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Shadowboxing with Bukowski is the tragicomic, cautionary tale of Nicholas Kastinovich, a young bookseller who struggles to keep his bookstore afloat in the harbor town of San Pedro, CA, where the infamous Charles Bukowski resides. Kastinovich is pushed to the edge by events beyond his control, not least of which is the curmudgeonly ghost of the former owner, his flailing marriage, and the community that sees him as an outsider. The intrepid book lover fights the noble battle against mediocrity and apathy, while in a moment of desperation his wife enlists Bukowski’s aid.

About the Author

Darrell Kastin was born in Los Angeles, California. His maternal ancestors came from the Azores, settling in the United States at the end of World War II. He has spent considerable time on the islands over the years, using them as a setting for many of his short stories and novels. 

His short story collection, The Conjurer and other Azorean Tales was published in December 2012 by Tagus Press. It won the 2014 USA Best Book Award for Multicultural Fiction and the 2014 Global Ebook Award Silver Medal for both Short Stories/Fiction and Fiction/Multicultural.

Shadow Boxing with Bukowski is a fictionalized memoir based on his days as a San Pedro bookstore owner.

Darrell’s website


"A novel about a life spent surrounded by books, heavily influenced by the grimy realism of a poet's life and work." 

Kirkus Reviews  (read the whole review... )

“Shadowboxing With Bukowski not only captures Bukowski's elusive (some say nonexistent) classic high grace, but offers a humorous, uncanny depiction of desperately running a bookstore while it was running itself out of success. Fun stuff fluffing up the underground heart.”

—Douglas Blazek, poet, author of Ventriloquy of Light & Gutting Cats in Search of Fiddles, editor of The Bukowski Sampler, publisher/editor of Open Skull Press,Olé 

“A story of mystery and magic—magical appearances and mysterious disappearances, mysterious women and magical islands—beautifully and lyrically told.”

—Karen Joy Fowler, author of The Jane Austen Book Club

The mysticism that lies within the land draws us to it. The Conjurer & Other Azorean Tales is a collection of short fiction surrounding the Azorean Islands and the island's certain beauty and majesty, and the wisdom that seems to float about it. Drawing on the naturally supernatural, this enticing collection of short fiction, is very much recommended reading.”

The Midwest Book Review

What a wild, big, gorgeous book! Amazing, amazing. Metaphor and myth turn into history and history explodes into human connection...the pages are saturated with such fine sea mist...

—Katherine Vaz, author of Our Lady of the Artichokes