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Hollywood [Paperback]

Charles Bukowski
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
RRP: £9.99
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Book Description

May 1989
Bukowski's alter ego, Henry Chinaski, returns, revelling in his eternal penchant for booze, women and horse-racing as he makes the precarious journey from poet to screenwriter. Based on Bukowski's experiences when working on the film Barfly, the absurdity and egotism of the film industry are laid bare in this deadpan, touching and funny glimpse into the endless negotiations and back-stabbings of La-la land. Hollywood is an irreverent roman - clef that serves up the beating heart of Hollywood with razor-sharp humour.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 220 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Ecco; 1st Edition edition (May 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0876857632
  • ISBN-13: 978-0876857632
  • Product Dimensions: 14.9 x 1.6 x 22.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,147,207 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Charles Bukowski is one of America's best-known contemporary writers of poetry and prose, and, many would claim, its most influential and imitated poet. He was born in Andernach, Germany, and raised in Los Angeles, where he lived for fifty years. He published his first story in 1944, when he was twenty-four, and began writing poetry at the age of thirty-five. He died in San Pedro, California, on March 9, 1994, at the age of seventy-three, shortly after completing his last novel, Pulp (1994).

Product Description


"One of the funniest books ever written." Uncut "Humour, wisdom and the elegance of simplicity come at you in equal measure." Bizarre" --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Charles Bukowski, who died in 1994, was the legendary Californian writer who became famous for his semi-autobiographical books about low-life America. Novels such as Factotum and Post Office made this one-time bum, and lifelong alcoholic, rich and famous, and culminated in the making of Barfly, a major Hollywood movie based on his life starring Mickey Rourke and Faye Dunaway. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amusing and interesting 6 Sep 2008
Charles Bukowski's minimal style, always egotistical and mostly alcohol affected is concerned in this book with his succesful attempt to see a screenplay (for Barfly) become a reality.
Names are changed but it is fun to read Bukowski's views on the movers and shakers in 1980's Hollywood.
The womanising and drinking are subdued (due to being married) and even a hedonistic rebel such as Bukowski comes across as conventional compared to the weirdness and double-dealing that appears to be Hollywood.
Not neccesarily a good first Bukowski read (try Post Office or Factotum) but nevertheless good fun.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good 10 Dec 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Not as much gritty realism as the previous books, this is more about the inside workings of the making of a film. So those looking for gross stories and violence will be disappointed!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars well worth a read 17 Jun 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A good novel from a well loved author, Bukowski serves up another dish of gritty, rough, hard nose drinking antics. The main theme revolves around writing and producing a film about a period of Bukowski's life. Not as reeling and rolling as some of his earlier masterpieces such as Post office, yet still well worth a read and a must for any Bukowski fan.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not one of his best 31 Jan 2008
In this novel Bukowski's alter-ego, Henry Chinaski writes a screenplay which is filmed in Hollywood. The book is a thinly veiled biography and charts the makings of the film Barfly which starred Micky Rourke and Faye Dunaway.

Part of Bukowski's charm is that he writes simply. However, whilst this works brilliantly in books like Post Office and Factotum, it works less well here. This is because the subject matter of the early novels features Chinaski as a down and out in dead end jobs - an existence that most of us are unfamiliar with. In this novel, Bukowski charts the excesses of Hollywood, which whilst amusing and shocking are not unfamiliar. The difficulty is that we are saturated with images of Hollywood and familiar with exposees of it. Amongst this, Bukowski struggles to tell us anything new.

The parts of the book that I enjoyed most were the sections away from Hollywood. Bukowski writes engagingly about his reasons for betting on the track and the psychology of those who attend. His visits to the local ghettoes expose a different type of madness to the Hollywood excess.

This remains an entertaining book and Bukowski is aware of the criticisms that some of his fans might make. He is aware that he is enjoying material wealth and whilst enjoying this worries that he is selling out. He is also aware of the limitations of his style. He quotes others accusing him of writing simply because he himself is simple. Despite this, Bukowski's voice is engaging in its bottomless pessimism and its self depriciating tone. This book is worth reading, its just not one of his best.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not Quite Hollywood 1 Jan 2013
By Dave
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I love Bukowski and for the most part I loved this book but it felt a few chapters too long other than that it's fantastic and filled with Hank's classic look on the world.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Does what it says on the tin 6 Mar 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bukowski is a great writer and this return to his semi-autobiographical character Chinanski is a pretty straight forward affair. It is always good to read a bit of Bukowski, makes me feel better about people and how ridiculous we all are and here he reveals us at our most ridiculous, making movies.

It's interesting to read about the actors he comes across, who are easily identifiable if you know about Barfly (the resulting film)and hes as lewd and crude and drunk as ever. The great thing with Bukowski is between the women, gambling, drinking, fighting and writing there will be a page or passage that cuts through all that and grabs you by the heart revealing humanity in all its fragility.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great book! 8 Nov 2011
By Markus
Format:Kindle Edition
I got this book for my Kindle and I'm already hotly awaiting the Post Office on Kindle release. This is the first Bukowski book I've read and I really enjoyed it, in many ways his writing reminds me of of Hunter S Thompson. Henry Chinaski is a simple but likeable character, a man of Hemingwayish grit. I might start with ham on Rye and read that before Post Office as well...
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