Hubert Selby Jr.
"A man obsessed / is a man possessed / by a demon." Hubert Selby, Jr. was a man that ran with the hunted and dined with the darkness. He was, "the man," according to modern Renaissance Man Henry Rollins, who both published and perhaps worshipped him. Whatever you want to call Hubert Selby, Jr., one thing you can't say is that he or his work was easy. There's nothing simple here, and what one finds pleasurable about his books says just as much about the reader as the writer. He was sick before sickness was vogue; he was drugged out and sewer-strewn before it was fashionable. Poet Allen Ginsberg and his Beat Generation brethren knew that Selby was the real deal, and no matter where you start reading him, you soon will too. It's recommend that you start out with his first book, Last Exit to Brooklyn (before you see the movie), and then head over to Requiem for a Dream (and then see that movie). You can't go wrong with Selby, and he serves as a perfect bridge between modern writers like Chuck and Craig Clevenger, and the last great generation of literary dissidents that set the page aflame, the Beats.