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Factotum

Written by: Charles Bukowski
Narrated by: Christian Baskous
Length: 5 hrs and 8 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

One of Charles Bukowski's best, this beer-soaked, deliciously degenerate novel follows the wanderings of aspiring writer Henry Chinaski across World War II-era America. Deferred from military service, Chinaski travels from city to city, moving listlessly from one odd job to another, always needing money but never badly enough to keep a job. His day-to-day existence spirals into an endless litany of pathetic whores, sordid rooms, dreary embraces, and drunken brawls, as he makes his bitter, brilliant way from one drink to the next.

Charles Bukowski's posthumous legend continues to grow. Factotum is a masterfully vivid evocation of slow-paced, low-life urbanity and alcoholism, and an excellent introduction to the fictional world of Charles Bukowski.

©1975 Charles Bukowski (P)2013 HarperCollinsPublishers

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Ok, but not his best

If you’re really into Bukowski this is worth reading, but it doesn’t compare to his better books. Narrator Christian Baskous has a great feel for the material.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kyle Milligan
  • 2016-05-23

Third Bukowski book

I've read Bukowski's first three books and this is by far my favorite. The raspy voice doing the performance was fitting as well. Enjoyed this audio version immensely.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Parola138
  • 2013-12-26

Enjoyable

I read this in print probably 15 years ago. Now that the Bukowski books are on audible, I am revisiting all they have to offer. If you are starting off on Bukowski, I'd suggest Ham on Rye or Post office over this. This novel details many years of Bukowski's life, I'd figure after leaving home, in which he worked about a thousand different jobs in a hundred different cities. As per his style, the chapters are short. There's no filler. It's all, "I moved here, I got drunk at this bar, I hooked up with this woman." Factotum is one of his better novels, but not his best. Still, it flows and is an easy listen.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Laura L Rodriguez
  • 2013-12-17

I could listen to this over and over again

Any additional comments?

I'm now obsessed w/Charles Bukowski! The story is raw, dirty, and beaten down....I could not get enough.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Jeff
  • 2017-09-15

Love the book but hated the performance.

The book is one of Bukowski's great works. The performance by the narrator ruins a lot of the humor and general mood. He uses cartoony voices for characters and bad accents. Most of the ladies are given a voice that sounds like a guy doing a homosexual male's voice. The pages still drip with seediness, darkness, and truth. But it's hard to get past the narration. I'd recommend just reading this one.

1 person found this helpful

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  • michael hernandez
  • 2014-06-19

Not My Cup of Tea

Couldn't handle the narration, it was just irritating to listen to the narrators voice. I like Bukowski, but this books narration made it impossible to listen to. Couldn't get through this one.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Shua S. Walker
  • 2020-02-05

Narration is terrible.

Great book, great story, but the person reading kills it. He totally missed the tone of the book and comes off cartoonish and like a half ass Norm Mcdonald. Do yourself a favor and just stick to reading in print.

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  • Josh
  • 2019-12-17

Raw and unapologetic

This is my first crack at Bukowksi after a recommendation from a friend and it was as raw and unadulterated as he said it would be. Funny at times, often raunchy but he paints a picture that takes you there. Right there. And who knew Factotum meant hopping from job to job.

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  • Stephan Badyna
  • 2019-10-23

Fantastic

Definitely one of my favorite books by Bukowski, 2nd only to Post Office. If you like his work, you can't skip this one.

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  • Dirty Dream Catcher
  • 2019-10-22

Buk makes me happy

and listening to Christian Baskous perform the reading is just like having Buk in your ear.

no one makes me laugh like Bukowski!

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  • Avid reader
  • 2019-09-11

Bukowski fans only…

This is direr and even more chiseled than his other works. I would not want this to be the first of his novels that I read - otherwise I might be put off to a very entertaining writer. Too little light and not much fun.