Review from a Transgressive Fiction Fan
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.
“Insightful” Review from a Mainstream Reader
It’s probably unfair of me to hate Bukowski the way that I do… it’s closer to the truth to state that I hate Bukowski FANS so much that I just turn all of my derision on the man himself. That being said, Bukowski was a drunken hack who deserved none of the accolades vomited upon him. But who cares, really? Carry on.