Hey there.

*Spoiler alert on Ham on Rye by Charles Bukowski*

I'm new to the board, and I'm new to this kind of writing, too, so hi. I've been a graffiti writer for many years, but this is something else!

So, I was told to read every day, and write every day. I did. This week, I read Charles Bukowski's "Ham on Rye", and I did not like it. I see why people give his writing credit; this is my question: how do people enjoy reading this story? I was depressed after.

I will read dreadful stories and pitying the characters suffering for hundreds of pages on end, if there is a least some salvation at the very last page. But Bukowski is just one long defeat - what drives anyone to recommend the story? (Maybe it just reminds me too much of myself in ways).

And then my second question is: in fiction, is it really necessary to have constant disaster through your book until the last part? Can't we have just a bit of fun?

Can't we be allowed some brief hold-ups of temporary joy, before all hell breaks loose again? For instance, when I read 1Q84 (Haruki Murakami) I loved the story, but throughout at some point I was thinking: "Reading these books is like holding your breath. He creates tension to make me hold my breath. Great. Then increases the tension to make me scared shitless, I'm amazed and turned pages feverishly."
But I felt like he was making me hold my breath all the way to the bitter end, always adding tension, which at some point overdid it for me. I would like just a few chances to gasp just the tiniest snippet of air - not filling my lungs, just tasting air for five milliseconds - before plunging into more disaster. Staying with my breath-metaphor, I loved the ending and I loved the books but 4/5 through I felt like the story had suffocated from holding my breath too long.

It's just too much without the contrast of occasional joy, for me personally. Am I the only one?

How I'd write my books would be with the tried-and-true constant tension, of course, but when the protagonist finally manages to overcome something, and achieve something, as I reader I've often felt like I did not get to enjoy it before being shoved into the next disaster, and felt mistreated this way.
I wanna treat my readers differently, but is that the worst idea ever posted on this board?

Sincerely and excitedly cheering from Denmark
LQ