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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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Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
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  • j phillips
  • 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.

8 of 8 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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  • 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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  • 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

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  • Andy
  • 2019-04-02

Great Story Read With Heart. Not too dark...

I'm new to Bukowski and his unique brand of narrative.

I remember reading the first couple chapters of this about 12 years ago back when I worked at Creole Shrimp Shack that made Po' Boy sandwiches; I was on break from the grill and the guy training me handed me this book. It was funny. He wouldn't let me leave the shrimp shack with the book though. When he was done training me on the fine art of manning a hot grill, I never saw him or the book again.

It was a small joint that only had 2 things on the menu and they were damn delicious. Only one cook in the kitchen at a time. Training was done and I was alone and thinking about that damn Post Office book.

It wasn't until I was nearly 34 years old that I got the opportunity to listen to someone read me the book on my smart phone of all things. Damn. The world changed a lot in just 12 years.

Beautifully read. nice flow to the narrative. Chapters are short, robust, full of life, and "pow." The characters really come alive in their opposition to the main characters perspective. The Voice of the novel seems so alone in his almost pointless and directionless life... and yet it's all sort of strangely beautiful.

If you've ever read the Stranger by Albert Camus, this book reminds me very loosely of that. Here's how: you get to the end of the Stranger and you're thinking to yourself, "so what!? What was that all about!?" I was so angry when I finished reading the stranger because the whole thing seemed pointless and ridiculous and it is held as a classic in existential writing. For some reason the main character in Post Office reminds me of the main character in The Stranger. He's aloof, he's detached, he has a sort of dark view of The Human Condition and other people's motives and silly games... and yet he also has a wry sense of humor about the pointlessness of it all and somewhere in the midst of all the pointlessness and the stupidity he also manages to find little pieces of beauty that he himself cannot fully appreciate or enjoy like you as the reader would hope that he could. reading the existential Narrative of a Bukowski novel is so much more rewarding than reading The Stranger because of the humor and the little slices of beauty that the main character knows he's choosing to miss out on.

I wanted to love those characters because of the realness they expressed and I did despite the existential pointlessness of it all.

Lastly, there was one paragraph involving a certified letter and a crazy woman who screams "rape early in the book that really bothered me. Other than that one part of that one chapter chapter, I absolutely love this book.

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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Elizabeth
  • 2019-01-05

Not Funny

This novel recounts the life of an alcoholic working in the post office. His life is sad. He resists rules and conventions. Yet, I read it to the end because I wanted to. I think I wanted to know what happened to the main character.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2018-12-18

I think bukowski just isn't for me.

The narrator was painful and the story was just a series of repetitive sex scenes( and one rape ). I found this audiobook exhausting to finish.