Book Review: Post Office by Charles Bukowski

“Can you remember who you were, before the world told you who you should be?”

38434Read: 16th June 2017

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 22 seconds. Contains 476 words.

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My Rating: 4 Stars

I can’t understand Bukowski, not even slightly relatable. I find him disgusting and even after that I like reading him, I mean his books. And when I need some push to work my way through then it is his poem that helps me, Roll the dice. “If you are going to try, go all the way.”(I literally have the whole narration saved in my mobile.)

This is Charles Bukowski’s first book, published in 1971. It’s a story of a man named Henry Chinaski “Hank”, Bukowski’s literary alter ego.

To start with, I found this book quite funny, it has funny moments and very crude at times. His writing is not tender and he certainly doesn’t talk much about feelings.

The main character is not very aspirational and keeps losing everything and most of it because of his own faults. He is alcoholic, a womanizer, screw all the time. He is seriously all about booze, women, and sex. I find him dark and depressive though sometimes funny, most of the time disgusting.

I don’t really recommend his books to anyone because what should I even say, Oh! do you want to read a book by someone who speaks dirty, use condescending language to portray female characters, a misogynist, and takes self-deprecation to a new height, or I would say do you want to read a book by someone who’s writing can be ugly, offensive and violent but truthful, who is hostile towards women but that is not it, he is actually hostile toward humankind.

So would you like to read it? It’s good(But if you can’t take offense don’t blame me.)

Now coming to the good part, even though the character is an alcoholic he is not totally doomed, deep down he knows that he can’t just die homeless as an alcoholic, so he does work even though the work sucks, he did survive, poorly but still.

“the first place smelled like work, so I took the second.”

He does love his dog and shows kindness to an alcoholic ex-lover. He is not all bad but he’s not good either, never felt sorry for this guy.

The character hates bureaucracy and he has to deal with it throughout the book while he works at the Post office and he finds it stupid and pointless.

I skipped the part with betting on horses, I can’t read anything related to fishing and betting on horses, I do the same thing with Hemingway, I can’t stand it. They write about it, I don’t read it. I skip it and I just assume that they just talked about betting and then losing and winning money.

I like this book and I gave this 4 stars also because of my personal bias towards this guy. I recommend it because everyone should read some Bukowski in their lifetime. I like his poems and short stories more than his novels, seriously. Poems are really good.

 

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7 Inspirational Books that You should Read: Do You Really Need Them? This Will Help You Decide!

quotescover-PNG-41 Yesterday I wrote an answer to a question on Quora.

Then today I thought why not write a post similar to it. So, here it is.

There are few inspiration novels that I love and today I’m sharing with you 7 books out of many wonderful books that I love and adore.

Few of them are just brilliant and are must read books and you I’m telling you that you really need to read them(well you can decide for yourself, I was just kidding).

I consider each one of them worthy of anyone’s time.


“The Giver” by Lois Lowry

“If everything’s the same, then there aren’t any choices! I want to wake up in the morning and decide things!”

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Why?The Giver had made me shed a tear more than a few times.

Think of life as black and white. The world of “sameness” and “uniformity”, where there is no love, no happiness, no sadness, no warmth, no color, no death, and no anger. This book depicts the world of dullness and monotony. Now think of a world where you assigned everything, maybe your future occupation, your life partner and whatever you can think of.

I’m not very crazy about the ending. But this book did teach me, that we need change in our world and not just the change but also the courage to make that change. This book tell you that you can do everything you set your mind to. It also make us realize that when we allow people to choose for themselves, you instill hope in them.

“Jonathan Livingston Seagull” by Richard Bach

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When I was in 10th standard my English teacher suggested this book to us students and she told, that one of the person she met read this book and, he told her that, this book changed him, changed the way he think and the way he lives his life.

So,that time I decided, that I should also read this book and in 2011, I actually gave this book a read, with one another book from Richard Bach called “Illusion”.

This book is a fable and a short read, BUT a good read indeed!

Yes, as few readers complained, there is nothing new in this book. All the same stuff about will power and self imagination of limitlessness. But you know, This fable had quite a different way of defining heaven..in “perfection”, in “realization of limitless self”. Listening to your heart, and that true determination and hard practice can give you mastery in whatever field you want, the sense of effortlessness..not only to produce the results each time but to understand & conquer the principles underlying the ways which produce these results.

“..Jonathan asked to Chiang,” Well, what happens from here? Where are we going? Is there no place as heaven?” and Chiang replied, ” No, Jon, there is no such place. Heaven is not a place, and it is not even time. Heaven is being perfect. You will begin to touch heaven, Jonathan, in the moment that you touch perfect speed. And that isn’t flying a thousand miles an hour or at speed of light. Because any number is limit, and perfection doesn’t have limits. Perfect speed, my son, is being there, instantly…anywhere anytime anyplace.”

“The Time Keeper”by Mitch Albom

“It is never to late or too soon, it is when it is supposed to be.”

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why? Book Review

This book basically tells you that don’t take time for granted, don’t wish it away, don’t take it in your hands. Love it or hate it, time keeps moving forward.

 

 

 

“Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor E. Frankl

“Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’.”

