I popped my Bukowski cherry with Post Office and was enthralled, and my enchantment lasted through Ham on Rye, his short story collections, Pulp and some poetry collections. Most recently I read the excellent biography Charles Bukowski: Locked in the Arms of a Crazy Life. It's not like I am unfamiliar with the themes and style of Mr B is what I'm saying. But Women really turned me off. It's the emptiness I guess. Even in Post Office, even when he's at his lowest ebb, there's a vitality there which crackles and a tenderness, a human quality which is touching. That is absent in Women, and the drunk but interesting Chinaski is now the drunk but boring man you wish would go away and stop droning on. Same same same. Also the sheer amount of conquests is unbelievable. Maybe some women are drawn to fat ugly men with good legs, a jaded world view and serious drink problem. Even the lack of respect he habitually shows for most of these women is shallow and so unbelievable (though the women most of the time don't set themselves up for respect). It's like my uncle trying to be sexy and cool (no offence uncle m!) and failing miserably. There is no depth to any of it, no passion, no truth (and as a poet you need truth), no insight. I'm constantly reminded of a grumpy old man who wrinkles his nose at dirt and wishes to keep his hands clean - a trouser folder. This is especially true after reading the biography and accessing a clearer picture of the real Bukowski.