In this hilarious roman a clef, Bukowski draws on his experiences while writing the script for the 1987 film Barfly. Henry Chinaski, the author's alter ego in the film, here returns to write--despite misgivings--a Hollywood screenplay, The Dance of Jim Beam. The film is based on Chinaski's early life as a barfly and brawler, before he became a famous author. As he and his companion Sarah are caught up in the Hollywood whirlwind, Bukowski satirizes a host of well-known movie personalities. While Bukowski fans will welcome the reappearance of Chinaski, with his penchant for booze, women, and horse racing, film buffs should enjoy the novel for its delightful and irreverent portrayal of Hollywood.