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Pulp Paperback – 1 May 1994

4.3 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Ecco; 1st Ecco Ed edition (1 May 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0876859260
  • ISBN-13: 978-0876859261
  • Product Dimensions: 14.9 x 1.3 x 22.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 46,366 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Not since George Orwell has the condition of being down-and-out been so well recorded" (New York Times) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

The last novel from one of the most distinctive writers of the 20th Century --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Bukowski's final novel isn't the one he'll be remembered for, but it's easily the equal of his other great novels; Post Office, Factotum & Ham on Rye.

Pulp is known as his funniest novel but there's poignancy behind the humour, as Pulp features many ruminations on death and ageing. Death is a character, but instead of a traditional cloaked skeleton, Bukowski's personification of death is a blonde vixen in a red dress, who enlists the help of a private detective to find a French novelist who has tricked her into thinking he's already dead. Throughout the novel, Lady Death keeps reminding the detective that his time will come too, echoing Bukowski's own concerns about mortality.

Familiar Bukowski staples (bars, racetracks) keep his fans happy, but the rest of the novel shows a more surreal side to Bukowski, which had only been previously shown in some of his short stories. Pulp's triumph is in the fact that an old writer more used to gritty realism can write a novel packed with surrealism and still pass with flying colours.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As the back cover informs us, 'Pulp' is a fantastical pastiche of a detective story. True in one sense, but this gem of a novel is far more than that. For behind the joyful facade of the quick-fire wise-cracks (Think, The Marx Bros interpret Raymond Chandler) there lie countless serious messages about life, how to cope with one's existence - how to do the best you can with what you've got ... Someone once said that life is known only to those who suffer, endure adversity and stumble from one defeat to another. Here, we have such examples in spadefuls. But don't despair, for it's almost hidden by the humour.
Dig deeper under the fun and you'll find re-interpretations of the work of other writers. Bukowski re-affirms Nietzsche's opinion of the human race with, 'Boring damned people. All over the earth' (154) Likewise, Virginia Woolf had clearly thought about how we cope with whatever life throws our way with, 'Thus we spin around us infinitely fine filaments and construct for ourselves a system'. Bukowski's take is: (Life is about) 'The needed machinery of the moment. And those needs keep altering'. (128) The Socratic notion that 'The unexamined life is not worth living', comes from Bukowski's pen as, 'We were all just hanging around waiting to die and meanwhile doing little things to fill the space. Some of us weren't even doing that. We were vegetables'. (147) Our indifference to polluting the planet is clearly stated in p 127, when the visiting Space-aliens decide to leave this earth. 'We've thought it over. It's too awful. We don't want to colonise this earth', and then explain why.
This book is short, and the numerous theories that come in momentarily are what give it its true strength/appeal.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Noir with a heavy dose of the surreal and the metaphorical PULP is Bukowski's finally gift to the world before his passing. Nick Belane is old school, old Hollywood and hot on the straight of a French writer presumed dead and the Red Sparrow, amongst other things. Most interesting Hank penned this having made BARFLY and written HOLLYWOOD. What do you think that says?
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Format: Hardcover
I hardly ever read books twice(obviously hadnt been reading the right books), Pulp was the first one that i knew i could quite easily pick up and saunter into. It holds, in a diluted form, everything that i know Bukowski for. In my opinion its an impulsive read and really enjoyable while still maintaining the grit that Bukowski wrote on. Good fun.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Of all his books I have read so far this one is the most confusing. I think he must have been totally pissed when he wrote most of it. I normally like his ramblings but my attention just wanders off while reading this one. Doesn't really grab me.
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By A Customer on 22 April 1999
Format: Paperback
Although not one of Bukowski's greatest, it's probably one of the most hilarious. It's similar to the surrealistic writings of some of the short-stories, say where Hitler makes a comeback or the Devil works in a freakshow. You can still find a lot of the familiar Bukowski themes, like the agony of having to deal with other people, or not being able to do your job right. Celine, Hemingway,Fante and Chinaski are still there; so's the whisky and the women. But this time it's thru' dick Belane's eyes. And in the end death moves in for real and our hero is swept away by a blaze of yellow - Bukowskis favorite color.
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By A Customer on 8 Feb. 1999
Format: Paperback
Not the place to start reading Bukowski. This book sees the author gathering together all the various threads that have run through his life. He weaves them together to create a witty and intriguing tapestry. I read this book in one sitting and was thouroughly disheartened by the last page. The book itself could not have been better as far as I was concerned, but I knew it was the last I would hear from him. Read the other works and then come to this title as an insider - the rewards will be great.
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Format: Hardcover
I didn't expect too much of this having read 'Locked in the Arms of a Crazy Life', a Bukowksi biography that is decidedly reserved in it's praises of this, his last novel. I was pleasantly surprised. It is not a novel about Henry Chinaski though it does name check him, yet Bukowski's Belane character is essentially the same character; a hard drinking misfit spouting his weary view on life. The style you will recognise from Bukowski's previous novels, though this one has been given the form of a Chandler novel. Like Chandler's novels, the lead character is a tough guy; the sort of guy that it is clear the author would like to be.
Like Bukowski's other novels, this is very short, and therefore infectious to read and there are enough funny lines to make up for it's small failings. It may not be as great an achievement as Post Office, but I would say it's probably funnier. So it's worth spending the couple of hours it takes to read it.
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