Post Office – Review

Post OfficePost Office
by Charles Bukowski
Ecco, 1971
ISBN 0876850867
208 pages

Charles Bukowski’s cult following with the disillusioned youth of the nation is quite clearly explained once you pick up any of his written work, be it poetry, short stories, or his novels. I read Post Office, and then started reading a few of his short stories and could immediately understand the attraction. From other reviews I’ve read of his works, it seems that Bukowski has a hit a key that beat writers could not match. Although he’s never cited among the beat writers, Bukowski’s writing did remind me Kereuac’s On The Road.

In Post Office, Bukowski’s writing is a realistic portrayal of one Hank Chinaski, a frustrated, stubborn alcoholic working for the post-office. Hank Chinaski seems to be Bukowski’s alter ego, as Hank makes an appearance in a number of Bukowski novels. The novel spans eleven years, broken into five sections, of Hank’s life working for the post office, his numerous liasions with women, and his innate ability to always question authority, always push the buttons. This novel is a true I-hate-my-job story, especially since the first line of the novel says “It began as a mistake.” Somehow Chinaski stayed with the postal service for eleven years, leaving the job just as poor and beat-down as he was when he first took on the job. Although he seems rough on the edges, Chinaski is a decent guy, just trying to enjoy his life. Teens will read this book because of its portrayal of real life as something ugly and hard, since the narrator is constantly misunderstood by those in authority around him. This might also explain why every novel by Bukowski is labeled as “missing” in most library catalogs.


Find this book at your local library

Buy this book for Better World Books

Buy this book from Amazon

2 responses to “Post Office – Review

  1. Could never get into Bukowski or his kindred writers. Seems like nothing but one big whining, pity party. Just our opinion over at We’ve been wrong before.

  2. Daniel, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. It doesn’t mean anyone is wrong if you did or didn’t like it. =)

Leave a Reply to Daniel Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s