➟ [Epub] ❤ Ham on Rye By Charles Bukowski ➩ – Cravenjobs.co.uk Home Ham on Rye Charles Bukowski10 on Ham on Rye quotes Ham on Rye, litcharts Ham on Rye, symbolism Ham on Rye, summary shmoop Ham on Rye, Ham on Rye 7df23db5 , 10 thoughts on “Ham on Rye” So what is a middle class old woman who seldom drinks and never fights doing reading this book Enjoying the hell out of it. Reply I was sixteen, tan, blonde and good looking, catching waves on my yellow surfboard along with all the other surfers, handsome guys and beautiful gals, each and every day that summer Little did I know this mini heaven would quickly end and hell would begin in September Why My smooth skinned tan face turned into an acne filled mess I suffered pimple by pimple for three years straight many fat red pimples popping up every day Oh, yeah, on my forehead, temples, cheeks, jaw, chin and nose Unlike Charles Bukowski, my father never beat me as a kid but this was one thing I did have in common with Bukowski being a teenager with a wicked case of acne You can read all about his in this novel, Ham and Rye Bukowski said, The gods have really put a good shield over me man I ve been toughened up at the right time and the right place Maybe this was part of my own toughening up, those three teenage years of enduring the red face fire of acne Anyway, this is one of my connections with Bukowski, the king of the hill when it comes to American raw boned, hard boiled, tough guy writers And this novel of his years as a kid and teenager growing up in a house where he was continually beaten with a leather strap and receiving a torrent of emotional abuses, particularly at the hands of his callous, obsessive father, sets the stage for his alcoholic, hardscrabble adulthood, an adulthood where, other than drinking, his sole refuge from childhood memories of cruelty and his ongoing life on the down and out edge was sitting at his typewriter composing poetry and fiction Ham on Rye Every single sentence of this book is clear, vivid, sharp and direct, as if the words were bullets shot from a 22 caliber rifle Here are just a few rounds 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 Again, I didn t like anybody in that school I think they knew that I think that s why they disliked me I didn t like the way they walked or looked or talked, but I didn t like my mother or father either I still had the feeling of being surrounded by white empty space There was always a slight nausea in my stomach And, again The best thing about the bedroom was the bed I liked to stay in bed for hours, even during the day with covers pulled up to my chin It was good in there, nothing ever occurred in there, no people, nothing Ham on Rye There are funny, belly laughing scenes and scenes that will make you shudder, scenes that are tender and scenes filled with pain, but through it all, you will stick with Hank Chinaski aka Charles Bukowski, the ultimate tough guy with the heart of a poet. 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Reply Up until recently, all I knew about Charles Bukowski was what I learned in one of my all time favorite films, Barfly, staring the incomparable Mickey Rourke as our antihero Henry Chinaski If you haven t seen it, you should remedy that immediately is a world where everybodys gotta do something, gotta be something sometimes I just get tired of thinking of all the things that I don t wanna do. that I don t wanna be Henry Chinaski is a bit of a dick He doesn t care about you, your causes, your morals, your dignity he doesn t give a shit about anything but Henry Chinaski And I m not even so sure about that I know it might sound odd coming from me, but I can totally relate to Henry Don t get me wrong, saying I can relate to Henry doesn t mean that I approve of him and all his bravado, but I can relate I can relate to his shitty childhood and his asociality and his lack of drive to be somebody I ll refrain from getting too personal here, but I can say that he can thank his lucky stars for one thing he wasn t born a girl Ham on Rye follows our dear Henry from a childhood scarred by abuse and isolation through the muddy waters of adolescence to young adulthood He eschews mainstream culture and all that it stands for, and really, who can blame him By the end, part of me wanted to forget about all of this responsibility nonsense and join him at the bar Why Because f ck you That s why.Bukowski isn t for everyone Actually, let me go out on a limb here and say Bukowski isn t for most people But if you ve been lucky enough to have struggled through childhood and adolescence and come out on the other end a little stronger, a little smarter, a little thicker skinned, then maybe, just maybe, Bukowski is for you Then again, maybe not I m sure Bukowski doesn t give a shit either way, and honestly, neither do I I raise my glass to you, Henry To you and all my frieeeeennnddds Barfly joke Watch this scene when Henry walks over to Wanda, look who he passes at the bar I can t stand people I hate them Do you hate them Henry