This is the book that Jess is reading on his bed when Luke comes in.
Notes of a Dirty Old Man is a 1969 book by Charles Bukowski, a collection of his newspaper columns for the underground Los Angeles newspaper, Open City. His articles showcased his trademark crude humour and attempts to provide a truthful viewpoint of events in his life. He writes openly about his alcoholism and hook-ups with prostitutes and married women.
Some of the quotes from the book sound like things that Jess could probably relate to:
- The people walk with such an indifference I begin to hate them, but then again I’ve never really been fond of anything.
- Is it possible to love a human being? Of course, especially if you don’t know them too well.
- The people will always betray you. Never trust the people.
This kind of nihilistic self-hatred and detachment from others is heady stuff for a teenage boy who’s been kicked around, and I can imagine Jess reading this as a kind of wisdom needed to survive in the world.
Like Rory, Jess has a strong interest in journalism – but a very different type of journalism. Did he recommend this book to Rory? It seems likely. And likely that she would read it, too.