Monday, May 4, 2009

What I Just Read: Factotum

They say never judge a book by it's cover, well then maybe don't read this.

There are two constants in the life of Henry Chinaski; every woman he beds was "good" and every job he has ever had and will have asks far to much of him for far to little pay. Factotum is not different, Chinaski like most books gets himself hooked to a crazed woman who likes to show him some leg while at the same time moving from job to job (mores so in this book than any other) where his bosses don't understand him and ask far too much of him.

I get the job thing, he is lazy by nature, hates being told what to do and above all would rather be sitting in his bed with his back to the wall drinking a beer. I get that.

What I don't get is how a man that looks like this, who considers himself not to be a ladies man can be found giving it to a new woman every other chapter (What is equally as confusing is the year long dry spells he speaks of). Now of course this is fictional and not autobiographical (though Henry Chinaski sounds awfully close to Charles Bukowski) and he probably embellishes most of what he writes but there must be some form of truth to it.

Regardless of an overall meaning I enjoy reading Bukowski if not for the sex crazed boozed up smart ass Chinaski but for the quick to the point writing and the finality of each book. The use of his novels to portray periods of living be it his life from birth to leaving his family, or his work at the post office, or even his preoccupation with only women, each book he writes is about one period in his life and the main issue that his life revolves around at that time (what an English teacher would call a theme).

That being said I am going to leave Hollywood and South of No North for later. I find it hard to believe that anything is going to top Ham on Rye, Post Office or the other two I read, so I plan on reading Bukowski when I'm not likely to feel let down and in reality all I want is my sex crazed boozed up smart ass fix.

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