No But I seem to feel better when they re not around Reply Update 1.99 Kindle special today Its not for everyone but I thought it was fantastic I own it and couldn t pull away from it the first time I read it I d suggest reading high and low reviews Then trust your gut Its based on a true story but written as a novel I had begun to dislike my father He was always angry about something Wherever we went he got into arguments with people But he didn t appear to frighten most people they just stared at him, calmly, and he became furious If we ate out, which was seldom, he always found something wrong with the food and sometimes refuse to pay There s flyshit in this whipped cream What the hell kind of place is this I m sorry, sir, you needn t pay Just leave I ll leave, all right But I ll be back I ll burn this god damned place down Yep, a real mensch of a father Henry Chinaski had From a very young age Henry was spoon fed children are seen and not to be heard one of the kind things that came out of his father s mouth Ham on Rye alternates between being hilarious and horrendous The beatings from his father were so awful that just saying this kid survived physical abuse in his insane crazy dysfunctional household is not enough I felt so angry His father was fucking brutal The son of a bitch deserved to be locked up for life So What was hilarious Having acne and a gutless submissive mother who can t stand up for Henry or herself isn t funny.but Henry s cynicism is often funnyIt was very funny and cute , when Henry s little classmate, Lila Jane, a pretty girl , was proud of her clean pink panties or blue ones wanted to offer afternoon show and tell for Henry s pleasure.howeverthis was the depression era in America Henry wasn t allowed to fulfill his other desires so he was often sexually frustrated not so funny but human The storytelling is wonderful It has everythinghitting us with a wide rage of emotions Terrific coming of age book involving family, school, other kids, teachers, struggles to survive barely escaping povertyHenry s anger, aloneness, rebelliousness, soooo much sadness it hurts.but also something beautiful was developing Henry s love for literature His time spent in the library reading D.H Lawrence, Sinclair Lewisetc He did that Awwww and what a phenomenal writer Charles Bukowski is I m aware this book is loosely based on his life storybut I read it as fiction The humanity in this book is extraordinary I loved this book Reply It is true that Ham on Rye lacks a serious plot It is also true that Mr Bukowski writes in a crude, whiskey soaked style However, the novel makes up for its deficiencies with a well honed theme on the bullshit realities of middle class existence and the ugly truth of how our society deals with those who reject that path Such a novel should necessarily cause the reader to taste a tinge of bile in his or her throat If you don t finish the book weary and angry, then you missed the point As to the comments below that disparage Mr Bukowski as a mean spirited asshole, I ask you to consider four possibilities 1 you misread his skid row saintliness as something distasteful 2 you forget that Mr Bukowski wrote a novel, not a memoir 3 you judge his offensive comments in a vacuum instead of its time and place or 4 you are comfortable with the mediocrity shit can of existence that he laments. Reply Ham on Rye is flanked by sauces of happenstance and its delectability depends on the preferences of one s reading tongue Mine, for one, could not bear its sour, unsavoury ingredients.In this bildungsroman, which is semi autobiographical too, the protagonist, Henry Chinaski loads his bag of dilemma and expletives, and throws its weight around with nonchalance and non disruptive disdain The backdrop of the Great Depression, fuels the negative sentiments and Chinaski finds its shackles, throughout the novel, difficult to break away from This was my first Bukowski and it didn t go entirely uneventful, thankfully His brazenness and indifference met in a heady concoction, sending a mild swagger across the reading eye His treatment of his family, friends, school, job and life at large, wasn t without a stream of empathy which was successfully evoked with some explosive arrangement of words Of his hopeless friends, he said, It looked like it was my destiny to travel in their company through life That didn t bother me so much as the fact that I seemed irresistible to these dull idiot fellows I was like a turd that drew flies instead of like a flower that butterflies and bees desired. The charms of the initial dilemmas and Chinaski s attempts or non attempts to fathom them, drowned into a sea of booze for the better part of the book Nothing mattered as long as drinking was an option and the young Chinaski held nothing beyond the tinted bottle Purposelessness pervaded the pages like a rigid plague and Bukowski s pen remained, painfully, under qualified to bulk up nothing A case of plot and prose, pulling each other down It appears that Bukowski s life was way bitter