Nathan's Reviews > Pulphead

Pulphead by John Jeremiah Sullivan
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's review
Jan 12, 2012

it was amazing
Read from January 01 to 12, 2012

"At times it sounds like four hands obeying a single mind..." this comes from Sullivan's essay the "Unknown Bards", but it can also be attributed to this thoroughly thought provoking and eclectic collection of essays. Sullivan tackles subjects ranging from geology and biology to reality television and seemingly no two essays are alike. He has a gift for narrative construct and knows when to be part of the story and when to let the story speak for itself. You would not assume the same person who wrote the essay "Getting Down to What is Really Real", with it's frat boy speak and celebrity obsessed adulation, is the same author of "Unnamed Caves", with it's quite reverence and slow turning explanations. The tonal shifts can be jarring, but each points to an author more concerned with crafting the best essay for the subject at hand then creating themselves as auteur. I was completely charmed and never bored and feel that John Jeremiah Sullivan may be one of the great observers we have. Lastly, if you read "Violence of the Lambs", his essay on the seeming rise of animal attacks, and do not question what is true and what you want to be true and only see it is as a cheap gimmick then you are missing out.
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01/01/2012 page 43
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