Charles Bukowski does it to me every time. His snappy dialogue and streamlined prose make his books a joy to read. I also like the first-person narration, with added sarcasm, and Los Angeles settings, which remind me of Raymond Chandler novels. Whenever I am reading one of Bukowki’s novels while lying in bed, I will come across a passage that incites laughter. I will read it again, only to laugh louder. Last night was no exception.
I am currently reading Ham on Rye. As we pick up the story, Bukowski’s protagonist, Henry Chinaski, is unemployed and has decided to enroll at L.A. City College. And being a journalism major in college, I appreciated the humor of this conversation. I’ll let Bukowski take over from here:
My father was simply ashamed that I was unemployed and by going to school I would at least earn some respectability. Eli LaCrosse (Baldy) had already been there a term. He counseled me.
“What’s the easiest f@%*ing thing to take?” I asked him.
“Journalism. Those journalism majors don’t do anything.”
“O.K., I’ll be a journalist.”
I looked through the school booklet.
“What’s this Orientation Day they speak of here?”
“Oh, you just skip that, that’s bull****.”
“Thanks for telling me, buddy. We’ll go instead to that bar across the campus and have a couple of beers.”
Bukowski, Charles. Ham on Rye. Santa Barbara, California: Black Sparrow Press, 1982. 221. Print.
I am sure Bukowski will keep me laughing as I work my way toward the end of the book.