and the taste nailed anger and anguish into his deepest cores But perhaps, he didn t write this book to shed those rusty flakes He wrote to keep them alive Almost like a protest, like a defiance And under my reading lens, that defiance grappled without inspiration. Reply The first thing I remember is being under something So begins this chronicle of the dirty old man s humble beginnings, his formative years, and the myriad oppressions he endured throughout his childhood, adolescence, and early adult life In the most literal sense, this opening line represents baby Hank s first concrete memory, but it also sets the tone for the entire memoir to come Dedicated to all the fathers, Ham on Rye is both an indictment of and a tribute to every boss, bully, teacher, preacher, and dictator foreign and domestic to leave their mark on Chinaski s Bukowski s coming of age experience, charting his own way forward if only by counterexample My father liked the slogan, Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise But it hadn t done any of that for him I decided that I might try to reverse the process Each loosely connected chapter finds Hank at some point in his troubled youth, from his earliest memories of Andernach, Germany, to the first of many rented rooms in Los Angeles, California Most of the intervening narrative deals with his abysmal home life throughout his equally trying school years Whether at the hands of his father or his peers, young Hank takes his lickings and learns to give a licking or two in kind He fights back, carves out his niche, thinks about girls and yearns for safe haven R.O.T.C was for the misfits Like I said, it was either that or gym As with any semi autobiographical work, one has to wonder how much of it is true Hank loses fights than he wins, and his descriptions of failure should ring true for anyone accustomed to the experience If Bukowski were to fictionalize anything here, you d think that he might actually get laid somewhere in these 283 pages Having said that, it s probably not much of a spoiler to reveal that he remains a virgin at least up until the bombing of Pearl Harbor, but anyone who s ever read Bukowski knows that he than made up for this later in life see Women, etc.There s got to be some scholarly work out there that unpacks the fact from fiction, but if one exists I am not aware With Buk and his parents long since dead, I suppose I could call up Linda Lee to ask Stupid idea, I know, but maybe I could convince her to adopt me the same way she adopted Hank all those years ago Despite their famous squabble, I have no doubt in my mind that she added at least an extra decade to his life, without which he may have never lived to see the publication of this book in the first place But I digress, and my glass needs refilling GoodnightFor further reference The father never leaves That s called growing up out, bitches This review is dedicated to Lila Jane. Reply I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they ve always worked for me Hunter Thompson And my own affairs were as bad, as dismal, as the day I had been born The only difference was that now I could drink now and then, though never often enough Drink was the only thing that kept a man from feeling forever stunned and useless Everything else just kept picking and picking, hacking away And nothing was interesting, nothing The people were restrictive and careful, all alike And I ve got to live with these fuckers for the rest of my life, I thought God, they all had assholes and sexual organs and their mouths and their armpits They shit and they chattered and they were dull as horse dung The girls looked good from a distance, the sun shining through their dresses, their hair But get up close and listen to their minds running out of their mouths, you felt like digging in under a hill and hiding out with a tommy gun I would certainly never be able to be happy, to get married, I could never have children Hell, I couldn t even get a job as a dishwasher BukowskiIf the above paragraph offends you and I admit it could maybe offend on various levels then Bukowski is not for you But this autobiographical novel focused on Henry Chinaski s early years up until Pearl Harbor, has a kind of breathless drive and hilarity, with fresh working class boy language Henry is bullied, beaten by his bastard father, gets into multiple fights, lusts after girls, gets in trouble in school constantly He grows up poor, with severe acne that develops into boils, so he s early on looking like a loser with only losers for friends Later he becomes a good boxer, but early on he fails at sports He makes it through high school and college, but barely, as an English major, though he sometimes gets kicked out of classes You are thirty minutes late Yes Would you be thirty minutes late to a wedding or a funeral No Why not, pray tell Well, if the funeral was mine I d have to be on time If the wedding was mine it would be my funeral It s for a time mainly fighting and drinking that give him any kind of solace