Why this book?
I recommend Charles Bukowski in general, and Ham on Rye is a classic. Media people these days love to bandy “existential” threats, meaning threats to existence. But existentialists pondered existence and got depressed without much concern for hazards. Berets, baggy pants, coffee, and cigarettes characterized those guys—Camus, Sartre, Kierkegaard, and the rest. Bukowski made existential contemplation more timeless, drinking and screwing in response to life and its challenge. Above all, it’s compelling and entertaining.
Why should I read it?
What is this book about?
INTRODUCTION BY RODDY DOYLE
'He brought everyone down to earth, even the angels' LEONARD COHEN
Charles Bukowski is one of the greatest authors of the twentieth century. The autobiographical Ham on Rye is widely considered his finest novel. A classic of American literature, it offers powerful insight into his youth through the prism of his alter-ego Henry Chinaski, who grew up to be the legendary Hank Chinaski of Post Office and Factotum.