This was my first Bukowski novel and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. The protagonist, Henry Chinaski, is a downtrodden working man who has his sights set on booze, women and surviving his work day. When I read the synopsis on the back of the book, the feminist in me rolled her eyes.
I was surprised to find so much depth to Chinaski, a real human side that peaked through the cracks of his harsh exterior. What he deemed to be true happiness was always slightly out of reach. I think that is a strong commentary that can resonate with most people; we’re always looking at the next level of happiness we can achieve. I made it through the work day. When I get to the weekend I’ll be happy. Once I land this new, better job I’ll finally be happy. Chinaski is constantly chasing his next level of happiness and it’s always just out of his grasp. His thoughts and speech made me laugh out loud.
There were passages in the novel where my heart ached for him and the other characters he interacted with as well. This book is punchy, heartfelt and is an overall easy/light read.