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Squid Pulp Blues

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  180 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
Three novellas of squishy-noir from Jordan Krall.

On the surface, Thompson looks like any other blue collar New Jersey town. But beneath the working class exterior lies a bizarro world of fetishistic crime, sleazy motels, and squid. In these three bizarro-noir novellas, the reader is thrown into a world of murderers, drugs made from squid parts, deformed war veterans, and

Trade Paperback, 186 pages
Published February 26th 2008 by Eraserhead Press (first published 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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THANK YOU, MR KRALL. For a while now, I’ve been thinking that the crime noir subgenre was decidedly lacking in two major ingredients: (1) diaper wearing, incontinent hit men and (2) deranged drug dealers with out of control foot-fetishes. Well Squid Pulp Blues (SPB) has allowed me to cross both of those items off my literary bucket list.

Folks, welcome to Thompson, New Jersey, a seamy, gritty, completely BIZZARED UP version of an East Coast town that just oozes WTF. SPB is made up of three inte
Dan Schwent
Squid Pulp Blues is a collection of three Bizarro crime novellas all taking place in Thompson, New Jersey, a mollusk-obsessed working class town populated by dwarf hookers and the deformed war veterans called Longheads.

The Haberdasher: Fresh out of the joint, Red Henry Hooper meets up with a couple other lowlifes at a seedy motel to plan a job. Only there's a woman with no feet in the next room and The Haberdasher is on his way...

There's a lot of odd things in the first novella in this collectio
Jun 28, 2010 Kate rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of the bizarre who enjoy noir and vice versa
Recommended to Kate by: Myself (yay me!)
Shelves: bizarro
This book is pulpy goodness like when you accidentally buy high pulp orange juice instead of no pulp and take the first sip and choke on all the pulp because you're not expecting it but then you realize it's really good and you'll never go back to no pulp. That's how this book was for me.

I don't want to give too much away about this book because it's a must read for those fans of the bizarro and noir groups. However, I will highlight some of my favorite parts.

First of all, I throughly enjoyed a
Jul 22, 2008 Jeremy rated it it was amazing
Jordan Krall’s writing takes you places you never knew you wanted to go. In Squid Pulp Blues, the place is called Thompson, New Jersey. And here, you’ll find no shortage of violence, trauma, and most importantly, squid. The locals may not be friendly. In fact, most of them are psychopathic assholes. But as long as they stay on the pages where they belong, you’ll have one bloody good time in their company.
Anthony Chavez
Aug 06, 2011 Anthony Chavez rated it really liked it
Great follow-up by Krall to Piecemeal June.

Strap in because this is a wild ride to Thompson, New Jersey. This collection of stories has a lot of odd'ness described in detail that keeps the reader gripped and engaged.

There are so many things to like: we meet a filthy woman with an odd machine that took a woman's feet leaving no blood, The Longheads, war veterans that came back home disfigured with elongated heads, we see a longhead on the side of the road with an interesting machine that looks li
Andersen Prunty
May 18, 2008 Andersen Prunty rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Readers of bizarro, noir, Jim Thompson, aquatic life
Squid noir writer Jordan Krall returns with his second book from Eraserhead Press, a collection of three novellas called SQUID PULP BLUES. If you’ve read and enjoyed PIECEMEAL JUNE, you’re going to love SQUID PULP BLUES. In “The Haberdasher,” the opening novella, Red Henry Hooper gets paroled and is immediately confronted by circumstances more bizarre and violent than he can possibly imagine. “The Longheads” focuses on Tommy Pingpong and his pal Jake. They are on the run from Peachy, one of the ...more
Jun 13, 2009 Emory rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bizarro-fiction
Crime fiction is not my cup of tea. Sure, I'll watch the odd CSI episode, or the Ocean's films, but generally it doesn't interest me as a genre of literature.
Jordan Krall may have changed my mind.
His sophomore offering from Eraserhead Press, "Squid Pulp Blues" is (as the cover lets you know) three novellas, all inter-related with little connections. A character in one will reference a character or event from another, with some over-arching themes and references across all.
What little crime f
Nov 03, 2013 Jason rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2013
3 Stars

A dark and twisted tale that comes across as a bizzaro crime noir. It includes everything from drug addicts, naked women, lap dances, people being shot, stabbed, and even bashed in.

There is a woman with no feet, a marathon of The Golden Girls, and even a crab like man.

It all adds up to one completely messed up crime novella that will leave you scratching your head... Fun fun.
Longheads :

The second story
Apr 21, 2011 Amanda rated it really liked it

This is one of my first forays into pure Bizzaro, and i think i'm in love! An addictive blend of pulpy crime noir with a healthy dose of foot fetish an squid weaved in.

