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Henry Chinaski siempre ha estado en pie de guerra, sin bajar la guardia contra el «establishment» y sus infinitos tentáculos. Pero en Hollywood no le será nada fácil: John Pinchot, un enloquecido director de cine, se empeña en llevar a la pantalla sus relatos de juventud, o sea la autobiografía de un alcohólico empedernido. Bukowski cuenta en este libro las experiencias de Henry Chinaski siempre ha estado en pie de guerra, sin bajar la guardia contra el «establishment» y sus infinitos tentáculos. Pero en Hollywood no le será nada fácil: John Pinchot, un enloquecido director de cine, se empeña en llevar a la pantalla sus relatos de juventud, o sea la autobiografía de un alcohólico empedernido. Bukowski cuenta en este libro las experiencias de su álter ego Chinaski durante la filmación de la película Barfly, dirigida por Barbet Schroeder e interpretada por Mickey Rourke y Faye Dunaway. Una visión sarcástica, ácida y corrosiva de los entretelones de Hollywood en la que desfilan personajes curiosos y excéntricos: productores, escritorzuelos, artistas de todo lo imaginable, ejecutivos fantasma, periodistas... Un mundo duro donde todo gira al compás del sacrosanto dólar, que es paradójicamente, el único medio para realizar lo sueños más subversivos y las empresas más enloquecidas. «Una narrativa tremendamente veloz, que te atrapa aunque no quieras» (Ramón de España, El País). «Un verdadero genio en su tratamiento irónico de la sociedad. Absolutamente nada escapa a su sarcasmo» (José Antonio Gurpegui, Abc). «Su mejor pieza» (Félix Romeo Pescador, Diario 16).


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Henry Chinaski siempre ha estado en pie de guerra, sin bajar la guardia contra el «establishment» y sus infinitos tentáculos. Pero en Hollywood no le será nada fácil: John Pinchot, un enloquecido director de cine, se empeña en llevar a la pantalla sus relatos de juventud, o sea la autobiografía de un alcohólico empedernido. Bukowski cuenta en este libro las experiencias de Henry Chinaski siempre ha estado en pie de guerra, sin bajar la guardia contra el «establishment» y sus infinitos tentáculos. Pero en Hollywood no le será nada fácil: John Pinchot, un enloquecido director de cine, se empeña en llevar a la pantalla sus relatos de juventud, o sea la autobiografía de un alcohólico empedernido. Bukowski cuenta en este libro las experiencias de su álter ego Chinaski durante la filmación de la película Barfly, dirigida por Barbet Schroeder e interpretada por Mickey Rourke y Faye Dunaway. Una visión sarcástica, ácida y corrosiva de los entretelones de Hollywood en la que desfilan personajes curiosos y excéntricos: productores, escritorzuelos, artistas de todo lo imaginable, ejecutivos fantasma, periodistas... Un mundo duro donde todo gira al compás del sacrosanto dólar, que es paradójicamente, el único medio para realizar lo sueños más subversivos y las empresas más enloquecidas. «Una narrativa tremendamente veloz, que te atrapa aunque no quieras» (Ramón de España, El País). «Un verdadero genio en su tratamiento irónico de la sociedad. Absolutamente nada escapa a su sarcasmo» (José Antonio Gurpegui, Abc). «Su mejor pieza» (Félix Romeo Pescador, Diario 16).

