início, as pessoas eram interessantes. Depois aos poucos, mas inexoravelmente, todos os defeitos e a loucura acabavam por se manifestar. Eu ia-me tornando cada vez menos interessante para elas; elas cada vez tinham menos significado para mim”. Por outro lado, o seu exacerbado alcoolismo não deixava espaço para que um possível relacionamento viesse a evoluir. Não nos esqueçamos que a ação está localizada nos inícios da década de 70, ainda na ressaca de uma revolução sexual. Assim, e como dizia Lídia: “se quiseres beber, bebe; se quiseres foder, larga os copos”. Mas Henry continuava a beber e pela sua cama ia-se deitando um género específico de mulheres: jovens, apenas, entre os 20 e os 35 anos e que tivessem belas pernas e ancas. E nisso residia o cerne das suas ambições; excetuando a leitura pública que consistia num meio de sobrevivência, as apostas no hipódromo e a as lutas de boxe, nada mais lhe interessava. “A Cecília sentou-se e ficou a ver-nos beber. Percebi a repulsa que lhe causava. Eu comia carne. Não acreditava em deus. Gostava de foder. A Natureza não me interessava. Nunca votava. Gostava de guerras. O espaço sideral aborrecia-me. O basebol aborrecia-me. A história aborrecia-me. Os jardins zoológicos aborreciam-me”. Hank, todavia, tem plena noção daquilo que é e aquilo que espera. “Sou velho e feio … sou um alcoólico que se tornou escritor para ficar na cama até ao meio-dia”. Mas também arvora momentos de autocrítica; os seus relacionamentos, quer esporádicos, quer mais profundos, levavam-no, muitas vezes a questionar o seu próprio carácter. “Tentei dizer a mim mesmo que sentir-me culpado não passava de uma doença qualquer. Que quem vingava na vida eram os homens sem culpa. Homens capazes de mentir, enganar, homens que conheciam todos os atalhos”. Ou: “- És bom para as pessoas que te amam? - Não, não sou. - Porquê? - Sou infantil; não consigo lidar com isso.” A compulsão e a necessidade qualificam, com suas dependências, a personalidade de Henry Chinaski e constituem a chave de todo o enredo. Mas, até que ponto, pode um homem, independentemente da sua idade, suportar as causas e os efeitos de uma personalidade que vive em função de um mais profundo e patético narcisismo? “Muheres” é um livro absorvente, verdadeiro nas sensações e emoções que transmite. É apenas impróprio para almas puritanas!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Amir