Krall does a stupendous job of catching the seedy, seamier side of real life which many authors have trouble capturing authentically. And, how most people are essentially unmoved, or only affected on the surface, by the heinous acts done to other people if it does not involve them directly

Another aspect of the story i enjoyed wa
Feb 03, 2009 Jeff rated it it was amazing
Jordan Krall's first published novella, "Piecemeal June", stood out from the pack with its unique combination of body-fluid splatter and bizarro horror. "Squid Pulp Blues" is his second release from Eraserhead Press and is a continuation of these themes. The book is three novellas, each taking place in Thompson, New Jersey, concerning blood, cum, drugs, and squids.
"The Haderdasher" is the first story. Henry has just gotten out of prison and is meeting up with some old friends for booze, cards,
Mike Kleine
Jun 23, 2009 Mike Kleine rated it it was amazing
Tell me I can only use a single sentence to review this book and I may tell you that "Jordan Krall is the Quentin Tarantino of the bizarro world." To that sentence, I'll also add "SQUID PULP BLUES is like Pulp Fiction and Mulholland Dr put into a blender." The Lynch reference isn't only because it's weird; a lot of things are left unanswered but just like in the film, some of these questions can easily be answered though a few are forever left unsolved.

What exactly was in the back of Dix's trun
Aug 31, 2010 Monster rated it really liked it
Shelves: bizarro
Following the success and acclaim of his first novella, Piecemeal June, Jordan has collected three novellas all set in the same seedy city. Thompson, New Jersey is your typical blue-collar city on the surface, but when the sun sets, the creeps come out to play. The hotels are filled with the worst of the worst, bizarro fetishists lurk in the shadows, and Jordan’s signature squid-related creepies are on hand. It’s an excellent merging of horror and noir.
First up is The Haberdasher, in which paro
Feb 25, 2013 Tarl rated it liked it
Shelves: pulp, noir, bizarro
This was my first experience with Bizzaro Pulp. Honestly, I can state that it's not for me.

'Squid Pulp Blues' is a collection of three interesting short stories. Each is fairly interesting in its own right, with a unifying theme running through each of them to tie them all together. The writing is fairly well done, though at points it gets confusing. Really confusing. Be it a trait of Bizzaro Pulp, or the writing style itself, there were points where it was hard to follow just what was going on
Jan 29, 2009 Jordan rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
"Krall has quite a flair for outrage as an art form, and with SQUID PULP BLUES, he's created a wholly unique terrascape of Ibsen-like naturalism and morbidity; an extravaganza of white-trash urban/noir horror." - EDWARD LEE, author of THE BIGHEAD, TERATOLOGIST, and BRIDES OF THE IMPALER.

“An intriguing mix of film noir storytelling strained through a colander of pure bizarro.” – TOM PICCIRILLI, author of A CHOIR OF ILL CHILDREN and THE MIDNIGHT ROAD.

This is a collection of 3 bizarro-noir novell
Apr 09, 2013 Barbara rated it really liked it
Squid Pulp Blues, what can I say? I thoroughly enjoyed the first two novella's (The Haberdasher and The Longheads), they were so easy to read I just powered through them. The third novella (The Apocalypse Donkey) was a little disappointing compared to the first two and wasn't as easy to read, I guess that is probably because I didn't find the story AS interesting as the first two novella's. As for the bonus short story (Billy Roanoke) it was okay I guess. All in all I did enjoy this collection ...more
Grant Wamack
Feb 15, 2009 Grant Wamack rated it really liked it
The second book from Jordan Krall is a collection of three novellas.All of these take place in the seedy town Thompson,New Jersey. A place where dwarf prostitutes,men looking to make some cash by any means necessary,and of course a nice helping of squid all run amok. The writing is fast paced and smooth. If crime fiction had sex with bizarro, this would be the result. Please spend a day with this child,you won't regret it.
Sam McCanna
This was the first bizarro fiction I ever read.
It changed my life in the most wonderful of ways...
I don't think there would have been a better intro book for me than this one. Some sort of cthulhu mythos/naked lunch/bizarro crime fiction, fantastic.
Ruby  Tombstone [With A Vengeance]
Oh wow. Squid Noir. I have the feeling this is going to be a whole new genre. I'm so in.
Apr 20, 2012 Sheldon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, horror, e-books, bizarro
Come to Thompson, New Jersey, home of longheads and Little Bing Bong, the apocalypse donkey.

Squid Pulp Blues by Jordan Krall is certainly different. It is a collection of three novellas (and one short story in the Kindle version) which focus primarily on the seedy underbelly of Thompson, New Jersey. It ties together in terms of theme with Krall's other books I've read, Fistful of Feet and Beyond the Valley of the Apocalypse Donkeys . Like Fistful of Feet was a tribute to the western genre wit
Aug 13, 2011 Rhonda rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010
Love crime? Love noir? Love bizarro? Love comedy? If you said yes to any of these questions, then Squid Pulp Blues is for you! The book is made up of three novellas and has been described as squishy-noir, and contains all of the genres I just listed.

