Bukowski isn't the person who's going to write you bedtime stories or sensitive drama. Really, there should be no need to introduce him, but he ranks among writers as Jack Kerouac and Ernest Hemingway in terms of the somewhat vernacular style and gritty subjects he treats.
As in most of his books, we follow Henry Chinaski, Bukowski's literary alter ego. This time around though, we get to see his ugly childhood. He's stuck in an unloving family and in his own body, you know, that kind of things. All very well portrayed. We also witness his first encounters with alcohol and alcoholics. One thing I noticed is that Bukowski has a tendency to portray them all as being beautiful men, exciting people with a sort of brightness in their eyes.
A great animated version of a poem of his, which illustrates this perfectly can be found here. I really recommend the video : http://vimeo.com/19909066
Any way, Bukowski might have been a booze hound, but he was certainly very good in illustrating some of the greater problems in his society. If you're up to speed with the solution, well, let's just leave that up to you, shall we?