if you like bukowski...

Stay away from the Fjodor D, he maybe great, but his Booring.
If you want reality i the same ballpark as Bukowski and a sense of humour that is unlike Bukowskis, Try Franz Kafka. I'm a fan of prose/poetry so Kafka's writing feels kinda at home.
A lot of what I'd recommend has already been said, such as the early Hemingway short stories, Sherwood Anderson, William Saroyan, Celine, and Hamsun, but there are a few others.

Firstly, W.C. Heinz. I won't comment, just read this, it's less than two pages long:

Death of a Racehorse


And how about Frederick Exley, in particular his novel A Fan's Notes? Very different stylistically, but I think if you appreciate some of the humour and themes in Buko, you'll like Exley's semi-autobiographical novel on alcoholism, football, and his time spent in a mental institution (among other things).
Ask the Dust by John Fante, of course.... Henry Miller's Black Spring and Tropic of Capricorn....
but something no one would think of, something quite natural and poetic and unpretentious in its own right,
is The First Third by Neal Cassady, a one-time acquaintance of Hank as mentioned in his writings, and of course made famous
and infamous by the overrated Jack Kerouac.
So Kerouac is overrated, but somebody who was only published because of their relation to him is poetic and unpretentious?
Buk led me to Fante, whom I enjoy. But lately, I've been reading Phillip K. Dick and will read Joe Lansdale's newest book soon.
Have you read any of Philip K Dick's non-SF novels? Mary and the Giant, Confessions of a Crap Artist, The Man Whose Teeth Were All Exactly Alike, etc. I was quite impressed with those. I think they're all in print now (some of them, perhaps even all of them, weren't published until after his death). Supposedly he always wanted to be taken seriously as a 'proper' author. Not that his SF stuff isn't to be taken seriously.
There are two ways to answer that. First to mention writers who wrote like Bukowski, influenced him or dealt with similar subject matter. Then there are the authors who were completely different stylistically and whom he sometimes even slagged off publicly, but you find fringe "counterculture" people who are into Buk often appreciate. You can't go wrong with Mailer and especially Henry Miller, probably my favorite author. Mailer is too Harvard intellectual and Miller too philsophical and romantic for B., but they fit the bill if you're looking for some old fashioned hardboiled masculine firepower. Burroughs and Robert Anton Wilson if you're into drugs and head trips. Strangely the guys Bukowski probably has the most in common with are the old Zen/Taoist Chinese and Japanese poets. We know he dug Li Po. Also check out Han Shan, Ryokan, Ikkyu and Issan. A lot of similarities: Simplicity, earthiness, melancholy, the hermit hiding from the world perspective, and of course the love of Wine. In a way Bukowski was very Zen, even if he would never admit it. There's a great anthology called "The Poetry of Zen" that I recommend if you're into that sort of thing.

Black Swan

Abord the Yorikke!
I havn't yet read Pan by Hamsun, but heard 'Hunger', via audio, which I liked very much. Not that audio books are great but my hands were busy and I really got into it. The reading lasted 6-7 hours.


"The law is wrong; I am right"
Hamsun's 'Hunger' was made into a very good movie. It's on Amazon:


Bukowski always referred to Fante, Celine, Hamsun and Dostoevsky as his influences so maybe start with those. He also mentioned Jeffers and McCullers a lot (his tribute poem to McCullers is great). I'd throw in Raymond Carver, Hubert Selby JR and maybe some Hunter S. Thompson too.
Hank was one of a kind, of course, but these writers would probably appeal to most of his readers.
I picked up candy bars by gerald locklin the other day for a buck plus shipping on amazon.
It was also autographed /100 which was a nice bonus.
I think there is definitely some buk influence in his writing but he still maintains his own style a good nice short read though.


"So fuck Doubleday Doran"
Jim Thompson is the best. There's not even a number two.
And Bukowski would have fade away if he'd read Sir Jim.
Andrew McGahans books praise and 1988 are very bukowski-ish. i think he even cited bukowski as an influence. the themes are similar, and the character is similar to bukowskis henry chininski
I just read "Weep Not, My Wanton" and "In the Dust Zone." I enjoyed both of them very much.

i would second the Carver and Dan Fante recommendations, and also recommend Denis Johnson's "Jesus' Son", Maggie Dubris' "Weep Not, My Wanton", and anything by Carson McCullers.

GDPR 4124

I couldn't find his name anywhere else in this discussion, so I feel obliged to recommend Richard Brautigan (especially the poetry). Not exactly the same style as Bukowski, but they share the same light in the darkness.
Harry Crews and Bukowski are kindred spirits, though Crews has a very traditional structure to his books that contrasts with Bukowski's heterodox style. They are alike insofar as the darkness of their worldviews is reflected in their books, and they write about marginal characters. A highly recommended author.

My feelings as well. I recommend "A Feast of Snakes" as a good intro to Crews, maybe because it was my intro to Crews.
Don't know if it's been mentioned in this thread but Erofeev's Moscow To The End Of The Line is a great short novel about a drunken hallucinatory journey. Just finished it yesterday.
SAM PINK. MY GOD! READ SAM PINK! His book, PERSON, is my favorite. Get that. He also has a great book of poetry, I WANT TO CLONE MYSELF THEN KILL THE CLONE AND EAT IT. So good.
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