The first novella, The Haberdasher, is about bad drugs, missing feet, and other weird things that Red Henry Hooper is up against after obtaining parole. The Longheads is the second novella and has probably one of the most interesting, yet disturbing
Oct 22, 2012 kcb rated it really liked it
I’m reaching a point at which I’m entering Bizarro books with less and less skepticism. Not to be a complete snob, but I see “weirdness” as a delicate thing. Too many people try to be “weird” and “random,” but their efforts fall flat, aren’t interesting, and stink of “trying too hard.” You probably know the type. After a couple of years of reading books that fall into the Bizarro category, though, I’ve hardly been let down. When I picked up Squid Pulp Blues, I faintly felt my skeptic swimming ...more
R.A. Harris
Jun 23, 2012 R.A. Harris rated it really liked it
Jordan Krall has written a fun book here.

Featuring memorable characters, fun plots (if a little predictable) and solid writing, I'm glad that I finally sat down and gave this book the attention that it richly deserves.

Mixing pulp noir with splatterpunk horror and sprinkling the batter with some sex fetishes and weird shit, Krall weaves a world across three novellas that really comes alive.
From the seedy motel setting and foot-loving antagonist of the first story, through the disfigured war v
Donald Gorman
Jul 10, 2011 Donald Gorman rated it it was amazing
this book is certainly not for everyone. it is totally bizarre, but a truly fascinating read filled with illegal drugs made from squid parts, dwarf hookers, unsavory killers, vets with long heads, women crawling around with no feet, apocaliptic donkeys and of course, Barbara Stanwyck! these are three stories in a NJ town that all sort of connect while going their own seperate ways. it gets bloody and gross in spots, it is perverse and profane...the stories run in circles while staying parallel ...more
Steven Rage
Feb 07, 2009 Steven Rage rated it it was amazing
In Jordan Krall's second offering from Eraserhead Press, there are more than a few ways of getting yourself hurt. You must make sure your crystal meth isn't really 'squid ink', you gotta watch out for diaper-filling psychos with loose bowels and a hair trigger temper. Then there's the detective that just happens to run his own prostitution ring. There's a bad dude hypersensitive to his wife being a whore, the returning disfigured military vets called 'Longheads', you never know what they're ...more
Oct 05, 2014 Shane rated it it was ok
I bought this because I thought the guy on the cover looked cool and it sounded interesting like it would be a old style noir detective novel with some absurd squid stuff added in. Maybe something like "Gun with Occasional Music". I have read some Bizarro stuff from Aylett, Lawson and one or two others and I do tend to enjoy it in small doses (under 200 pages) but this one didn't really do it for me.

I read the first story and thought it was kind of boring and gross. It just made me feel kind of
Jess Gulbranson
Mar 05, 2010 Jess Gulbranson rated it it was amazing
I'm not going to write a huge review of this, in part because I feel I may be missing finer details of the pulp sources that Krall has drawn from here- Jim Thompson and Elmore Leonard, for example. My tastes run more toward Iceberg Slim and Dashiell Hammett as far as that goes. The constant sense of menace that the unsavory characters inflict on each other, the shifting sets of allegiances, and of course the never-explained influence of teratogenic cephalopodia, bring to mind certain narrative ...more
Made DNA
Apr 25, 2010 Made DNA rated it it was amazing

Jordan Krall goes nuts with this book of three interwoven novellas centered around the town of Thompson, New Jersey. Mobsters, corrupt police officers, mutant ex-soldiers, the visage of Barbara Stanwyck, and a donkey named Little Bing Bong populate the streets bringing mayhem and death to the average squid-obsessed denizen.

This is bizarro fiction at its best. And if you aren't familiar with "bizarro" yet, never fret, SPB is an easy read with likable characters and a tangible atmosphere. W
Jul 02, 2015 Scott rated it it was amazing
This book was my first experience with both Bizarro in general and the wonderful writing of Jordan Krall in particular. Each has been an essential addition to my reading life. These interlocking novellas are not the "high concept" Bizarro that is the most visible. Think crime noir mixed with weird fiction and absurd elements. Mr. Krall has moved on to different styles but I still cherish this early work of his. All praise Little Bing Bong!
Sep 16, 2014 Lisa rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2013-challenge
This was my first taste of 'bizarre-noir' and I have to say... I am not a fan. This was simply way too weird for me, with some major gross-out moments that left me wishing I hadn't just eaten!

For those already into this genre it is clear to see from the reviews that this is considered to be a good book. However, for someone NEW to the genre... I shan't be staying and will return to one of the genres I know I like!!!
Chris Bowsman
Nov 16, 2010 Chris Bowsman rated it it was amazing
I loved every second of this book. Whenever I read one of Jordan's books, it ends up being equal parts entertainment, inspiration, and jealousy. The jealousy is positive though, in an "I wish I'd written that" way.

I wish this had been 3 full length books instead of novellas. Yes, there is that much substance in each story.
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