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"It began as a mistake." By middle age, Henry Chinaski has lost more than twelve years of his life to the U.S. Postal Service. In a world where his three true, bitter pleasures are women, booze, and racetrack betting, he somehow drags his hangover out of bed every dawn to lug waterlogged mailbags up mud-soaked mountains, outsmart vicious guard dogs, and pray to survive the day-to-day trials of sadistic bosses and certifiable coworkers. This classic 1971 novel—the one that catapulted its author to national fame—is the perfect introduction to the grimly hysterical world of legendary writer, poet, and Dirty Old Man Charles Bukowski and his fictional alter ego, Chinaski.

Topics: Beat Generation, Alcoholism, Gambling, Working Class, Sex, Love, Racing, Funny, Dark, Gritty, Black Humor, Realism, Los Angeles, Semi-Autobiographical, and Short stories

Published: HarperCollins on
ISBN: 9780061844041
List price: $10.99
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Just as good as every other book DBF has ever written. Funny that she delved into the writings of poets and playwrights as I just finished a couple books about Ernest Hemingway also. Enjoy!more
This is the story where the past meets the present. The past involves Dorothy and Dubose Heyward, George Gershwin, and the writing of Porgy & Bess. The present involves newly widowed Cate Cooper whose husband left her almost broke. She moves back to Folly Beach to visit the aunt who reared her and finds true love. There are some parallels in the two stories which are presented in alternating chapters. I enjoyed the present story's presentation more than the manner in which the past was showcased. Although I understand why the author chose that format for the past, it simply didn't work for me.more
Kate, followed by John, presented a delightful story to listen to, almost in two parts ---a play within a story. It's probably good that I had a project to do while a listened to the story because it was a little slow in parts but I liked Kate immediately and finding out what happened next was very appealing as a story line.more
One of my least favorite of her books - did not enjoy the back and forth between the playscript and the storyline.Was haard for me to even finish.more
One of Dorothea Benton Frank's better books. Not quite as silly as some of her other books. Another in a string of books I've read lately about women returning home to the beach after some sort of life trauma. Makes me want to go live at the beach.more
I love the way she builds this story of two eras: the Charleston Literary Renaissance in the 20s and 30s, and the story of the modern-day woman who lost everything and then found it in a whole new form.more
This is an enjoyable romance, all the more satisfying because of the dreadful circumstances that introduce the main characters. The back stories of Porgy & Bess and Dorothy & Debose Hayward make for an interesting plot linemore
I have been hit and miss with Dorothea Benton Frank lately- this one however hit all the right notes! Ever since reading Vixen, it seems so many books I have picked up or want to read are set in the 1920s, or have backstory from the 20s. Which is fine by me - I have always loved the excitement and drama of the roaring 20s. Folly Beach has a storyline in the present day, but every other chapter is part of a play about the Heywards, who worked with Gershwin to turn Heyward's Porgy and Bess into a musical. I have to admit, at first these chapters bothered me - I would just get into what was going on in the main story line and would be interrupted within the book, like a commercial. But as I read on, the more I enjoyed the Heyward's story line just as much. I liked all the characters in this book, especially Cate's love interest John, who reminded me a tiny bit of Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre. And wow Cate has a terrible start in this book - I was riveted, what else could have gone wrong for her? Apparently everything! The tragedy of it all forced her to become her own person though, and find actual happiness in the end.more
One of the things I enjoy most about being on book tours is discovering authors I might not have been exposed to otherwise. I've seen Dorothea Benton Frank's name before, but never considered that these books might be something I'm interested in. A series of steps led up to me asking to be on this tour - most of those steps involving an introduction of some sort to southern literature, and the final culmination being that I am, hands down, a fan of it. Beth Hoffman, Rebecca Rasmussen, Sarah Addison Allen, Kathryn Magendie - all names of authors who have thrilled me, taught me to love this easy-going, sweet, magical style and now I'll be adding Dorothea Benton Frank to the list.Folly Beach is book number #8 in the Lowcountry Tales series. I haven't read books 1-7 (and have already started to request them from Paperback Swap) but it didn't make a lick of difference, because this book had me hook, line and sinker with the opening act of the play involving the Heywards, Gershwin, and The Porgy House. Frank did a beautiful job of weaving the story around each act of the play, and kept me completely mesmerized and in love with both sets of characters - that of Dorothy Heyward and Cate Cooper.Now, in the interest of full honesty, there were a few parts that were so obvious, and worked out so conveniently well that I did roll my eyes a little bit - but just a little bit, because I was too happy at the progression of the story and loved the characters so much that I wanted the best for them, even if it was predictable.This is the perfect beach-time, summer read. The only thing that was missing while I read Folly Beach was the sound of the ocean, the warmth of the sun on my legs and a drink at my side, complete with little umbrella.more
