Factotum (Charles Bukowski): Book Review

What’s the book about?

As the book cover reads,

Fac.to.tum (n): A man who never had a job he liked; and never kept a job he had.

factotum- book cover
factotum- book cover

The book is about the lead character Henry Chinaski (yeah, you can guess the traits of the book’s protagonist), and his drunken journey from one job to another, whilst not leaving his tag of ‘womaniser’ in between.

This book is about survival; survival of an asshole amidst his life’s existential crisis.

Henry Chinaski keeps changing jobs from time to time, working overtime while being underpaid; and showing the reader how a dull job can suck your life out.

The book is not about a sad/happy beginning or a sad/happy ending; it’s about the journey: the journey of Henry Chinaski.


Quick Review

Character sketch- 4.5/5

Plot- 4.5/5

Writing Style 5/5

Connection with the reader- 5/5

Overall- 4.5/5

(Only if you like Bukowski, otherwise it’s 3-3.5)


Why should you try Bukowski?

Bukowski was a drunkard. A playboy. An asshole.


he was a wonderful writer. He had guts to write the truth. Most of his works are semi-fiction.

You can’t copy him. His writings are spontaneous. Then, how do you write like Bukowski?

Get Drunk. Get drunker. Write. Edit a little while sober.

And, there you go. That’s it.

Recommendations- Try Bukowski’s poems “if you’re gonna try, go all the way” and “you don’t know what love is”

Charles Bukowski had influenced a lot of poets. And, he keeps on influencing poets till date.

Read about him, and you’ll know why.

Amazon link- http://amzn.to/2zYUbsu


Rant about Factotum (2005) movie

The movie is shit. Real shit.

While the casting is superb and the pace is decent, the movie failed to justify the portrayal of the book.

The ending of the movie, with background music of “If you’re gonna try” poem was one of the best things.


if the book is 4.5/5, the movie is not more than 2.5/5.

I couldn’t get a better start to my reading in 2018.


Thank you!

Dipanshu Rawal.






Charles Bukowski

1 thought on “Factotum (Charles Bukowski): Book Review”

  1. Pingback: 16 Best Books I Read in 2018 | Dipanshu Rawal

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