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Why?If you ask me to make a list of 10 must read book, this book will be on the top. When I read it this book gave me a Mind Orgasm.

After reading this book, now every time I take up anything that take up a whole lot of time. I always ask myself, “Will this be meaningful to me?” and if the answer is a big “No”. I don’t do it. Save a lot of time.

The writer show us the capacity of hope. This book for me is a perspective changer.

“Outliers: The Story of Success” by Malcolm Gladwell

“Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.”

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Why?This book is more of a influential book but let me add it to this list because perhaps it was also inspirational for me.

You do need to read this book!

I call this book, “Outliers don’t exist” because Outliers may not be Outliers after all. You’ll get to know this after reading this book.

“Walden” by Henry David Thoreau

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.”

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Why?For me this book was inspiring. Since in 21st century people are living life in a rut. The opportunity to dig your way out of it and to get away so as to get in touch with nature, to discover, to really think about life sounds to me like a really good thing to do.

“Fountainhead” by Ayn Rand

“I love you so much that nothing can matter to me – not even you…Only my love- not your answer. Not even your indifference”

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Why?Whether you agree with this woman or not(please say you don’t). This book is certainly enticing and enchanting. I’m not really fan of this woman, but this is one of my favorite book and it is entertaining too.

“To say “I love you” one must know first how to say the “I”.”

This book is remarkable.

I liked Howard’s struggle to resist society’s way and remain true to himself . To maintain his individuality. And I liked how the book argues that individuals, not society, makes history.

It’s a tale of triumph and defeat.


So these are the 7 inspirational novels that I wanted to share with you. Some other day I’ll add more books to this list. Till then enjoy these!

Happy Reading!

 

Book Review : Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

“If I could wake up in a different place, at a different time, could I wake up as a different person?”

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My Rating: *4.5 Carpe Diem Stars*

You don’t know who I’m(ya, ya some of you do know me), but let me tell you. I’m a crazy piece of shit who added this book in her TBR list in 2012 and read it in 2016. Yes, this book, I read it after all these years! Thanks to someone who forced me to read it. It was amazingly amazing(ya I watched the movie as well, ahh!).

First rule of fight club: You don’t talk about Fight Club.

Second rule of fight club: You don’t talk about Fight Club.

But I’m gonna talk about it because how can I not talk about it!

Fight Club, a story like this can go no where but to extremes. Chuck in this book merely exposes the pros and cons of two extremes. The narrator who is powerless in his life, that is shown by his constant consumerism, a character who is literally split, an insomniac who dreams up Tyler who is the opposite of him.

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On one hand the narrator is boring, materialistic, work for his secure life while on the other hand Tyler is a confidant person and a radical thinker but also an extremist, an anarchist.

According to Tyler’s philosophy: “It’s only after we have lost everything that we are free to do anything.”

“You are not your job, you’re not how much money you have in the bank. You are not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You are not your fucking khakis. You are all singing, all dancing crap of the world.”

This book showcase the destructive nature of letting  any of those two sides taking control over your life. You have to find a middle ground to the blinding materialism and minimalist life.

For me, Tyler is a flawed character, if you’ll watch the movie, you’ll see my point. He is a hypocritic who bashes consumerism while lightning a cigarette.

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The element of consumerism is there, yes and it is apparent through out the book. However, I also believe it is incorporated with the idea that objects should not be hold as an account of identity and self worth. But it is your actions and thoughts that define you as a person, they end up owning you because they tell who you really are.

Is masculinity still in a state of crisis? Like really Chuck do men really have to beat the shit out of each other to feel complete, to get out of their anxieties, aggression and frustrations.

The fight scenes that the writer wrote fucked my mind out and then they were wonderfully done in the movie, which made it difficult for me to take a sip from my coffee.

“Fight Club is not football on television. You aren’t watching a bunch of men you don’t know halfway around the world beating on each other live by satellite with a two-minute delay, commercials pitching beer every ten minutes, and a pause now for station identification. After you’ve been to fight club, watching football on television is watching pornography when you could be having great sex.”

This book punched me straight on my face and the writer is brutal, real brutal.However, I must say this is that one instance where movie adaption is far better than the book and I loved it. I have got my new favorite.

Whatever be your interpretation about this book or the movie. I’ll say at least this book/movie, “Fight Club” is just straight entertaining.

So, if you already haven’t read it yet then please give it a read.

Before ending I want to quote a very pessimistic statement given by the writer *sigh*

“We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.”

And haha! this-

“Warning: If you are reading this then this warning is for you. Every word you read of this useless fine print is another second off your life. Don’t you have other things to do? Is your life so empty that you honestly can’t think of a better way to spend these moments? Or are you so impressed with authority that you give respect and credence to all that claim it? Do you read everything you’re supposed to read? Do you think every thing you’re supposed to think? Buy what you’re told to want? Get out of your apartment. Meet a member of the opposite sex. Stop the excessive shopping and masturbation. Quit your job. Start a fight. Prove you’re alive. If you don’t claim your humanity you will become a statistic. You have been warned.”

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Happy Reading!

