Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Pulp” as Want to Read:
Pulp
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Pulp

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  29,832 ratings  ·  1,619 reviews
Opening with the exotic Lady Death entering the gumshoe-writer's seedy office in pursuit of a writer named Celine, this novel demonstrates Bukowski's own brand of humour and realism, opening up a landscape of seamy Los Angeles.
Paperback, 208 pages
Published May 31st 2002 by Ecco (first published 1994)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.68  · 
Rating details
 ·  29,832 ratings  ·  1,619 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Pulp
Ahmad Sharabiani
Pulp (novel), Charles Bukowski
Pulp is the last completed novel by Los Angeles poet and writer Charles Bukowski. It was published in 1994, shortly before Bukowski's death. Pulp is a pulp fiction novel which acts also as a meta-pulp. Pulp comments on the obsessions of the pulp fiction genre, making fun of itself as stereotypical of the genre in the grimiest form. Bukowski dedicates the story to "bad writing", as Bukowski did not plan his mystery novel well and frequently wrote Nicky Belane into ho
...more
Arthur Graham
Mar 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
For newcomers to the world of Charles Bukowski, be forewarned: Pulp is probably not the best place to start.

I say this, not because it doesn’t rank right up there with his other books, or because greener readers will fail to grasp the allusions to earlier work it contains, but rather because as his ultimate novel (completed months before his death) Pulp can easily be seen as Bukowski’s final farewell. In it, the aged author takes his readers on one last foray into familiar territories of sex, ma
...more
David Schaafsma
Pulp is Charles Bukowski’s last book. So you get curious about that, a dying man’s last words. Is it the foxhole confession at last for a life-long unapologetic vulgarian? Nah. True to his stolid commitment to self-deprecation, satire of pretentiousness and constant drunkenness, Bukowksi, knowing he has little time left, pens his first non-Henry Chinaski fiction, and dedicates it to “bad writing.” His target here is noir fiction, ala Mickey Spillane, with Bukowski’s version named Nicky Belane. I ...more
Mutasim Billah
Aug 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“It wasn’t my day. My week. My month. My year. My life. God damn it.”


Filthy, sleazy, surreal and hilarious: Bukowski's final completed novel, Pulp is a pulp-fiction parody novel which centers on themes of death and betrayal. The story follows the perspective of Nicky Belane, a hard-boiled, old-timer detective in L.A. trying to solve several strange, surreal interconnected cases by waiting them out.

“I'm not dead yet, just in a state of rapid decay, who isn't?”


Much of the writing is Bukows
...more
Steven Godin
Pulp is the only one of Charles Bukowski’s novels that’s not written from the perspective of Bukowski’s alter ego, Henry Chinaski. After all the agonized and hilarious autobiographical accounts of pain, frustration, poor health and madness of his earlier novels, the great man had at last come to a subject too enormous and painful to deal with directly. This was Bukowski’s last novel, published in 1994, the same year he died of leukemia at the age of 73. As he was writing this book, he knew his d ...more
Adam Floridia
May 17, 2012 rated it liked it
"'This whole thing is a bad senseless dream,' I said" (200).

That about sums it up; except it isn't bad. It's not good either. I felt like Bukowski was just playing a joke on his readers the whole time, like "hey, let me just write some outlandish fiction with an absurd, nonsensical plot and someone will publish it and lots of people will read it. And I'm going to do that because I can." And he did. And he makes writing seem so easy. And this makes me think that I could write a book like this: si
...more
Sam Quixote
Jun 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nicky Belane is the best private dick in LA and that makes him a busy boy. He must find the acclaimed, long-presumed dead French novelist Celine for Lady Death, the ultimate femme fatale, help a mortician escape a body-snatching alien called Jeannie Nitro and find the Red Sparrow, whatever that is! But has Belane bitten off more than he can chew this time?

