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Post Office

A Novel
Written by: Charles Bukowski
Narrated by: Christian Baskous
Length: 4 hrs and 32 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"It began as a mistake." By middle age, Henry Chinaski has lost more than 12 years of his life to the U.S. Postal Service. In a world where his three true, bitter pleasures are women, booze, and racetrack betting, he somehow drags his hangover out of bed every dawn to lug waterlogged mailbags up mud-soaked mountains, outsmart vicious guard dogs, and pray to survive the day-to-day trials of sadistic bosses and certifiable coworkers. This classic 1971 novel - the one that catapulted its author to national fame - is the perfect introduction to the grimly hysterical world of legendary writer, poet, and Dirty Old Man Charles Bukowski and his fictional alter ego, Chinaski.

©1971 Charles Bukowski (P)2013 HarperCollinsPublishers

What the critics say

"Takes you by the shoulders and shakes you until your teeth rattle." ( The Times)
"One of the funniest books ever written." ( Uncut)
"An amazing, hilarious and unfalteringly entertaining account of a man trapped in a kind of Catch 23." ( Sunday Times)

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • k teed
  • 2018-02-05

Not his best, but still Bukowski

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I would say yes. It's a short work, and Bukowski always entertains.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

I'm not sure it needs to be changed in any way. The novel spans a 12 year period of working at the post office, focusing on the topics of tediousness and boredom with Bukowski humor sprinkled throughout.

Which scene was your favorite?

I can't pick a favorite. The Post Office doesn't really have those stand-out scenes like Ham on Rye.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Sure, though I'm not sure this would make a great movie.

Any additional comments?

The Post Office is short novel, and I'd say it's mostly for those who are already fans of Bukowski. If I were to recommend one of his works, it would be Ham on Rye.

The narrator of The Post Office is fantastic, channeling Bukowski's voice perfectly. This is a great performance by Christian Baskus.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Audio Gra Gra
  • 2016-09-06

For fans only - his poetry is a lot better.

I believe "Post Office" would be enjoyed most by ardent Bukowski fans, so if you're just a casual admirer - stick with his poetry - its much better.
This book is supposed to be one of those hipster classics in the same vein as Kerouac & Hunter S Thompson. There are some funny moments and clever sentences but the hype for this book outweighs it's substance by a large margin.
A bum in the late 60's gives us an account of his time working for the post office and the women who blew in and out of his life over that time.
Bukowski's poetry books are better because they're focussed and brief and thus amplify the grit of his natural prose, while this novel just drifts aimlessly until it's end.

I will give a special mention though to the narrator who captured Bukowski perfectly - the narration was excellent.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Dillon
  • 2015-04-15

A genius

Listened to this at work all day. Bukowski always puts a smile on my face with his endlessly relatable stories.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • asdfasdfasdf
  • 2015-04-09

Great!

This narrator channels Bukowski perfectly. Hilarious! 15 words?! Just buy it! I'm typing on a phone!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Darryl
  • 2013-08-28

noir-ish but undynamic wandering protagonist

near the end there is a quick reference to Hemingway's Death in the Afternoon, and I had been thinking earlier there were a few moments the prose style was stripped down like EH, but I doubt i'll do more CB. (tried Diary of a Dirty Old Man and couldn't stay with it) on the one hand this is a good depiction of this underclass type of aimless drifter and the people suffering through poverty and alcoholism and dead end jobs and lives, but a little of that goes a long way. I can enjoy Jim Thompson's novels and noir novels that deal with these types because there is usually some moral crisis or criminal temptation, but this seemed too plotless and aimless and repetitious, which is part of the point I suppose, but there was little in the way of style or writing that provoked much thought on my part and to draw me back.

5 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Eric Harvey
  • 2019-11-06

I worked at Ups and this book relates to me.

This audio book is entertaining and exciting.
If you enjoy a realistic and kind of dirty story you will enjoy this.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Christopher Grehan
  • 2019-08-29

Fun Mundanity

I was not expecting to be sucked in so easy into Hanks life, his excessive drinking, working and women was quite fun to hear, however strange it may be!!

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  • Reecer
  • 2019-07-25

Great!

One of the best narrations on Audible! He really captured Bukowski and his surly tone.

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  • Robert Kowalski Jr.
  • 2019-04-16

Brash and Honest

I'm not going to be long-winded. This is a fantastic look through the eyes of a hedonist trying to push through the monotony of ordinary life. Hank isn't what you want your kids to grow up to be, but there is plenty of parallels to how many of us live today. We don't have to drown ourselves in booze, gambling and lust to understand what this experience is like.

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  • Paden L. Moss
  • 2019-04-10

funny and honest

I was looking for a funny read for my road trip today, and I found exactly bad in Charles bukowski. The post office was witty and crass and all the right ways