30 review for Hollywood

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey Keeten

    ”The racetrack was important to me because it allowed me to forget that I was supposed to be a writer. Writing was strange. I needed to write, it was like a disease, a drug, a heavy compulsion, yet I didn’t like to think of myself as a writer. Maybe I had met too many writers. They took more time disparaging each other than they did doing their work. They were fidgets, gossips, old maids; they bitched and knifed and they were full of vanity. Were these our creators? Was it always thus? Probably ”The racetrack was important to me because it allowed me to forget that I was supposed to be a writer. Writing was strange. I needed to write, it was like a disease, a drug, a heavy compulsion, yet I didn’t like to think of myself as a writer. Maybe I had met too many writers. They took more time disparaging each other than they did doing their work. They were fidgets, gossips, old maids; they bitched and knifed and they were full of vanity. Were these our creators? Was it always thus? Probably so. Maybe writing was a form of bitching. Some just bitched better than others.” Henry “Hank” Chinaski can’t believe he is still alive. His hard drinking, hard living contemporaries are all dead. He is the last barfly standing. He has simplified his life, married a good woman, cut down his drinking, quit eating sugar and red meat, and relaxes by going to the racetrack everyday. The diseased part of his life, the writing, is still there humming in the back of his brain, regardless of how much he drinks or how many horse races he watches. He has to write. ”I was hot with words.” After decades of being poor and ignored, he finally gets his chance when Hollywood comes calling and wants him to write a screenplay. He doesn’t write screenplays, but the money they are offering is outrageous. He decides he won’t write a great one, but he is quite capable of writing a good one. ”A bird flies, a snake crawls, I change typewriter ribbons.” There is no way to prepare for Hollywood. The movie is on. The movie is off. The egos, the pettiness, the illogical thinking, the extravagant gestures, the insecurities, and the constant upheaval is at first stressful for Hank, but as he starts to get his bearings the whole situation becomes more amusing. It really is no different than when he worked for the Post Office. His wife Sarah sums him up. ”Your greatest strength,” said Sarah, “is that you fear everything.” “I wish I’d said that.” There can be a certain serenity achieved when you finally realize that everything is to be feared, that nothing, nobody, and nowhere are safe. Death and pain can find you anywhere. Henry has experienced more than his share of disappointment, criticism, and loss, and now that he has finally scored a big financial hit... he is bemused. He has made enemies with his writing. ”My enemies are the source of half my income. They hate me so much that it becomes a subliminal love affair.” He never pulled any punches. The more people rail against his writing the more copies he sells. Women think he hates them, but it is much more complicated than that. He just doesn’t treat them any different that he treats anyone else. He talks about a novelist, someone not unlike himself, who he admires. ”What I liked best about him was that he had no fear of the feminists. He was one of the last defenders of maleness and balls in the U.S. This took guts. I wasn’t always pleased with his literary output but I wasn’t always pleased with mine either. “ ”The booze loosened those typewriter keys, gave them some spark and gamble.” Like the actor that does cocaine before a performance, or the stockbroker who takes speed before giving a million dollar pitch, or the car salesman who can only be who he feels he needs to be when he is on meth, Hank performs better, writes better, when he has been drinking...heavily. A large percentage of our population self-medicate for several different reasons, maybe to ward off depression, maybe to perform at a perceived higher level beyond ourselves, or maybe in an attempt to escape everything. Tune in. Tune out. We are forced to be someone other than ourselves for too many hours a day. Sometimes we need help to escape, and sometimes we need help finding ourselves again. Henry Chinaski is Charles Bukowski’s alter ego. Most, if not all, of Bukowski’s work is autobiographical, so whatever happens to Chinaski in some form or fashion probably happened to Bukowski. When Bukowski was approached by Hollywood to write a movie script, the result was the critically acclaimed movie Barfly (1987) starring Mickey Rourke. There is this poignant scene in the book where Henry and Sarah go to see the movie at the theater and arrive early, so they can see how many people come out of the theater from the early showing. One, Two, five, eleven, and on and on. I understand that need for validation. It is impossible to separate Bukowski from his books which is maybe why the criticism stings him more because those being critical aren’t judging his books or his characters, but judging him. If you’ve never read a Charles Bukowski, and you want to ease into his work, this is probably the best place to start. He isn’t as irreverent or crude or “misogynistic” or as perverse as his other books. You’ll meet a baffled survivor, unsure of why he has been given all this extra time and wondering how much more he is going to have to do. As long as he lives, he will have to write and that is exactly what Bukowski did. If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.com I also have a Facebook blogger page at: https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeeten

  2. 4 out of 5

    ميقات الراجحي

    Hollywood .. Hollywood .. People, streets and hustle, Hollywood .. Hollywood city / movie, eyes that know sleep in the morning. This is a city that must be seen on television and says: I was here and I know this street. رغم جمال السرد إلا أن هذا النص لم يكن ليـحتمل كل هذه الصفحات.. لولا اللغة الـفخمة لبوكفسكي لما كنت تحملت هذه الزيادات في الجمل والإفادة في القراءات الخاصة عن هوليود، ومع ذلك النص رائع. بوكوفسكي في هوليود أسعدني جدًا، وقد تعمق فيها ليخرج بغسيلها على الملأ قاصدًا ذلك "جئنا لنأخذ الغس Hollywood .. Hollywood .. People, streets and hustle, Hollywood .. Hollywood city / movie, eyes that know sleep in the morning. This is a city that must be seen on television and says: I was here and I know this street. رغم جمال السرد إلا أن هذا النص لم يكن ليـحتمل كل هذه الصفحات.. لولا اللغة الـفخمة لبوكفسكي لما كنت تحملت هذه الزيادات في الجمل والإفادة في القراءات الخاصة عن هوليود، ومع ذلك النص رائع. بوكوفسكي في هوليود أسعدني جدًا، وقد تعمق فيها ليخرج بغسيلها على الملأ قاصدًا ذلك "جئنا لنأخذ الغسيل" حسبما يقول.. يبحث في هوليود، مدينة السينما عملًا، لصناعة فيلم يكتبه "لن يكون طويلً" هكذا يقول لكنه "يراهن على روعته وجودته" ومن هنا يتوغل في هذا المدينة الفخمة في كل شيء ويرى نجومها وصنّاع وهجها الذي لا ينطفي. من زار هوليود سيعرف الكثير من تفاصيل هذه الرواية. مدينة صاخبة وعبارة عن فيلم متحرك هكذا شاهدتها في (2010م) لكن ميزة هوليود بوكوفسكي أو هوليود هنري تشيناسكي -البطل هي حياته في قمة وهجها. وبالمناسبة الفيلم يمثل حياة بوكوفسكي وتحديدًا في لوس انجليس، وبعيدًا عن الفيلم – الذي هو حقيقة – عني المؤلف بمناقشة وكشف هوليود من الداخل باسلوب سردي جميل، وأقل إنفعالية من لهجته في "مكتب البريد" و "نساء"، هذا غير حديثه عن الحياة من خلف الكواليس. ناهيك عن روعة حديثه عن لوس أنجلوس أكثر من هوليود نفسها في هذا النص وشوارعها وحاناتها. فوق ملاحظاته عن الفن والسينما والنساء والخمر والفوضى التي يعيشها. لاشك عندي وقد تبقي لي الجزء الـ(6) من رواياته والأخير أن أقول أن هذا الرواية من أفضل أعمال بوكوفسكي وأحببتها أكثر من "مكتب البريد" حتى. من يقرأ هذا النص أو لنقل هذا الجزء من سيرته ويجد كمية الغضب والرفض فليعلم أن هذا لا شيء أمام أعماله السابقة، ووجدت كذلك تتبع طريقة كتابته عن حياته القذرة أنها في حقيقة الأمر تتكرر فلم أجد فيها جديد (السكر العربدة النساء الفوضى الهمجية) لا جديد لكنها أقل مما مضى. حيث كان جل تركيزه على نقد وتشريح هوليود السينما / وهوليود الناس. ـــــ الفيلم الذي يتناول بوكوفسي سرده في الرواية والذي خرج للنور هو : Barfl 1987 American comedy drama film directed by Barbet Schroeder and starring Mickey Rourke and Faye Dunaway.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rachael

