A Man with No Talents -- Oyama Shiro (1 Viewer)

I'm just reading Post Office and Factotum for the first time and enjoying them a lot. There's a matter-of-fact quality to these books that reminds me of a Japanese book called A Man with No Talents. Written by a guy who started out with a university education and working for a big corporation while in his 20s but couldn't hack it and ended up working as a day laborer for years while living in a dormitory in working class Tokyo.

Not as many laughs as Bukowski, but there is some overlap there because, like Buk, he's a loner who can't bear all the bullshit of regular society. Bukowski fans might enjoy it so I thought I'd post some links.


I'm all for new books, especially new authors. Thanks for the heads up, I'll definately check it out. Out of curiousity, who else would you compare him to besides Bukowski?
I'm not sure who Oyama is like. There's a spareness to the writing that made me think of Murakami, although I may be stereotyping. Maybe a bit of Bruce Chatwin. It's not a work of fiction so that's important to remember. There's no Bukowskian rage here, and the laughs are rarely out loud. He writes in a non-judgmental way, just observing things as they are.

It's a window on a very different Japan from the one we are used to. Thousands of men working outside of the norms of society. When I think of Buk living in all those boarding houses and tiny apartments in the 40s and 50s, at least he had a measure of privacy at $6.50 a week. This is impossible for the Japanese day labourer. These guys usually live 4-6 men to a room in bunks whose only nod to privacy is a curtain.

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