“Words weren’t dull, words were things that could make your mind hum. If you read them and let yourself feel the magic, you could live without pain, with hope, no matter what happened to you”
The autobiographical coming-of-age modern classic by one of the greatest authors of the twentieth century
Legendary barfly Charles Bukowski’s fourth novel, first published in 1982, is probably the most autobiographical and moving of all his books, dealing in particular with his difficult relationship with his father and his early childhood in LA.
Ham on Rye follows the path of Bukowski’s alter-ego Henry Chinaski through the high school years of acne and rejection and into the beginning of a long and successful career in alcoholism. The novel begins against the backdrop of an America devastated by the Depression and takes the Chinaski legend up to the bombing of Pearl Harbour. Arguably Bukowski’s finest novel.
“He brought everyone down to earth, even the angels”
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“In an age of conformity, Bukowski wrote about the people nobody wanted to be: the ugly, the selfish, the lonely, the mad”
“Sometimes funny and always sad, Ham on Rye is written in an admirably hard, bare, vivid style”
times Literary Supplement
“Reflective, humane, tremendously evocative and absorbingly readable”
“Both powerful and, where appropriate, extremely funny”
Charles Bukowski is one of America’s best-known contemporary writers of poetry and prose, and, many would claim, its most influential and imitated poet. At the forefront of American counter-culture, his Beat Generation writing is widely celebrated. He was born in Germany in 1920 to an American soldier father and a German mother and was brought to the United States at the age of three. He grew up in Los Angeles and lived there for the majority of his life. During his lifetime he published more than forty-five books, including novels such as Factotum and Post Office. He died in 1994 shortly after completing his last novel, Pulp.