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I'm so thrilled that Audible finally has Bukowski. Dreams DO come true. Now, they just need to put about 20 more of his books on here. Where is "Love is a Dog From Hell?"
Anyway... about Women. I think you have to already be a fan of Bukowski to enjoy this. It's typical of his work. Entertaining romps around California with booze and women. This would be a better book if it was half as long. Ironically, the book itself feels like some of the passages where Bukowski is having marathon episodes with some of these women and can't...um finish. I like the book because I already like Bukowski. But if you're breaking into him, start with Hot Water Music or Ham on Rye please.
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I think if I read this when I was much younger, I might have found it a bit rebellious and exciting. All the sex, drugs and... rock 'n roll poetry. But I just found that one sexual encounter after another got a bit repetitive and sometimes boring. Yet there was something alluring about it also, and it dipped in and out of places that had a lot more depth than some old drunk fucking yet another notch on a bed post.
The protagonist, Henry Chinaski is a womanising drunk. I know I’m supposed be repelled by him, but he’s one of those enigmas; a character who is repulsive yet also possesses an odd magnetic charm. There’s a gritty honesty, an acerbic wit, and a couldn’t-give-a-fuck-what-anyone-else-thinks approach to life that I can’t help admiring and envying in people like this.
His attitude to women is also a bit of an enigma. I think it would be too easy to look at how Chinaski treats women, and dismiss him as a misogynist. And going by some reviews, many have. But that’s too black and white. How can you call someone a woman hater who also so clearly LOVES women emphatically. Good / bad. Black / white. Evil / goodness. It’s somewhere in that grey area that lie truly interesting characters. And I think that’s what makes Women an interesting read even if it did get quite repetitive in places.
As for the narrator. It was a perfect tone. This guy spends the whole book sounding hungover and grumpy.
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