    I loved this book. See a lot of 'eh' reviews. Have no idea if it's my own involvement in film, writing and Los Angeles of the past that makes this tale a spark of real life. I believe it's the writing alone that does it. This is Bukowski as Bukowski, not 'Hank'. 'Hollywood' was and still is a pleasure to read. A must have for any screen writer, rags to riches bum, alcoholic literary being, or the real reason to read Buk or Fante.. the Clean Line. It's the story of 'Barfly' (a Bukowski book) and the I loved this book. See a lot of 'eh' reviews. Have no idea if it's my own involvement in film, writing and Los Angeles of the past that makes this tale a spark of real life. I believe it's the writing alone that does it. This is Bukowski as Bukowski, not 'Hank'. 'Hollywood' was and still is a pleasure to read. A must have for any screen writer, rags to riches bum, alcoholic literary being, or the real reason to read Buk or Fante.. the Clean Line. It's the story of 'Barfly' (a Bukowski book) and the making of that film. It starred Mickey O'Rourke. Bukowski had such a wonderful time seeing the project through and it shows in this work. It is a peek into the real life of an icon. Seems readers either love him or hate him. I met him in a bar, in Long Beach in the very early 80's, and thought that he was a consummate asshole. Based on a personal experience I refused to read any more of his work and filled myself with righteous indignation. What an ass. Me. Not Buk. The man could write. Hollywood is a personal story, filled with the real feelings and observations of an author finally revered for their work. Finally taken seriously. Finally able to let his personal side and thoughts of his life come out. It is quite different than any of his other writings. Well, so was Pulp. Pulp however... was pretty damned bad Bukowski. Hollywood! Dig it babies.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tom Steele

    If you read this book you really should see the movie Barfly, which is the movie Bukowski talks about in this book. The book has a ton of references to that film here as well as references to his life before recognition. It is easily the tamest Bukowski I've ever read and to be honest it was almost awkward at times just how subdued he managed to be. Therefore, it is somewhat ironic that it deals with the film which chronicles him as a scrappy young drunk but it is also interesting to see how mu If you read this book you really should see the movie Barfly, which is the movie Bukowski talks about in this book. The book has a ton of references to that film here as well as references to his life before recognition. It is easily the tamest Bukowski I've ever read and to be honest it was almost awkward at times just how subdued he managed to be. Therefore, it is somewhat ironic that it deals with the film which chronicles him as a scrappy young drunk but it is also interesting to see how much he's changed and how we find that he would like to return to those moments of drunken violence, despite their inherent negativity and self-destruction. That theme is consistent with vintage Bukowski which is finding something worthwhile where nobody else seems to be able to find it and that is why he's relevant. Overall I would only recommend this to Bukowski fans and only to those who have either I) seen the movie Barfly or II) read his earlier works (of which I recommend [i]Ham on Rye[/i] the most). The reason for number II is that if this is the first Bukowski you read you will get a first impression which is not accurate and is, in my opinion, very watered down. You have the core of what Bukowski does -- drinks, watches the horses run, writes, takes shots at cultural trends/phenomena, etc. -- but you don't have the authority of his earlier, more desperate work.

  5. 5 out of 5

    David Schaafsma

    I finished listening to Ham on Rye by Bukowski and just jumped right into this one, a later one and not so great, but still pretty hilarious at times about his experience with Hollywood in the writing of the screenplay for and the making of Barfly: “What will you do?" "Oh, hell, I'll write a novel about writing the screenplay and making the movie." "What are you going to call it?" "Hollywood." "Hollywood?" "Yes. . ." The working class Bukowski almost predictably skewers pretentious Hollywood types ala I finished listening to Ham on Rye by Bukowski and just jumped right into this one, a later one and not so great, but still pretty hilarious at times about his experience with Hollywood in the writing of the screenplay for and the making of Barfly: “What will you do?" "Oh, hell, I'll write a novel about writing the screenplay and making the movie." "What are you going to call it?" "Hollywood." "Hollywood?" "Yes. . ." The working class Bukowski almost predictably skewers pretentious Hollywood types ala Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing, but Buk can't really mask how much pleasure the whole process of making the movie was for him. He loves Mickey Rourke in this movie, just loves him. This is a Henry Chinaski novel, autobiographical fiction, but the story is hardly masked, just changing the names to protect the ridiculous, since most people know he made the movie. Hijinks abound, though I like the young, completely berserk and down and out Bukowski to the 65-year-old Bukowski still playing the role, tempered by his wife Sarah. He is still drinking, of course, (Sarah has him on wine now) the true barfly versus the faux Hollywood barflies.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Dane Cobain

