Post Office by Bukowski – mini review

“This is presented as a work of fiction and is dedicated to nobody” (opening words to Post Office). Neat!

This afternoon I read Post Office by Bukowski. For a proto-slacker he sure was industrious. Apparently he wrote the book in a month – but then I figure he worked for the Postal Service for over a decade so there’s his book research. Well, anyway, the book was a hell-ride which I do not want to repeat anytime soon although I heartily recommend that everyone reads it at least once – especially in the workplace, while pretending to work and preferably with your boss in the vicinity. You see it’s pretty cathartic and also, it helps to read something by someone who quite clearly had to do a drone job for virtually no pay and went on to produce something akin to a masterpiece.

What is the book about? It is about a postal worker called Henry whose lifestyle is laid bare for all. It is a book that most people should be able to identify with on some level. An everyday, mundane job which for most of us forms the meat and veg of our waking hours is rendered obsolete by the essence of Henry’s life. So ‘work’, is relegated to the junk heap where it belongs – with all the other non-creative, unreal stuff that we have to deal with just to put meat & veg or veg & veg on the table at the end of a day. I applaud this book and will be giving my boss a well-thumbed copy when they return from their $15,000 vacation – yes, I’m bitter and no, I’m not embarrassed about it.


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