1. You Can’t Win by Jack Black
Here’s a book that was way ahead of its time, and right now, it’s my all-time favorite. Next week, I’ll have another new favorite…in fact, probably by next week I’ll reread this list and wonder what in the world I was thinking.
2. Word Virus: The William S. Burroughs Reader by William S Burroughs, edited by James Grauerholz
I love this book, much better than any one of his novels when they stand alone; I’m not sure why.
3. Rock Salt and Glissandos by Steve Fisher
The best book you’re never going to hear about, much less read. And the best book of prison literature pulled off by an American. Big statement, but it’s the truth.
4. Jesus’ Son: Stories by Denis Johnson
For my money, the best book on the drug experience since Naked Lunch.
5. Semina (entire run of 9), Wallace Berman, editor
If little mags count…and I am assuming so, then how about an entire run? A magazine you couldn’t buy? It just showed up ion your mailbox?! From an editor that was also one of the greatest — and underrated — artists of his time? Art is Love is God.
6. Sniffing Keyholes by Harold Norse
Jack Micheline called it “the greatest piece of erotica ever written by an America.” I agree.
7. Kaddish and Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg
Everyone pays attention to Howl. This is what they should read.
8. The Violent Bear It Away by Flannery O’Connor
Who needs Faulkner when we have Flannery?
9. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
Forget Viet Nam. Hands down the best fictional account of war, ever..
10. The Outsider #3 by various authors
Yea, the award to Bukowski for Outsider of the Year makes this the best of the run…but wait. What about #1?!
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