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Pulphead (2011)

Pulphead (2011)

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4 of 5 Votes: 4
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0374532907 (ISBN13: 9780374532901)
FSG Originals

About book Pulphead (2011)

It's always fun to have a book wildly outpace your expectations. This was one. Pulphead is Sullivan's collection of essays that apparently have appeared elsewhere. They are a widely diverse, many very personal. Sullivan writes about fascinating topics with real interest so things like an obscure Kentucky naturalist from the 1800s or the search for obscure blues recordings are page turners. He handles Michael Jackson and Axl Rose just as easily. A new baby in the house meant it took me a while to get through this yet I could pick it up after a week and jump right back in. Definitely worth picking up. I love this genre. Non-fiction essays about inane stuff with a slice of memoir and a dash of commentary. Klosterman does it best in the way he writes about music, relationships, tv shows and then adds his own personal experience that really puts it into the zeitgeist of the period. Sullivan comes close in a couple of the essays that I enjoyed: Upon this Rock, where he goes to a Christian Rockfest with tens of thousands of people and relates his experience to his own experiences with faith and Getting Down to What is Really Real, where he is at a promo at a bar for ex-Real World actor turn Wrestler The Miz. In this piece he talks about how the show has turned the kids into a product and the less than lucrative gravy train they get stuck on. Sullivan succeeds when he is able to connect the pieces to his own personal history, however, he only manages to do that with a few of them. Moreover many of the stories, dare I say, are kind of boring. I didn't especially care about caving and searching for historical artifacts of the Indians. I care even less about how your ancestors are tangentially connected to that. I didn't care about Axl Rose and even less your interview wish his childhood friend. I especially hated the article about animals committing violence upon humans and how in the end you stated that one of your interviewees is made up in order for you to spin your half-truth-half-fake yarn. Moreover, these essays are collected over 2 decades stretching back to the 90s. There's constant references to aol chatrooms and search engines like lexis nexus that show the pieces are quite dated. Overall, this is fine reading for the toilet on a plane. Where you don't need to concentrate too hard and there are natural breaks to stop but it's definitely not the prime examples of the genre.

Do You like book Pulphead (2011)?

Some really interesting reflections on more cultish sects of pop culture.

John Jeremiah Sullivan is easily one of my favorite living writers.

What a surprise! Great stories.

Highly rec'd


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