    I’ve been kind of saving this one because it was the only Bukowski novel that I hadn’t read. But then I saw Paperback Junky on YouTube talking about Bukowski and it made me want to pick it up and tick it off. It was worth the wait. If you’ve read Bukowski before and you’re familiar with his history then you’ll even be able to tie this book back to the events that it covers. Bukowski wrote the autobiographical screenplay for a movie called Barfly starring Mickey Rourke and Faye Dunaway, and this n I’ve been kind of saving this one because it was the only Bukowski novel that I hadn’t read. But then I saw Paperback Junky on YouTube talking about Bukowski and it made me want to pick it up and tick it off. It was worth the wait. If you’ve read Bukowski before and you’re familiar with his history then you’ll even be able to tie this book back to the events that it covers. Bukowski wrote the autobiographical screenplay for a movie called Barfly starring Mickey Rourke and Faye Dunaway, and this novel basically covers the period of his life around the writing of the screenplay, the shooting of the movie and its eventual release. Of course, we’re also told all of this through the persona of Hank Chinaski, and Bukowski has always blurred the lines between fact and fiction in his work. Nevertheless, if you’re interested in his unique style of writing or if you want an honest book about Hollywood life then you’re going to enjoy this one, and if you haven’t watched the film then it’ll increase your enjoyment if you watch it after reading the book. All in all, I enjoyed this book just as much as I expected to, and that’s saying something because I went into it with high expectations. I probably wouldn’t recommend it as your first Bukowski novel because it’d work best if you read them in chronological order, but I read them out of order and still loved it. It was excellent.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sorin Hadârcă

    It starts as a prank, not to be taken seriously. But it gets better and better and by the time it’s closing to the end, some of the finest lines kick through.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Yair Ben-Zvi

    I have a soft spot for Bukowski, have had one since my days in community college and the early days of my time at university. That being said, I wouldn't call him a "great" author with the likes of Shakespeare, Kafka, Joyce, but, in an odd way, I don't think he was ever "meant" to be one of those kinds of authors. And no one seemed more honest about this than Buk himself. He dedicated his last book "Pulp" "to bad writing" (or something to that effect) and on his gravestone itself are inscribed t I have a soft spot for Bukowski, have had one since my days in community college and the early days of my time at university. That being said, I wouldn't call him a "great" author with the likes of Shakespeare, Kafka, Joyce, but, in an odd way, I don't think he was ever "meant" to be one of those kinds of authors. And no one seemed more honest about this than Buk himself. He dedicated his last book "Pulp" "to bad writing" (or something to that effect) and on his gravestone itself are inscribed the words "Don't Try". This isn't to say that the man wasn't arrogant, and perhaps a bullshitter in the leagues of Mailer or Hemingway, far from it. I fell in love with the Romantic life he regularly depicted in his novels and poems not knowing (or not wanting to know) how much of it was true and how much of it might have been nonsense exaggeration about a class of people that life decided to lean on. It was Bukowski's world equally demarcated (or perhaps not) between searing honesty and bullshit boasting of a sad and angry man. But, that considered, it can be said that in a sense, you could call Bukowksi's oeuvre young boy's adventure literature...for men in their twenties wanting desperately to experience something beyond sheltered suburbia. But Bukowksi had and still has something in his writing that many other (even ostensibly superior) writers lack. It's hard to put a label on what it is. Part of it is his incredible sense of place. He writes about Los Angeles in a way that no other writer, native to LA or not, has been able to. Under Buk's pen it's a city at once home and alienating, full of possibility and yet bereft of all hope of change or progress. It's less a city and more a confluence of shadows and lights, not much there, until there is. Added to this, was Buk's ability to delineate and describe despair in a way that was almost heroic. True, sometimes his writing smacked of overreaching, riding off into cliche every now and again (Hollywood is no exception) but overall Buk had a mastery of the dour and frustrating, the angst ridden and the despairing, in a way reminiscent of an almost messier and less transcendent Kafka. But now on to the book itself. Hollywood was Bukowski's penultimate novel, written about the time when the film "Barfly" was being created (with Bukowski's penning the screenplay) essentially telling the story of Charles Bukowski. The story is pure Buk, lots of drinking, swearing, ribald jokes and generally wry observations about the human condition and the madness of artistry, any artistry. The book isn't one of Buk's best, but it's still very good. Most of the characters are peripheral to "Hank" which makes sense given the character of both "the character" and the author writing him. However, the character "Sarah" (Henry's wife) gets the worst of this treatment as she seems less a character and more a female helper to Hank with little to no actual personality. But where the book scores big is with Bukowski's rendering of tone. I won't bullshit you and say that Bukowksi could "sense his end was near" but there's a relaxed tone of acceptance, humor, and a marked decrease in the fury and despair of the Bukowski of "Factotum" and "Post Office". The dirty old man has found something akin to peace, if not happiness. So, read it, it's good, and goes down like a smooth shot. Hell, go see "Barfly" too, it's very 80's and Mickey Rourke is insanely over the top but much like Bukowski, he's good in such a way that even his fuck-ups are worth seeing, witnessing, and experiencing.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    Hollywood is a thinly-veiled first-person account of Charles Bukowski's encounter with the Hollywood film world during the writing, financing, casting, production, promotion, and premiere of Barfly. In a 1987 interview on a Barfly set with Roger Ebert, Bukowski briefly sets the scene leading up tp the the novel's opening: http://www.rogerebert.com/interviews/... "I picked up this phone one day and it was (Director Barbet) Schroeder calling from Paris. I'm drinking, I hung up. Never heard of him. Y Hollywood is a thinly-veiled first-person account of Charles Bukowski's encounter with the Hollywood film world during the writing, financing, casting, production, promotion, and premiere of Barfly. In a 1987 interview on a Barfly set with Roger Ebert, Bukowski briefly sets the scene leading up tp the the novel's opening: http://www.rogerebert.com/interviews/... "I picked up this phone one day and it was (Director Barbet) Schroeder calling from Paris. I'm drinking, I hung up. Never heard of him. You meet a lot of phonies. I hang up, he calls back, he wants me to write a movie for him. I tell him I hate movies. He mentions $20,000. I ask him when he's coming over." Bukowski, in his usual guise as Henry Chinaski, reports the goings on with almost anthropological detachment - almost because he is both repelled and fascinated by Hollywood’s upper crust. HE notes on the first page that the inhabitants of Marina del Ray (“Sailboat Lane”): "in their special sailing clothes, caps, (and) dark shades… had apparently escaped the daily grind of life”: “we have just landed on the outpost of death. My soul is puking” says Buk to companion Sarah. Soon Bukowski’s revulsion is replaced by sardonic amusement as he hits up hosts and associates for red wine at every opportunity. His would-be friends are only too willing to accommodate. It’s been some years since I read Hollywood, so I resorted to Amazon’s LOOK HERE! preview. Bukowski’s dry humor – often self-deprecating – is apparent early on. The prose and circumstances are so delicious that the reader WANTS it to be non-fiction – WANTS the glossy movie people to be that facile and self-involved – WANTS Bukowski to be that self-possessed (even though in the final analysis he’ll do damn near anything for another bottle.) By the second chapter, Buk decides that to be a scold will soon wear thin so he decides to see something of the likeable real selves beneath the shiny veneers worn by his newly introduced intimates. At this point it’s fair to note that the look, production values, and extremely limited distribution on first release indicates that Barfly was an “independent” film. IMDB backs this up with its estimated $3-million budget matched by an equally small $3-million box office figure. The point is that Hollywood is not A-List anthropology – it’s rather a glimpse a of somewhat less-rarified film world that comingles wealth with insecurity. Money is scarce, promises are broken, new friendships are easy to make and easier to break. Dejection alternates with elation as a busted deal is replaced by a new transitory pledge to support the film. Bukowski’s devotees claim that Hollywood is not “his best”, but I’ll say that my reacquaintance compels me to find a copy and relish it once again.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Karky

