This is the first novel narrated by Bukowski's autobiographical alter-ego, Henry Chinaski. Through Chinaski, the writer tells us about the decade leading up to the start of his career as a full-time writer. He spent most of that decade working for the US Postal service. This novel is a hilarious account of that period. The action switches back-and-forth between one world - that of hard drinking, occasional one-night stands and racetracks - and another - a grim, back-breaking struggle to keep at a job the narrator hates. Anyone who has ever done menial work for low pay and wondered if they are going mad will recognise Chinaski's world. Few could have brought that world to life with such humour and bitterness all at once as Charles Bukowski.
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