Book Reviews & Essays on Literature

Hollywood, by Charles Bukowski

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Hollywood, by Charles Bukowski (Originally published: 1989, Black Sparrow Books)

Do you remember in the movie Men in Black II where “Agent J” finds “Agent K” working for the US Post Office and all the workers turn out to be aliens? Well, Charles Bukowski must have known they were aliens back in 1971, when he wrote Post Office, and the same goes for the characters in his novel Hollywood.

If Bukowski’s semi-autobiographical writing is anything to go by, Hollywood is a place where people spend all their time making deals, breaking deals, drinking, getting high and generally being as weird as they can get away with. He died in 1994, and was called “The Poet Laureate of Skid Row”.

He wrote about down and out Americans, drinking, horse racing, broads, the drudgery of work, and the craziness of the system. Hollywood is oddly amusing, starkly realistic and kind of makes you shudder with revulsion all at the same time. Required for admirers of the ”non-fiction novel”.

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