Carly Thompson's Reviews > Pulphead

Pulphead by John Jeremiah Sullivan
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's review
Nov 01, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: 2012, essays
Read from January 15 to 18, 2012

I love reading essay collections by talented, distinctive writers, so this book was definitely book kryptonite for me. Sullivan is a Southern writer and many of his essays deal with the Southern landscape and traditions (the essay about writer Andrew Lytle, the essay about naturalist Rafinesque, the essay about southern country blues). Many of the essays are concerned with music -- especially music that appeals to middle aged white guys (Axel Rose, Bunny Wailer). My favorite essay was the first one in which the author travels to a large Christian Rock festival and hangs out with some of the young guys at the festival; the essay was insightful and respectful of their Christian beliefs as well as funny. Sullivan is definitely a writer with tons of talent and may one day join the ranks of essayists such as Joan Didion, David Foster Wallace, Tom Wolfe, and Hunter S. Thompson. Highly recommended for readers who enjoy essays.
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