    I had a Chuck Bukowski kick back in 2004. I moved out of my father's house the year prior, inadvertently isolated myself from most of my friends, got a soul-draining job in retail, and fallen into a bit of depression (which hardly anyone noticed). Though I hardly remember what I read, it spoke to me because I was in a toxic environment and Bukowski wrote with an honest intensity that was lacking in my life at the time. This is the only Bukowski book that stuck with me, and only because of a chara I had a Chuck Bukowski kick back in 2004. I moved out of my father's house the year prior, inadvertently isolated myself from most of my friends, got a soul-draining job in retail, and fallen into a bit of depression (which hardly anyone noticed). Though I hardly remember what I read, it spoke to me because I was in a toxic environment and Bukowski wrote with an honest intensity that was lacking in my life at the time. This is the only Bukowski book that stuck with me, and only because of a character by the name of François Racine. François was in show business as an actor or director or something. He moved to Harlem with a business partner where François raised chickens. Between the chickens and the message on his answering machine, I cracked up laughing. In fact, I wanted to put his message on MY answering machine, but Sulu wouldn't let me. It probably wouldn't have sounded as great as a raving mad Frenchman, anyway.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Justin

    Incredible book about an old mans look back on his unapologetic alcoholic life

  12. 4 out of 5

    André

    Hollywood delivers another riveting tale about Chinaski's life. This novel depicts Henry's experiences of working with a French director and writing a screenplay for a movie, Barfly. Barfly, the movie that was written by Bukowski, portrays the author's drunken life. Our beloved author is starting to see the weight of his age, and, for that reason, it's possible to see a more wasted and passive Bukowski. It's that detail that's going to guide the author's mischief adventure through the Hollywood w Hollywood delivers another riveting tale about Chinaski's life. This novel depicts Henry's experiences of working with a French director and writing a screenplay for a movie, Barfly. Barfly, the movie that was written by Bukowski, portrays the author's drunken life. Our beloved author is starting to see the weight of his age, and, for that reason, it's possible to see a more wasted and passive Bukowski. It's that detail that's going to guide the author's mischief adventure through the Hollywood world. For that reason, all the characters are taken from real life cinema people. It can be either real life actors and directors or editors and producers. The reader will see himself tangled in a fiction and strange world that portrays and mocks the silver screen world. Reading this novel is like watching the backstage of the cinema industry world, while listening to the LA Woman song by The Doors. Rating: 4/5 stars

