Best Charles Bukowski Quotes from the Novel Factotum

bukowski factotum quotes

Picking the best Factotum quotes was no easy task. Picking the best Charles Bukowski quotes in any work is tough. The man could write.

The novel, which was the second written by Charles Bukowski, was published in 1975.

It was preceded by the novel Post Office (1971), and followed by the novels Women (1978), Ham On Rye (1982), Hollywood (1989), and Pulp (1994), which was published shortly before his death. He also published a number of poetry and short story collections in his life. His screenplay Barfly was turned into a movie starring Mickey Rourke in 1987.

Charles Bukowski quotes are often humorous and heart wrenching at the same time. His writing style has earned him many fans and continues to draw new readers in every year.

Factotum tells the story of anti-hero and everyman Henry Chinaski. Chinaski is a writer who is forced to work a series of soul crushing, dead end jobs to make ends meet.

He doesn’t have much time or energy for writing with the demands on his time and energy from these jobs. This is by no means helped by the emotionally, and in some cases mentally, unstable women he chooses to surround himself with; not to mention his heavy drinking.

The novel is surprisingly moving and filled with wit and insight. These quotes from Factotum are just some of the ones that stand out.

Factotum was adapted into a film in 2005, starring Matt Dillon as protagonist Henry Chinaski. The debate as to who made the best Chinaski, Dillon or Mickey Rourke, rages on. Tell us who you preferred in the comments, and let us know if we left off one of your favorite lines from Factotum.

Top Charles Bukowski Factotum Quotes

“I couldn’t get myself to read the want ads. The thought of sitting in front of a man behind a desk and telling him that I wanted a job, that I was qualified for a job, was too much for me. Frankly, I was horrified by life, at what a man had to do simply in order to eat, sleep, and keep himself clothed.”


“On such jobs men become tired. They experience a weariness beyond fatigue. They say mad, brilliant things. Out of my head, I cussed and talked and cracked jokes and sang. Hell boils with laughter.”


‘“What? You mean you’d dare drink right after getting out of jail for intoxication?”
‘That’s when you need a drink the most.’”


“’Yes?’ he asked, looking at me over the sheet.
‘I’m a writer temporarily down on my inspirations.’
‘Oh, a writer, eh?’
‘Are you sure?’
‘No, I’m not.’
‘What do you write?’
‘Short stories mostly. And I’m halfway through a novel.’
‘A novel, eh?’
‘What’s the name of it?’
‘”The Leaky Faucet of My Doom.”‘
‘Oh, I like that. What’s it about?’
‘Everything? You mean, for instance, it’s about cancer?’
‘How about my wife?’
‘She’s in there too.'”


“But starvation, unfortunately, didn’t improve art. It only hindered it. A man’s soul was rooted in his stomach. A man could write much better after eating a porterhouse steak and drinking a pint of whiskey than he could ever write after eating a nickel candy bar. The myth of the starving artist was a hoax.”


“When you drank the world was still out there, but for the moment it didn’t have you by the throat.”


“I lay on the floor and looked up those beautiful legs. ‘Baby,’ I said, ‘I’m a genius but nobody knows it but me.’
She looked down at me. ‘Get up off the floor you damn fool and get me a drink.’”


“‘I need a writer. Are you a good one?’
‘Every writer thinks he’s a good one.'”


“I knew she was out there, and I knew there would be somebody else. Yet I had to let it happen, I had to let events take their own course.”

Buy Factotum

Buy Factotum, by Charles Bukowski




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  2. Dillon? Rourke?
    Well, get a good script and Tom Waits.
    Dillon’s performance is too clean and
    Rourke’s Snagglepuss voice is tiresome.
    Hurry and get a good script;
    Tom is getting old.

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