I won a copy of this book in a Goodreads Giveaway. I really like Anne Rivers Siddons and Sue Miller, and this story seemed to me reminiscent of those kinds of books, so I figured I'd give it a try. Plus, the parallel structure of the play inside the novel was intriguing.The premise of the story is good - a woman, Cate, who is widowed when her self-important ultra-wealthy scoundrel of a husband chooses death by suicide rather than face the horrendous consequences of his unethical business practices and multiple extra-marital affairs which have lost him and his partners loads of the money he so prized as well as all their friends, buries her husband, and is later that day served with papers from the sheriff informing her that her luxury home is being foreclosed on, all it's contents removed and sold, her cars, etc. are being repossessed, and so, in two days time she goes from living a life of material luxury to basically being left with $25k she hid away in a wall safe. She had no idea about the finances, the debts or the ex-lovers - she is totally blindsided.Faced with having no home and no particular attachments to the area (except her sister who lives in town and is HER BEST FRIEND) since her adult children who don't live with her anyway, she decides to leave frigid Alpine, NJ for the shores of Folly Beach, South Caroloina. Folly Beach is home to her aging aunt Daisy and Dolly's longtime lover Ella. Daisy is a spitfire who manages multiple rental properties at the beach and could use Cate's help, as she's getting on in years. Cate and her sister Patti were raise by Daisy at Folly Beach after their parents died while they were young, and she offers Cate a refuge from her troubles in one of her cottages called The Porgy House.The parallel play is about Dorothea and DuBose Heyward, who lived at Folly Beach in the late 30's in the Porgy House, where they wrote the play Porgy and Bess with George Gershwin. That story line explores the nature of the love-affair between Dorothea and DuBose and the culture of the Charleston Renaissance, which resulted in the writing of Porgy and Bess, even in a state which would not allow negroes to perform on stage until the 70s. (In the end, it turns out that this is the play that Cate is writing at the end of the novel.)On her way to South Carolina, Cate is involved in a fender bender with a local professor named John Risley who is devastatingly handsome, and who conveniently is obsessed with Dorothea and DuBose Heyword, the Porgy House, knows Cate's Aunty Daisy, and teaches of all things, PLAYWRITING. He is an amazing lover, a southern gentlemen, and primary instigator/encourager for Cate, who with her relatively unused theater degree, he feels is in the perfect position to write a play about the Heywards for a local competition. Without ever having seen a word of her writing, he's absolutely certain to she will an astounding playwrite. He's perfect - a hero even - he'll pick up her poor wet naked lesbian 80+ year old aunt from a tub when she is so very ill. I mean, care-taking her aunt's properties can't use up that much of her time, and after being financially ruined, the unstable career choice of writer makes PERFECT sense. (/sarcasm off.)To be honest, this is where I start to loose it with this novel. Way too many plot conveniences/contrivances for my liking. While I understand the tone of this novel is light-hearted, and that the poor rich girl who is down on her luck needs to know there is life beyond her crappy marriage and financial ruin, it just happens way to fast and way to conveniently for my liking. Cate is so willing to move on from the horror of her ruin without really experiencing it, in a way, and the universe clears all messes right up for this newly ruined Cate. I mean, for crying out loud, even the inconvenient criminally deranged mentally ill wife of her new lover, John, develops pancreatic cancer and dies right on cue.As far as these kinds of books go, I think the writing was solid in terms of tone and style, and I liked the light-hearted humor displayed by the characters (although, I could see the potential for some seriously deep black humor that wasn't really as delved as it could have been). It was very readable, and the pacing was good - the sections that were the play were short and sweet, but effective. The characters were engaging and likeable - especially Aunt Daisy! Loved her! and loved how Ella called fiesty Daisy her "Old Cabbage"!I would recommend this book to people who like to read stories where everyone gets their just desserts, the girl gets her man, and everyone lives more than happily ever after. This just isn't my kind of thing anymore, I guess. I would not recommend this book for those who are irked by convoluted feminism (woman hear me roar after devilish husband screws me, but um, only after I am swept off my feet by new gorgeous handsome man...HUH?), or too many literary contrivances.more
The best book I've read by Bukowski. more