  13. 4 out of 5

    Elona

    Charles Bukowski and Stanley Kubrick shared a favorite film: David Lynch’s Eraserhead. Kubrick begged Lynch to tell him how he made the strange baby in the film, but Lynch refused. Mel Brooks, after watching Eraserhead, grabbed David Lynch by the shoulders and said, “You’re a madman, I love you.” “Some people never go crazy,” wrote Bukowski, “what truly horrible lives they must lead.” Mel Brooks later hired Lynch to direct the Elephant Man, a story of alienation and rejection, of an outcasted an Charles Bukowski and Stanley Kubrick shared a favorite film: David Lynch’s Eraserhead. Kubrick begged Lynch to tell him how he made the strange baby in the film, but Lynch refused. Mel Brooks, after watching Eraserhead, grabbed David Lynch by the shoulders and said, “You’re a madman, I love you.” “Some people never go crazy,” wrote Bukowski, “what truly horrible lives they must lead.” Mel Brooks later hired Lynch to direct the Elephant Man, a story of alienation and rejection, of an outcasted and lonely person, not unlike the life and works of Charles Bukowski. David Lynch and Charles Bukowski met on the set of Barfly, a film Bukowski had written based on his life. He later wrote Hollywood, a novel based on his experiences making the film. In Barfly, Hank Chinaski, Bukowski’s fictional stand in, was played by Mickey Rourke. Chinaski was almost played by Bukowski’s friend Sean Penn but he pulled out when his choice of director, Dennis Hopper, was refused. All of this was captured in Bukowski’s novel, Hollywood, where Mickey Rourke was “Jack Blesdoe,” Dennis Hopper was “Mack Austin,” Sean Penn was “Tom Pell,” and Sean Penn’s girlfriend, Madonna, was “Ramona.” Bukowski and Madonna hated each other, each finding the other phony. In the book, “Romona” reminded “Chinaski” of every crazy woman he’d ever dated. Dennis Hopper starred in David Lynch’s Blue Velvet; he also acted in Apocalypse Now, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, who was a silent investor on Barfly. Francis Ford Coppola, in the novel, Hollywood, was called “Frances Ford Lopalla.” On one page in the book Chinaski is visited on set by “Manz Loeb” and “Rosalind Bonelli,” known in real life as David Lynch and Isabella Rossellini. And breathe.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sara Mesuras

    3,5* "The poem has some value, believe me. It keeps you from going totally mad." "Writing was never work for me. It had been the same for as long as I could remember: turn on the radio to a classical music station, light a cigarette or a cigar, open the bottle. The typer did the rest. All I had to do was be there. The whole process allowed me to continue when life itself offered very little, when life itself was a horror show. There was always the typer to soothe me, to talk to me, to entertain me 3,5* "The poem has some value, believe me. It keeps you from going totally mad." "Writing was never work for me. It had been the same for as long as I could remember: turn on the radio to a classical music station, light a cigarette or a cigar, open the bottle. The typer did the rest. All I had to do was be there. The whole process allowed me to continue when life itself offered very little, when life itself was a horror show. There was always the typer to soothe me, to talk to me, to entertain me, to save my ass. Basically that's why I wrote: to save my ass, to save my ass from the madhouse, from the streets, from myself."

  15. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    I'm not sure when the average reader finds out that the book is a painfully obvious autobiography of Bukowski's life. But after looking at some of his other work, it's probably painful just to read that first sentence; most (a lot? all? I don't know) of Bukowski's work is autobiographical. The concept of this book is best done as a short story, and it really is - don't let the amount of pages fool you. It's a simple read with nothing of a poetic nature. It's as if you're reading a part of Bukows I'm not sure when the average reader finds out that the book is a painfully obvious autobiography of Bukowski's life. But after looking at some of his other work, it's probably painful just to read that first sentence; most (a lot? all? I don't know) of Bukowski's work is autobiographical. The concept of this book is best done as a short story, and it really is - don't let the amount of pages fool you. It's a simple read with nothing of a poetic nature. It's as if you're reading a part of Bukowski's journal about that one time a screenplay of his was going to be a movie. It's plain of any poetry, but yet there's enough pacing to keep you reading until its ending tasting of tang. And of course, the best part of the book is the renaming of the celebrities and figuring who's who (I've felt proud about getting Manz Loeb!). In short, if you're looking for a nice, easy porch/beach read about a story that you almost hear orally from someone else, this is it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Noah Hertz

    Okay my real rating is a 3.5 but goodreads is dumb. I was in the library on my college campus looking for something by William Burroughs but not being able to find it, I walked over to the shelf next to it which had BUKOWSKI. I knew the name, didn't know anything by him, and Hollywood was the biggest and most colorful one so that's what I went with! I didn't find the subject matter to be all that interesting and I was entirely unfamiliar with the movie that the book's about, but I enjoyed Bukows Okay my real rating is a 3.5 but goodreads is dumb. I was in the library on my college campus looking for something by William Burroughs but not being able to find it, I walked over to the shelf next to it which had BUKOWSKI. I knew the name, didn't know anything by him, and Hollywood was the biggest and most colorful one so that's what I went with! I didn't find the subject matter to be all that interesting and I was entirely unfamiliar with the movie that the book's about, but I enjoyed Bukowski's writing and I flew through the book. Bukowski (sorry, Chinaski) is just a bitter old drunk, and while I tend to find those kinds of characters intolerable I found him to be slightly more interesting than intolerable. All in all, if you're bored and like Hollywood, give Hollywood a read. It's got a good sense of humor, interesting characters (and it's fun to try and guess who their real life counterparts are), and it's meta enough to yield a few "oh hey!" moments.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Will

    Probably the best I can say about Bukowski is that you get what you expect. That's both praise and diminution. The art of his books is that they can inject his ego directly into your mind. When he's thrilled, your thrilled. When he's disgusted, so are you. The salvation of Hollywood is that most of the time he's bemused and curious. As plans go awry and the world upends, he's playing with a cat---"The cat liked to chase this piece of string." Of course, that's the extent of it all. There's no de Probably the best I can say about Bukowski is that you get what you expect. That's both praise and diminution. The art of his books is that they can inject his ego directly into your mind. When he's thrilled, your thrilled. When he's disgusted, so are you. The salvation of Hollywood is that most of the time he's bemused and curious. As plans go awry and the world upends, he's playing with a cat---"The cat liked to chase this piece of string." Of course, that's the extent of it all. There's no deep meaning, no literary thesis, and I find it hard to support Bukowski's ego for very long. After the book, one needs to cleanse the viscera and reset the mind. That said, I would whole heartedly recommend Hollywood to anyone planning to make their claim in the movie industry. Good luck.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Golshan Tabatabaie

    “Why did you write this movie?” “When I write something I never think about why.” I think I've read too much Bukowski! Is it possible? Is it the reason why I didn't enjoy this book? So his works have become so normal and ordinary for me? Because I know his style and I'm used to it? Whatever the reason is, Hollywood is my least favourite book of him. Sadly, this book wasn't for me.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Tom Stamper

    This is the fictionalized version of Bukowski's experience making the film, Barfly. The people are re-named but most are not too hard to decipher if you are familiar with the film. Wikipedia helped me with the others. You can tell that Bukowski loved Barbet Schroeder, who is heroic despite the eccentricities. The Hollywood people all have their own quirks as you would expect. It's all played through Bukowski's alter ego, Henry Chinanski. I started this saga in January and I'm sad to see it end w This is the fictionalized version of Bukowski's experience making the film, Barfly. The people are re-named but most are not too hard to decipher if you are familiar with the film. Wikipedia helped me with the others. You can tell that Bukowski loved Barbet Schroeder, who is heroic despite the eccentricities. The Hollywood people all have their own quirks as you would expect. It's all played through Bukowski's alter ego, Henry Chinanski. I started this saga in January and I'm sad to see it end with this book. I'm not sure why an apolitical hedonist's observations about life are so intriguing. It's most likely the deceptively simple writing style and the honesty with which he sees himself. He doesn't blame drink for his problems. He sees drink as an escape from the doldrums of life. Playing the horses does the same thing for him. He probably does more explaining how he plays the horses here than in any of the other books and it's very intuitive system, it relies on books of past performances and a computer mind. If you can read a Daily Racing Form it's quite interesting how he sees it. He doesn't let the movie get in the way of his horse playing. He spends 5 days a week at Hollywood Park and the other 2 on the movie set. Sean Penn and Mickey Rourke were both up for the main part. Years later they would both be nominated for Best Actor and Penn would give a nod to Rourke in his acceptance speech. If you believe the book Penn would have played the character if Bukowski had let Dennis Hopper direct it. Hopper probably would have been good, but Bukowski was loyal to Schroeder who willed the film into existence. Bukowski seems to be back and forth as to whether he likes what Rourke did with the character, although all of their conversations are cordial and Rourke is quite deferential to the writer. His description of Faye Dunaway as an aging actress making her comeback must have hurt her to read. She is very image conscious here as you would expect from most Hollywood actors. You figure it's partly her career savvy. She asks Bukowski to write a scene where she can show off her legs. She doesn't bother to show up for any of the festivities unless the media is there. There is much calculation to her although it never comes through in conversation. Roger Ebert makes a cameo appearance on the film set. Werner Herzog, David, Lynch, and Isabella Rossellini also show up through the process. The book is a little piece of film history weaved into the Chinanski saga. I enjoyed it for both reasons.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    The next time someone suggests that any of my novels should be adapted into a film, I should toss this book at their head like a move from a Krazy Kat comic. Bukowski's wry, witty comedy of absurd goings-on through this roman a clef tale based on the making of the film 'Barfly' exposes the entire process from his alcoholic drunk point of view. He and his patient wife endure producer after producer, divas, deceptive executives and mildly admiring fans. Yes, his self/narrator is a bit of a jerk, b The next time someone suggests that any of my novels should be adapted into a film, I should toss this book at their head like a move from a Krazy Kat comic. Bukowski's wry, witty comedy of absurd goings-on through this roman a clef tale based on the making of the film 'Barfly' exposes the entire process from his alcoholic drunk point of view. He and his patient wife endure producer after producer, divas, deceptive executives and mildly admiring fans. Yes, his self/narrator is a bit of a jerk, but he shares a naive perspective on a bloated insane process, and the glint of glamour that a film's completion provides for what is frequently dubbed the least important, yet of course most important, part of a film story; the writer. Much of the text is blunt, dryly funny, with some insightful poetic passages, as well as some questionable tips on horse racing.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Cátia Vieira

    Well, I finished Hollywood (1989) by Charles Bukowski yesterday! And, let me be up front about something: I am a HUGE FAN of Bukowski!! This novel is a Roman à clef since it’s inspired in real people and real events. In Hollywood, Bukowski fictionalizes his experiences as the screenwriter of the movie Barfly. I must admit I find the idea of writing a book about a moment where you were writing a screenplay about your books really cool!! Only Bukowski could think of such a thing! It was funny to r Well, I finished Hollywood (1989) by Charles Bukowski yesterday! And, let me be up front about something: I am a HUGE FAN of Bukowski!! This novel is a Roman à clef since it’s inspired in real people and real events. In Hollywood, Bukowski fictionalizes his experiences as the screenwriter of the movie Barfly. I must admit I find the idea of writing a book about a moment where you were writing a screenplay about your books really cool!! Only Bukowski could think of such a thing! It was funny to read about Jon-Luc Modard whilst picturing Jean-Luc Godard! This novel isn’t brilliant and it’s not one of his best books but it’s Bukowski! Always inspiring. For more reviews, follow me on Instagram: @booksturnyouon

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    "I hate those people, they are so phony" then we had a drink, "I hate those people, they are so phony" then we had a drink, "I hate those people, they are so phony" then we had a drink, "I hate those people, they are so phony" then we had a drink, "I hate those people, they are so phony" then we had a drink. -That about sums up the book.

