Throughout the novel, the Chinaski character remains essentially the same but the variety of women seen though his eyes is immense--ranging from a rich Texan who wants to dress him up and fly him to Paris to trailer trash who want his body, to record executive, sales clerk, dancers, artists, barely legal teeny boppers looking for strange kicks. Chinaski himself marvels at the variety of ladies who found themselves pulled into his orbit:
Where did all these women come from? The supply was endless. Each one of them was individual, different...But no man could drink them all, there were too many of them, crossing their legs, driving men mad. What a feast!
But Chinaski was no Casanova, no master of seduction. The great majority of these women were coming on to him, writing him letters, making the first moves. Although Chinaski (like Bukowski) is a minor poet, none of his poems are printed here. Chinaski's poetry readings are used in the novel merely as (usually successful) opportunities to pick up new women.
Charles Bukowski's Women seems to me to be an honest attempt to describe his life and not just a self-aggrandizing sexual fiction. At least one of Bukowski's women reciprocated his affections by writing a novel of her own entitled Blowing My Hero.
One big question for students of "the force that through the green fuse drives the flower" is what quality did Chinaski/Bukowski's character possess that made him so attractive to women? I am especially interested in women's answers to this question.
By his own admission Bukowski/Chinaski was old, fat, poor, ugly and a serious alcoholic which often rendered him impotent. His fame as a writer was small and he made no attempt to piggy-back off the fame of more famous writers, turning down, for instance, an easy opportunity to meet William S. Burroughs.
Old, fat, poor, ugly, alcoholic yet a magnet for beautiful women. Read this fascinating book and share your opinion: "What was this man's secret power?" I eagerly await your comments.