Crude and honest, the depiction of a character often overlooked and socially despised "the underachieving misanthropic drunkard". Bukowski's colloquial prose is easy to read while intellectually stimulating. Opens a window to the humanity of a mundane job and the life of a pariah. I read it in my free time at the office, and has provided a lot of unexpected inspiration, since I can relate to the cliché of an artist thriving in a pay for a living job. more
Post Office is hilarious and, at times, deeply insightful.more
Read all 14 reviews

Reviews

Just as good as every other book DBF has ever written. Funny that she delved into the writings of poets and playwrights as I just finished a couple books about Ernest Hemingway also. Enjoy!more
This is the story where the past meets the present. The past involves Dorothy and Dubose Heyward, George Gershwin, and the writing of Porgy & Bess. The present involves newly widowed Cate Cooper whose husband left her almost broke. She moves back to Folly Beach to visit the aunt who reared her and finds true love. There are some parallels in the two stories which are presented in alternating chapters. I enjoyed the present story's presentation more than the manner in which the past was showcased. Although I understand why the author chose that format for the past, it simply didn't work for me.more
Kate, followed by John, presented a delightful story to listen to, almost in two parts ---a play within a story. It's probably good that I had a project to do while a listened to the story because it was a little slow in parts but I liked Kate immediately and finding out what happened next was very appealing as a story line.more
One of my least favorite of her books - did not enjoy the back and forth between the playscript and the storyline.Was haard for me to even finish.more
One of Dorothea Benton Frank's better books. Not quite as silly as some of her other books. Another in a string of books I've read lately about women returning home to the beach after some sort of life trauma. Makes me want to go live at the beach.more
I love the way she builds this story of two eras: the Charleston Literary Renaissance in the 20s and 30s, and the story of the modern-day woman who lost everything and then found it in a whole new form.more
This is an enjoyable romance, all the more satisfying because of the dreadful circumstances that introduce the main characters. The back stories of Porgy & Bess and Dorothy & Debose Hayward make for an interesting plot linemore
I have been hit and miss with Dorothea Benton Frank lately- this one however hit all the right notes! Ever since reading Vixen, it seems so many books I have picked up or want to read are set in the 1920s, or have backstory from the 20s. Which is fine by me - I have always loved the excitement and drama of the roaring 20s. Folly Beach has a storyline in the present day, but every other chapter is part of a play about the Heywards, who worked with Gershwin to turn Heyward's Porgy and Bess into a musical. I have to admit, at first these chapters bothered me - I would just get into what was going on in the main story line and would be interrupted within the book, like a commercial. But as I read on, the more I enjoyed the Heyward's story line just as much. I liked all the characters in this book, especially Cate's love interest John, who reminded me a tiny bit of Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre. And wow Cate has a terrible start in this book - I was riveted, what else could have gone wrong for her? Apparently everything! The tragedy of it all forced her to become her own person though, and find actual happiness in the end.more
One of the things I enjoy most about being on book tours is discovering authors I might not have been exposed to otherwise. I've seen Dorothea Benton Frank's name before, but never considered that these books might be something I'm interested in. A series of steps led up to me asking to be on this tour - most of those steps involving an introduction of some sort to southern literature, and the final culmination being that I am, hands down, a fan of it. Beth Hoffman, Rebecca Rasmussen, Sarah Addison Allen, Kathryn Magendie - all names of authors who have thrilled me, taught me to love this easy-going, sweet, magical style and now I'll be adding Dorothea Benton Frank to the list.Folly Beach is book number #8 in the Lowcountry Tales series. I haven't read books 1-7 (and have already started to request them from Paperback Swap) but it didn't make a lick of difference, because this book had me hook, line and sinker with the opening act of the play involving the Heywards, Gershwin, and The Porgy House. Frank did a beautiful job of weaving the story around each act of the play, and kept me completely mesmerized and in love with both sets of characters - that of Dorothy Heyward and Cate Cooper.Now, in the interest of full honesty, there were a few parts that were so obvious, and worked out so conveniently well that I did roll my eyes a little bit - but just a little bit, because I was too happy at the progression of the story and loved the characters so much that I wanted the best for them, even if it was predictable.This is the perfect beach-time, summer read. The only thing that was missing while I read Folly Beach was the sound of the ocean, the warmth of the sun on my legs and a drink at my side, complete with little umbrella.more
