Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Post Office - a Novel by Charles Bukowski

Post Office (1971),the first novel written by Charles Bukowski, is said to be an autobiographical account of the author's later years when he worked for the U.S. Postal Service.

According to a review by Michael J. Mazza on the Amazon.com Web site, "Post Office is the ultimate 'I hate this job' story. It's also an intriguing, and highly unflattering look at a quintessential American institution...On one level, Post Office seems to have much in common with a classic 'social protest' novel like Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, which also portrays the suffering and degradation experienced by the working person."

An entry on Wikipedia says, "...the book covers the period of Bukowski's life from about 1952 to his resignation from the United States Postal Service three years later, to his return in 1958 and then to his final resignation in 1969. During this time, Bukowski worked as a mail carrier for a number of years. After a brief hiatus, in which he supported himself by gambling at horse races, he returned to the Post Office to work as a sorter."

It goes on to say, "In Born into This, a documentary on Bukowski's life, Black Sparrow Press founder and owner, John Martin, supposedly offered Bukowski 100 dollars per month for life on condition that Bukowski would quit working for the post office and write full time. He agreed and Post Office was written within a month. Post Office was Bukowski's first foray into writing a novel. All of his earlier work had been poetry. Martin was actually a little worried that Bukowski would not be able to make the transition to prose. However, the fear turned out to be quite unfounded as Bukowski had no trouble writing stories about his life."

To learn more about the book, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM