This was a reread for me, so I knew what I was getting myself into. Nevertheless, Bukowski never bores, no matter how many times I read his stories.
Ham on Rye is a quintessential tale of an angry young man. What sets this one apart is the fact that he has a plenty to be angry about. Bukowski's writing is always a breath of fresh air amid pretentious novels dealing with a similar subject. What sets him apart is hard to classify. His language is plain, his grammar sparse but perfect, and there is a certain raw quality to his earlier works that many tried to replicate while missing the mark completely. There was only one Bukowski. He did not give a damn, and I thank him for it.
His writing is certainly not for everyone. It is a crude mumbling of a disinterested, detached individual who could not care less about the rest of the world. Yet, there is beauty. A beauty in the simplicity, a beauty between the lines, an unconstrained beauty that runs amok in the street while avoiding getting stained by the garbage surrounding it.
Reading Bukowski makes me want to write. It makes me want to express myself, to share my thoughts with the world. Reading Bukowski is, in a way, liberating.