Charles Bukowski

1920 - 1994

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Henry Charles Bukowski ( boo-KOW-skee; born Heinrich Karl Bukowski, German: [ˈhaɪnʁɪç ˈkaʁl buˈkɔfski]; August 16, 1920 – March 9, 1994) was a German-American poet, novelist, and short story writer. His writing was influenced by the social, cultural, and economic ambience of his adopted home city of Los Angeles. Bukowski's work addresses the ordinary lives of poor Americans, the act of writing, alcohol, relationships with women, and the drudgery of work. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of Charles Bukowski has received more than 8,735,918 page views. His biography is available in 74 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 70 in 2019). Charles Bukowski is the 120th most popular writer (down from 102nd in 2019), the 81st most popular biography from Germany (up from 82nd in 2019) and the 9th most popular German Writer.

Charles Bukowski is most famous for his autobiographical novels and poetry about the life of a low-income, working-class man.

Memorability Metrics

  • 8.7M

    Page Views (PV)

  • 76.10

    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 74

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 9.68

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 3.66

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)

Notable Works

Post office
Fiction, Postal service, Employees
Ham on Rye
Fiction, Teenage boys, Alcoholics
In what is widely hailed as the best of his many novels, Charles Bukowski details the long, lonely years of his own hardscrabble youth in the raw voice of alter ego Henry Chinaski. From a harrowingly cheerless childhood in Germany through acne-riddled high school years and his adolescent discoveries of alcohol, women, and the Los Angeles Public Library's collection of D. H. Lawrence, Ham on Rye offers a crude, brutal, and savagely funny portrait of an outcast's coming-of-age during the desperate days of the Great Depression.
Fiction, Beat generation, Occupations
One of Charles Bukowski's best, this beer-soaked, deliciously degenerate novel follows the wanderings of aspiring writer Henry Chinaski across World War II-era America. Deferred from military service, Chinaski travels from city to city, moving listlessly from one odd job to another, always needing money but never badly enough to keep a job. His day-to-day existence spirals into an endless litany of pathetic whores, sordid rooms, dreary embraces, and drunken brawls, as he makes his bitter, brilliant way from one drink to the next.Charles Bukowski's posthumous legend continues to grow. Factotum is a masterfully vivid evocation of slow-paced, low-life urbanity and alcoholism, and an excellent introduction to the fictional world of Charles Bukowski.
The days run away like wild horses over the hills
Charles Bukowski is one of America's best-known contemporary writers of poetry and prose, and, many would claim, its most influential and imitated poet. He was born in Andernach, Germany, and raised in Los Angeles, where he lived for fifty years. He published his first story in 1944, when he was twenty-four, and began writing poetry at the age of thirty-five. He died in San Pedro, California, on March 9, 1994, at the age of seventy-three, shortly after completing his last novel, Pulp (1994).
Fiction, Man-woman relationships, Man-woman relationships in fiction
Fiction, Motion picture industry, Literature


Among writers, Charles Bukowski ranks 120 out of 7,302Before him are E. T. A. Hoffmann, Sully Prudhomme, Federico García Lorca, Anatole France, Jean Cocteau, and Guy de Maupassant. After him are Ivo Andrić, Charlotte Brontë, Lewis Carroll, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Vladimir Nabokov, and Paul Verlaine.

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Among people born in 1920, Charles Bukowski ranks 5Before him are Pope John Paul II, Federico Fellini, Isaac Asimov, and Yul Brynner. After him are Rosalind Franklin, Toshiro Mifune, Ray Bradbury, Farouk of Egypt, Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, Paul Celan, and Mario Puzo. Among people deceased in 1994, Charles Bukowski ranks 4Before him are Richard Nixon, Kim Il-sung, and Karl Popper. After him are Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Erich Honecker, Eugène Ionesco, Elias Canetti, Erik Erikson, Ayrton Senna, Linus Pauling, and Giulietta Masina.

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In Germany

Among people born in Germany, Charles Bukowski ranks 81 out of 7,253Before him are Richard Strauss (1864), Friedrich Paulus (1890), Charles the Bald (823), Martin Bormann (1900), Karl Jaspers (1883), and Heinrich Hertz (1857). After him are Arminius (-17), Peter III of Russia (1728), Helmut Kohl (1930), William Herschel (1738), Jürgen Habermas (1929), and Heinz Guderian (1888).

Among WRITERS In Germany

Among writers born in Germany, Charles Bukowski ranks 9Before him are Friedrich Schiller (1759), Hermann Hesse (1877), Thomas Mann (1875), Heinrich Heine (1797), Bertolt Brecht (1898), and Erich Maria Remarque (1898). After him are Novalis (1772), Heinrich Böll (1917), Eckhart Tolle (1948), Friedrich Hölderlin (1770), Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729), and Jacob Grimm (1785).