I won a copy of this book in a Goodreads Giveaway. I really like Anne Rivers Siddons and Sue Miller, and this story seemed to me reminiscent of those kinds of books, so I figured I'd give it a try. Plus, the parallel structure of the play inside the novel was intriguing.The premise of the story is good - a woman, Cate, who is widowed when her self-important ultra-wealthy scoundrel of a husband chooses death by suicide rather than face the horrendous consequences of his unethical business practices and multiple extra-marital affairs which have lost him and his partners loads of the money he so prized as well as all their friends, buries her husband, and is later that day served with papers from the sheriff informing her that her luxury home is being foreclosed on, all it's contents removed and sold, her cars, etc. are being repossessed, and so, in two days time she goes from living a life of material luxury to basically being left with $25k she hid away in a wall safe. She had no idea about the finances, the debts or the ex-lovers - she is totally blindsided.Faced with having no home and no particular attachments to the area (except her sister who lives in town and is HER BEST FRIEND) since her adult children who don't live with her anyway, she decides to leave frigid Alpine, NJ for the shores of Folly Beach, South Caroloina. Folly Beach is home to her aging aunt Daisy and Dolly's longtime lover Ella. Daisy is a spitfire who manages multiple rental properties at the beach and could use Cate's help, as she's getting on in years. Cate and her sister Patti were raise by Daisy at Folly Beach after their parents died while they were young, and she offers Cate a refuge from her troubles in one of her cottages called The Porgy House.The parallel play is about Dorothea and DuBose Heyward, who lived at Folly Beach in the late 30's in the Porgy House, where they wrote the play Porgy and Bess with George Gershwin. That story line explores the nature of the love-affair between Dorothea and DuBose and the culture of the Charleston Renaissance, which resulted in the writing of Porgy and Bess, even in a state which would not allow negroes to perform on stage until the 70s. (In the end, it turns out that this is the play that Cate is writing at the end of the novel.)On her way to South Carolina, Cate is involved in a fender bender with a local professor named John Risley who is devastatingly handsome, and who conveniently is obsessed with Dorothea and DuBose Heyword, the Porgy House, knows Cate's Aunty Daisy, and teaches of all things, PLAYWRITING. He is an amazing lover, a southern gentlemen, and primary instigator/encourager for Cate, who with her relatively unused theater degree, he feels is in the perfect position to write a play about the Heywards for a local competition. Without ever having seen a word of her writing, he's absolutely certain to she will an astounding playwrite. He's perfect - a hero even - he'll pick up her poor wet naked lesbian 80+ year old aunt from a tub when she is so very ill. I mean, care-taking her aunt's properties can't use up that much of her time, and after being financially ruined, the unstable career choice of writer makes PERFECT sense. (/sarcasm off.)To be honest, this is where I start to loose it with this novel. Way too many plot conveniences/contrivances for my liking. While I understand the tone of this novel is light-hearted, and that the poor rich girl who is down on her luck needs to know there is life beyond her crappy marriage and financial ruin, it just happens way to fast and way to conveniently for my liking. Cate is so willing to move on from the horror of her ruin without really experiencing it, in a way, and the universe clears all messes right up for this newly ruined Cate. I mean, for crying out loud, even the inconvenient criminally deranged mentally ill wife of her new lover, John, develops pancreatic cancer and dies right on cue.As far as these kinds of books go, I think the writing was solid in terms of tone and style, and I liked the light-hearted humor displayed by the characters (although, I could see the potential for some seriously deep black humor that wasn't really as delved as it could have been). It was very readable, and the pacing was good - the sections that were the play were short and sweet, but effective. The characters were engaging and likeable - especially Aunt Daisy! Loved her! and loved how Ella called fiesty Daisy her "Old Cabbage"!I would recommend this book to people who like to read stories where everyone gets their just desserts, the girl gets her man, and everyone lives more than happily ever after. This just isn't my kind of thing anymore, I guess. I would not recommend this book for those who are irked by convoluted feminism (woman hear me roar after devilish husband screws me, but um, only after I am swept off my feet by new gorgeous handsome man...HUH?), or too many literary contrivances.more
The best book I've read by Bukowski. more
Crude and honest, the depiction of a character often overlooked and socially despised "the underachieving misanthropic drunkard". Bukowski's colloquial prose is easy to read while intellectually stimulating. Opens a window to the humanity of a mundane job and the life of a pariah. I read it in my free time at the office, and has provided a lot of unexpected inspiration, since I can relate to the cliché of an artist thriving in a pay for a living job. more
Post Office is hilarious and, at times, deeply insightful.more
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