Getting drunk was good I decided that I would always like getting drunk It took away the obvious and maybe if you could get away from the obvious often enough, you wouldn t become so obvious yourself Chinaski finds reading as a resource, and he reads everything, respecting mainly straight shooting guys like Hemingway Unpretentious writers not of privileged classes First paycheck I get, I thought, I m going to get myself a room near the downtown L.A Public Library Finally, he finds solace in writing, which gets him thrown out of his house by his father, but It was a joy 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 But he is still deeply cynical, hates almost everything and everyone The problem was you had to keep choosing between one evil or another, and no matter what you chose, they sliced a little off you, until there was nothing left At the age of 25 most people were finished A whole goddamned nation of assholes driving automobiles, eating, having babies, doing everything in the worst way possible, like voting for the presidential candidate who reminded them most of themselves So Chinaski sounds arrogant in his loathing everything around him, but he saves a great deal of tie self loathing, too I often stood in front of the mirror alone, wondering how ugly a person could get and I made practice runs down to skid row to get ready for my future Maybe I d be a bank robber Some god damned thing Something with flare, fire You only had one shot Why be a window washer Bukowski in this book is Hunter Thompson without the political black humor, with even greater nihilism, maybe, humorous without principles, living an early life of darkness shaped by his father and getting beaten up by everyone This guy may not be the best American writer, but he is a very good one, at his best At his best he is astonishingly honest and unsentimental It was a great read I laughed a lot. Reply At the age of 25 most people were finished A whole god damned nation of assholes driving automobiles, eating, having babies, doing everything in the worst way possible, like voting for the presidential candidate who reminded them most of themselves Charles Bukowski, Ham on Rye Reading Charles Bukowski in public is a rather curious thing Every once in a while, you come across some line or paragraph that is suffused with such a potent strand of open misanthropy it makes you chuckle You think to yourself Surely this man is exaggerating here, merely going for comedic or shock effect What do you do You decide to test his theory You look up, take in your surroundings, watch ordinary humans go about their daily business and return to the passage you just read Then it hits you Oh shucks, he s kind of right here What does that say about me Am I turning into a toned down Bukowski myself The ones who appreciate Bukowski have this experience often, I presume also hope Ham on Rye tells of the formative years 1920 45, roughly of Bukowski s alter ego Henry Chinaski In effect it is a loosely structured, even somewhat sloppy autobiography Writing this book surely must have been emotionally punishing for Bukowski though There is some serious, unresolved pain here, one supposes most of it not dealt with through any professional channels Which would have been very unlike him, of course Bukowski is the quintessential lone wolf, he dealt with his pain on his own terms It wouldn t have given him the venom he needed, nor made him the figure he turned into He goes into lengthy detail about his horrendous childhood The domineering and abusive father, the spineless mother, and the soul crushing social alienation he experienced as a child and young adult Dreams are shattered, any sense of self worth is ground into the earth at inception and even the tiniest hint of human warmth displayed is slowly being squeezed out Unsurprisingly, the only route open to the character is direct revolt and nihilism A rejection of all social conventions, common wisdoms and, above all, expectations Yet for all the abject misery this is a supremely funny and vigorous book, if you know what to look for and share Bukowski s brand of humour What really did surprise me though was that there is a tenderness here that I didn t find in either Post Office , Factotum or Women At the ending of the book Bukowski seems to have found some degree of peace, some acceptance of his present state and past Considering the tumultous, unpleasant life he had led up until then, this is one hell of a miracle You can level many accusations against Bukowski, both as a writer and as a person Sure, his writing is blunt, unrefined, perhaps too reliant on cheap gross out effects He was an alcoholic, a misanthrope, even a thoroughly vile man when he got you in his crosshairs, but what he surely wasn t was unfeeling Underneath all that bravado and machismo there beat the heart of a disappointed, yet true, romantic Sadly, that person never had a chance to flourish That is the source of Bukowski s greatness and tragedy both. 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