[I’d rather not be writing, honestly. Or I’d rather be writing about what’s happening in my country because it’s tagging very heavily at my heart but I made a commitment to do this every last Sunday of the month so yes, book review it is]
I remember saying I preferred books that make me cry once. Forgive me for I had not yet met Bukowski. Yes, I am leaving y’all in your sentimental book club alone. I cannot remember laughing so much at how absurd some situations are than when I have had to read a Bukowski. Basically, Women is absurd. In fact if I were to surmise, it’s about three or four or five different women in Chinaski’s life. Done.
Take this for example;
“…I’ll have her fix you breakfast after I leave tomorrow morning.”
“No, wait. Tomorrow’s Sunday. We’ll eat out. I know a place. You’ll like it.”
“You know, I think I have always been in love with you.”
Every time I play out that scene in my head, good God it cracks me up! That scene takes place after Chinaski has broken up with Lydia, the first woman we meet in this book. And there’s one when Lydia is stuffing her mouth with food and Chinaski(first person narrative) says he saw passion. I think it was at this point I was thinking no, I’m done with this madness.
But I sat it out and for the most part, I have no regrets. The title of this book is not one you can count on. Maybe only for the fact that it’s about different encounters with women(which, of course, makes perfect sense) but there’s nothing to ‘learn’ as such.
Chinaski is an absurd lead and if anything, the only thing that draws you to him is his honesty. Nothing is ‘sugar-coated’ or over-explained so that it loses meaning. If he woke up, he says he woke up. But you sure get to like him. I think he resonates with that part of us that desires to live a carefree life. He wold be the present day ‘fuckboy’ or ‘bad boy’. At least, that’s how I imagine them to be like.
I like him because he’s contradictory. Like c’mon we all like people who seem to have their minds in the ‘wrong direction’. Once [spoiler alert], he’s at a poetry reading(Oh yes, he’s a poet) and then he just puts the poems aside and says “Let’s talk.” Or the time he describes the poetry reading as “the audience shouted at me, I also shouted at them and it was done.”(paraphrased) The hell?
I recommend this book if you’re looking for an easy read with a lot of humor(and sex but not too graphic, one sentence or two. Like I said, things just are). Yes, there’s also a great deal to quote from the book. But one which, I feel, describes the character of Chinaski so perfectly;
“People with no morals often considered themselves more free, but mostly they lacked the ability to feel or love.”
[I feel a little bit better for doing this. I think it comes with talking about something you are so fond of.]
And about my country(this is from a poem);
The difference between a democracy and a dictatorship is that in a democracy you vote first and take orders later; in a dictatorship you don’t have to waste your time voting. -Charles Bukowski