Having been inspired to read Post Office by the thread on this very site (someone accused it of being 'of it's time' which instantly made it sound appealing to me) and loving it, I decided to read some Bukowski and chose Ham on Rye.
I'd never actually read the guy before but he's fast becoming a favourite. I adore, the brevity, the simplicity, the honesty of his prose. It took almost no time to read this book, I just skipped through it like the pages were being blown by fan, and embraced the narrative and the grumpy yet vulnerable masculinity whole-heartedly. I haven't been this inspired by a writer for a long time. I shall seek out more of his work (probably Factotum) and bathe in his politically incorrect filth like a happy aroused pig. I read so much by-the-numbers literature these days and while a lot of it still very impressive and enjoyable, it does also suffer from being trapped by the rules of literature set down in the 19th century. People seem determined to never let that century lose its grip on the medium. Bukowski, meanwhile, felt like reading a book by someone I know, living a life I understand, today.
To a 19th century writer (as well as their 20th century mimics) the sunset is a romantic veil of copper steeped in profundity; to Bukowski, it's a reminder that he has to get up for work in the morning.