  23. 4 out of 5

    LATOYA JOVENA

    This is the story of the creation of the movie 'Barfly.' I definitely have to see the movie now. I found myself laughing out loud more than once. Chinaski has made it now, but nothing has changed but his zip code.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Arthur Hoyle

    Bukowski's take on making the movie Barfly with Mickey Rourke. Funny.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Eslam

    Bukowski at his best! Chinaski, struggling against his misery with alcohol, presents his life to you as honest and dishonest as it might get. He was warned, long time ago, that if he drinks more alcohol, he dies. (Just like an extremely cold scientific fact). But there he is, drinking all the time and death just stops. Not making a move towards him. Chinaski's heart is roaring with nihilism, loss of authentic meaning in life and, not caring so much, he lived longer. He just needed Sarah to earn m Bukowski at his best! Chinaski, struggling against his misery with alcohol, presents his life to you as honest and dishonest as it might get. He was warned, long time ago, that if he drinks more alcohol, he dies. (Just like an extremely cold scientific fact). But there he is, drinking all the time and death just stops. Not making a move towards him. Chinaski's heart is roaring with nihilism, loss of authentic meaning in life and, not caring so much, he lived longer. He just needed Sarah to earn more years for living. I wonder when my Sarah will come. Maybe she is not even here. I was diagnosed with psychosomatic pain for two years now and still going on (Following the successive death of my mom and friend/professor, Ali Mabrook). I still smoke and drink. Of course I am told no to do all that. Yet I still have life in me. Chinaski is here, right next to me. We don't talk much. We gaze forward at nothing and we smile. We know we will not stay here forever. We might never meet again. We drink to that. Yeah baby!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Arcadia

    Hmm, I wish I could give a 2.5 as a review. The dirty realism with which Bukowski's writes gets overbearingly simple at times, and as character John Galt says to Bukowski's alter ego Chinaski, 'Your stuff wil always sell. A child can read it.' It shows the degenerate side of Hollywood expertely, repelling, conceited, not at all glamorous. I will be reading more Bukowski, the book sparked the flame of interest within me, I'll give it that.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jackson

    Hollywood sees Bukowski at his tamest. He appreciates a good red wine and enjoys spending time with his wife and cats. The surrounding cast of producers, actors, directors and hangers-on provide most of the crazy in their efforts to make a movie about his life. Perhaps as a consequence of this, the novel also sees him at his most human. The novel offers the perfect playground for Bukowski to indulge his oft stated contempt for Hollywood and its superficialities, and he tries, but for all his eff Hollywood sees Bukowski at his tamest. He appreciates a good red wine and enjoys spending time with his wife and cats. The surrounding cast of producers, actors, directors and hangers-on provide most of the crazy in their efforts to make a movie about his life. Perhaps as a consequence of this, the novel also sees him at his most human. The novel offers the perfect playground for Bukowski to indulge his oft stated contempt for Hollywood and its superficialities, and he tries, but for all his efforts he can't hide the fact that he's just as insanely humbled and excited as anyone would be in his position. There's a real tension that runs through the novel. On the one hand there's a dismissive wave given to Hollywood as Bukowski gruffly reminds us at every given opportunity that his only interest is in "typing" and playing the horses. But this becomes progressively more half-hearted as Bukowski recounts with tenderness his debt of gratitude toward Barbet Schroeder ('Jon Pinchot'), his excitement at seeing his scenes come up on film, and his sadness when the ride inevitably comes to an end. The passage where Chinaski farewells 'Jack Bledsoe' (aka Mickey Rourke) for the last time after the film wraps is beautiful. Rourke would describe Buk as "OK, for a drunk" a decade later, but it's clear that they had a strong sense of mutual respect and admiration here. It throws Buk/Chinaski into relief as an old guy finally having the time of his life after decades of bitter struggle. Dare I say, it's heart warming. I'd say the man might be turning in his grave right now but I'm sure that, wherever he is, he's not reading Goodreads reviews.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sydney

    Charles Bukowski’s Hollywood wasn’t as good as I was expecting. I’ve read one of his poem collections before, and this book mirrors the sarcasm and aloofness with man-kind that I found in those poems. I enjoyed his characters the most, especially Francois Racine, a gambling, eccentric, alcoholic Frenchmen who is friends with the main character (and Bukowski’s alias) Chinaski. The storyline flowed, but since it was based off his actual life experiences, it had kind of a chronological feel to it w Charles Bukowski’s Hollywood wasn’t as good as I was expecting. I’ve read one of his poem collections before, and this book mirrors the sarcasm and aloofness with man-kind that I found in those poems. I enjoyed his characters the most, especially Francois Racine, a gambling, eccentric, alcoholic Frenchmen who is friends with the main character (and Bukowski’s alias) Chinaski. The storyline flowed, but since it was based off his actual life experiences, it had kind of a chronological feel to it which I didn’t like. It told happenings instead of a story. I heard quite a few times that Hollywood wasn’t Bukowski’s best work, so I’ll be sure to pick up more of his novels this year.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Faith-Anne

    I heard a lot of good reviews about Hollywood. I'm a fan of Bukowski's poetry, but somehow this novel just didn't hold the magic that his poetry contains.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sophia

    Didn't enjoy it extraordinarily well until the end. Pretty funny but no where near Post Office good.

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