Book Review : The Tunnel by Ernesto Sabato

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My Rating : *3 Stars*

What was the writer thinking…Really!

It should be sufficient to say that I am Juan Pablo Castel, the painter who killed Maria Iribarne.

This is how the story unfolds, the confession of a painter who killed a woman, who he was obsessed with.

I recently read a book called “The Stranger” by Albert Camus, which share the same theme as of this book, but if I compare both the main characters, they are worlds apart. On one hand, I for some reason loved the character of Merusault, on the other hand, I hated the character of Juan Pablo(I guess what I hate is this weird obsessive trait of his).

I have noticed this thing about me that when I read about weird terrifying situations, murders, criminals, or maybe freaky characteristics of a person(I mean his/her behavior), I never actually freak out or creep out. It is like my brain doesn’t consider hypothetical situations dangerous or weird. It is only when I actually face these situations or see them happening in front of me, or when I’m the victim, I feel terrified. But then other times, I’m just a chill out person.

Why am I saying all this?

While I was reading this book, and learning more about this character, I thought that maybe at some point of time I have met a certain person like this and that somehow I can associate this character of Juan Pablo to someone or some other character maybe from a movie.

Then I remembered that recently I watched a movie called “The Resident”(it maybe disturbing for some people). So, the theme of this movies is also based on frightening obsession of a person and desire. When I watched it, I found it to be a bit creepy. And now when I read this book, I can totally relate it to what I saw and how I felt, which is not so good.

Also last year, I came across this person, who I thought was a nice person, until the next day he actually started forcing himself unto me(well this can be frightening, I’m telling you). So what I did is turned myself into a badass bitch and shooed(not the right word,I guess) him off, right thing I did.

And it’s not always men, no no, don’t take me wrong with the examples I have quoted above. I recently read some where. This man went on a date with a woman. She was very quiet and it took a whole lot of work to make her speak. The next day he got home and saw a package in the mail box. Well inside that package were two wedding rings with a note “We are destined to be together” or may be “We are destined to be one”(I don’t remember well). He called her up and she asked, did you receive my package and said that she went to her psychic and that her psychic told her that we both are soulmates and we’ll be together forever. After listening to this he hung up the phone.

     Next day when he got back home, and saw that she was parked in his driveway to which he argued with her, that what the hell she think of herself that she came to his house uninvited. She replied, that this is not the kind of house she want, but they can live in it together until they get married. He asked her to leave and never return. She left and then the year followed, he got calls, love letters, emails everyday, to which he told her that nothing can happen between both of them, but to her, they were destined to be together.

Now you see what my point is, these kind of situations can be really terrifying, creepy and they literally give a whole lot of mental stress and can be annoying.

Out of all the examples I have quoted here, all these people(creepy people) were really interesting and wonderful for the first 25% of the total time they spent with the victims and then they opened up and turned out to be idiotically annoying and a whole lot of creepy, which I guess is so much for normal person to take and digest.

Similarly, the first 25% of this book, is very well crafted, beautifully written, interesting thoughts. It was good to read it, up until he met that woman and talked to her…

I hated his desperation and obsession with her, that was growing with every page that I was turning.

When I quoted those examples in the beginning, you might have noticed that the second person always tried to dissolve the situation. However in this case, the woman was also playing certain games…

But that was not it, he went to her house for receiving a letter, and discovered that she have a husband(blind husband), which I guess should be the point for him to lose hold of her and walk away to his different way.

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He opened that letter and read:

I think of you,too.

Maria

Instead that letter should be :

You see I have a husband, so now fuck off.

Maria

But no, madam had different plans. She wanted to deceive everyone and have it all.

This is what happens when you play with fire, you get hurt.

Well she got killed!

Her husband was actually blind, but the painter was blinded by his desperation, obsession and his blinding need to consume her all. He made himself a criminal, a murderer.

“There was one person who could have understood me. But she was the very person I killed.”

The starting was really good, middle was full of drama and a whole of hypothetical situations and dialogues that were total clique, at the same time annoying and funny. The end was abrupt.

That is it.

Book Review : The Strange Case OF Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

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My Ratings: *5  Stars*


This novella was beautifully written and it was very easy to imagine those dark streets and alleys and the Victorian setting. I don’t know why, but I loved the character of Mr. Utterson,a lawyer, and also he was the one who narrated the story and I think he was a reliable narrator.

The idea of this book was simple here,Stevenson, tells us how good and bad co-exist in all of us.

And ” How it would be if we could separate both good and bad?”, Like be an entirely good person or entirely bad person.

So,basically throughout the book there was a whole lot of suspense and mystery  which kept on building up and was actually unfolded in the last two chapters, which I really enjoyed. Yes, I felt that in the beginning the story was a bit slow paced but then it also hold my interest from the first page, which was actually good.

I liked a quotes from this book and it goes like:

“I learned to recognize the thorough and primitive duality of man; I saw that, of the two natures that contended the field of my consciousness, even if I could rightly be said to be either, it was only because I was radically both.”


Though I really wanted the ending to be more tragic and sad, but this too was good and I recommend this book to everyone, not just the mystery or suspense lovers.So, just read it, if you haven’t yet.