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Bukowski's alter ego, Henry Chinaski, returns, revelling in his eternal penchant for booze, women, and horse-racing as he makes the precarious journey from poet to screenwriter. Based on Bukowski's experiences when working on the film Barfly, the absurdity and egotism of the film industry are laid bare in this deadpan, touching, and funny glimpse into the endless negotiations and back-stabbings of la-la land. Hollywood is an irreverent jaunt that serves up the beating heart of Hollywood with razor-sharp humour.
Hollywood is Dirty Old Man Bukowski at his most lucid. It overflows with curses, sex, and alcohol. And through it all, or from it all, Bukowski finds flashes of truth about the human condition.
Bukowski ( The Roominghouse Madrigals ) has written over 30 books of poetry and fiction in which he uses the persona of the artistic bum with reasonable success. In this flimsy novel, Henry Chinaski is asked to write a screenplay, and thus Bukowski continues his thinly disguised autobiography (Bukowski himself wrote the screenplay for the recent, self-referential Barfly ). When all the Hollywood types Chinaski encounters--directors, lawyers, producers, actors, actresses--fit the same drunken-outcast-but-artistic-genius mold, Bukowski seems to have exhausted his resourcefulness. His characters lose their individuality and the novel lacks force and perspective. This book deteriorates into juvenile satire in which familiar, real-life figures appear with the letters of their names shifted slightly: the famous director Jon-Luc Modard, the philosopher Jean-Paul Sanrah, Frances Ford Lopalla and an obvious Norman Mailer stand-in called Victor Norman.