    I was a writer. I was a dirty old man. Human relationships didn't work anyhow. Only the first two weeks had any zing, then the participants lost their interest. Masks dropped away and real people began to appear: cranks, imbeciles, the demented, the vengeful, sadists, killers. Modern society had created its own kind and they feasted on each other. It was a duel to the death--in a cesspool. The most one could hope for in a human relationship, I decided, was two and one-half years. منطق بعضی از کتا I was a writer. I was a dirty old man. Human relationships didn't work anyhow. Only the first two weeks had any zing, then the participants lost their interest. Masks dropped away and real people began to appear: cranks, imbeciles, the demented, the vengeful, sadists, killers. Modern society had created its own kind and they feasted on each other. It was a duel to the death--in a cesspool. The most one could hope for in a human relationship, I decided, was two and one-half years. منطق بعضی از کتاب‌ها طوری هست که نوشتن ریویو برای اون‌ها کار مسخره‌ای میشه. اوکی. بذارید این کار مسخره رو بکنیم ببینیم چی از آب درمیاد ... زنان داستانی هست که اگه از زبون سوم شخص رو کاغذ ریخته می‌شد هیچ دلیلی برات نمی‌موند که از شخصیت طرف حالت به هم نخوره. اما نویسنده خیلی رندونه و زیرجلکی خودش رو می‌بنده به ناف شخصیت اصلی رمان تا با روایت شخص اولش باعث بشه صداقتش تو رو بگیره و دیگه هی مجبور نباشی در مورد شخصیتش قضاوت کنی. رمان قصه‌ی یه نویسنده‌ست که به قول خودش صرفا داره «می‌کوبه رو شاسی‌های ماشین تحریر». نویسنده‌ای که به «زن» علاقه داره و در عین حال کاملا بی‌تفاوته بهشون. اگه بخوای داستان رمان رو توی یه خط، تعریف کنی قصه‌ی نویسنده‌ای هست که شرح هم‌خوابگی‌هاش رو با ده‌ها زن ریز و درشت تعریف می‌کنه. زن‌هایی که «شاید» دل‌شون می‌خواسته بعدها توی یکی از رمان‌ها یا شعرهای نویسنده جاودانه بشن. شرح هم‌خوابگی‌ها اروتی.ک نیست، پور.ن محض هست و اتفاقا همین تکنیک کمک می‌کنه به درک فضای ذهنی شخصیت داستان. برای شخصیت داستان این‌که با کی می‌خوابه مهم نیست، بیشتر چی بودنش مطرحه. زن‌ها عین عروسک‌های خیمه شب‌بازی وارد داستان میشن، زمین زده میشن و خارج میشن. جوری که بعد از مدتی سرگیجه می‌گیری که الان با کی داره می‌خوابه. اما این سرگیجه شاید برای ما ایرانی‌ها بیشتر هم باشه؛ چون اون‌قدرها با ویژگی‌های خاص شهرهای امریکا آشنا نیستیم که مثلا یه دختر پر شر و شور تگزاسی با یه دختر سمج روستایی یوتایی یا با یه دختر ضدحال شیکاگویی تفاوتی داشته باشه ... I knew plenty of women. Why always more women? What was I trying to do? New affairs were exciting but they were also hard work. The first kiss, the first fuck had some drama. People were interesting at first. Then later, slowly but surely, all the flaws and madness would manifest themselves. I would become less and less to them; they would mean less and less to me. شخصیت اصلی رمان به رابطه‌ها اعتقادی نداره. به این‌که میشه با کسی بود و عمری باهاش سر کرد. البته این وسط خودش رو تافته‌ی جدا بافته نمی‌دونه و میگه خودش هم یه آشغالیه بین آشغال‌های دیگه. اما آشغالی که با آشغال بودن خودش کنار اومده و سعی نمی‌کنه رنگ و لعاب بهش بده. شاید برای همین هم هست که «هرکسی» می‌تونه تیکه‌هایی از خودش رو توی شخصیت اصلی رمان ببینه ... رمان قرار نیست لذت‌بخش باشه. قهرمانی توش نیست. صحنه‌های جنسیش (که هوش‌مندانه عریان هستن) قابلیت خیال‌انگیزی ندارن. اتفاقی توی رمان نمی‌افته. هیچ دلیلی برای خوندن این کتاب وجود نداره. با نخوندنش هم چیزی از دست نمی‌دید. اگه با این مسایل کنار اومدید و هنوز هم می‌خواید این کتاب رو بخونید پس تو خوندنش معطل نکنید. چون مخاطب کتاب خود شمایید

  28. 4 out of 5

    Shauna

    Okay, Wikipedia really mislead me on this one and it should be ashamed of itself. "Women is centered around Chinaski's later life, as a celebrated poet and writer, not as a dead-end lowlife." I say bullshit to you, Wikipedia. The 10% I managed before throwing the book down in disgust would beg to differ. "At times, Women has the tendency to become chauvinistic." Understatement. "Aside from Chinaski's discontent, Bukowski added a certain comedic flair to his novel that may expose some women to the wa Okay, Wikipedia really mislead me on this one and it should be ashamed of itself. "Women is centered around Chinaski's later life, as a celebrated poet and writer, not as a dead-end lowlife." I say bullshit to you, Wikipedia. The 10% I managed before throwing the book down in disgust would beg to differ. "At times, Women has the tendency to become chauvinistic." Understatement. "Aside from Chinaski's discontent, Bukowski added a certain comedic flair to his novel that may expose some women to the way a man sees the world." I hope to god that one's only true of a handful of men.

  29. 5 out of 5

    ᴥ Irena ᴥ

    I was checking my 'read' shelves and I must say I only remember the professor being filthy, drunk and having lots of sex. Or something like that. Sorry to all Bukowski lovers, this seems to have been quite unmemorable reading experience for me. I may read this again some time in the future just to give it and me another chance. I might have been too young when I read this, who knows.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Adina

    I think it was more of a personal challenge to actually finish the book. I wanted to throw it away every time I opened it, but I always hoped that maybe, maybe there was a good part coming. Could have spent the money on a decent lunch instead of this. The main character spends so much time describing the sexual encounters and his drunken stupor that you feel no remorse, no sentiment from him, no nothing. Just a child that sees a new toy and damn sure he's going to get it and play with it, then to I think it was more of a personal challenge to actually finish the book. I wanted to throw it away every time I opened it, but I always hoped that maybe, maybe there was a good part coming. Could have spent the money on a decent lunch instead of this. The main character spends so much time describing the sexual encounters and his drunken stupor that you feel no remorse, no sentiment from him, no nothing. Just a child that sees a new toy and damn sure he's going to get it and play with it, then toss it aside without looking at it twice. I could say I hated it because the women there were either emotionally dead or purely hysterical. I could say I hated it because the main character tried to "excuse" his pathetic life by blaming his parents, without actually making any change. But the actual reason why I hate it is because it's basically written porn. And badly written. Could've saved myself some time opening a redtube tab.

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