Charles Bukowski’s last book, Pulp, is a helluva way to go out and an odd one too given that his best known works - Post Office, Factotum, Wo
...more
Jon Nakapalau
Nov 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, classics
Nick Belane is a private investigator who Lady Death has taken notice of. Bukowski spins a metaphysical detective story that will leave you wondering...what is the point of anything?
Barry Wynn
Dec 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
My first Bukowski book. I had no idea what was going on but I found the writing glorious.
Mary
Jul 29, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016, fiction
Boring damned people. All over the earth. Propagating more boring damned people. What a horror show. The earth swarmed with them.

A funny, dry, cheesy, entertaining farewell from Buk, with literary cameos by Chinaski, Fante, Celine, babes, booze, aliens, and a very unsuccessful phone sex conversation.

- - -
"...Do you like my voice? Don't you find it a little...ah, sexy?"

"Yeah, a little but not too much. You sound like you got a cold. You got a cold?"

"Nick, Nick, my dear boy, I'm too hot to have a
...more
Nick Younker
Nov 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bukowski always has something truly interesting to say, even if it's the dullest subject on the docket. Fortunately, this noir'ish story found it's way to my Kindle just in time to confirm that people in their twilight start seeing odd things and when they write about them, there's no more surprise than when they talk about morning eggs and toast. His prose and syntax were spot on, even in his final days.
André
Jul 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pulp is Bukowski's last opera. It's a meta-pulp fiction that parodies the classic detective stories. This time, our dearest writer, creates a new alter-ego, Nicky Belane, a hard-boiled private detective. Belane is the grimiest side of Bukowski: more rebel, violent and colder than Chinaski, but with a slightly psychopathic behaviour.
The plot follows the absurdity of Belane's daily life. He's a deadbeat character who "solves" cases for a living (or tries to).
Bukowski's alter-ego, in this tale, s
...more
Golshan Tabatabaie
what did i just read?!!!!!
Michael Jandrok
Apr 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Charles Bukowski's final novel is a swirling mess of genres that aspires to satire, but more often comes across as pastiche. The fact that Bukowski is often lampooning his own style is what makes it so outrageously fun. It is truly what it appears to be, a nod to the pulp novels of the past, and an exercise in bad writing for the sake of bad writing.

I would agree with a few other reviewers, this is NOT the place to start with Bukowski. Stick with "Ham on Rye" or "Post Office" if you need an intr
...more
Tim
Apr 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed, 1990s
What do a literal femme fatale (appropriately named Lady Death), the French author Louis-Ferdinand Céline, a husband with a maybe cheating wife and space aliens have in common? Hell if I know, but Charles Bukowski obviously felt like they all fit together, as they all tie into the cases featured in his final novel Pulp.

Pulp is many things. It is a send up of noir style mysteries, with a narrator even named Nicky Belane who has to search for the illusive Red Sparrow. The writing is purposely bad
...more
Lady Nerd
Nov 30, 2017 rated it did not like it
Why people like this is beyond me. No good characters. No actual plot. Bad writing. Not even funny. If people of this world love this book, I'm out of it.
James Tingle
Mar 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I've read all of Bukowski's novels now and this was the last one that I read and the final book that he wrote, dying not long after its completion. I would have to say that his other novels are better, but this is still pretty darn good and plenty of fun as well. Whereas the other novels are all about Henry Chinaski, his alter-ego, this one has a different protagonist, a Mr Nicky Belane, who is a private detective and a drunken no good one at that! At first, I found it quite odd not reading abou
...more
Joy (joyous reads)
Jan 02, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: own
Yikes. Reading the last book the author's ever written as an introduction to his work is NEVER a good idea. My brain is fried.
_________________________________

The whole time I was reading this, all I could think of was what my brain would look like if it was on meth.

This book should come with a warning: “Book may induce numbness to the brain that may lead to permanent damage.” Or something to that effect.

Clearly, my first foray into Bukowski’s world did not get off to a great start. I read some
...more
Travis
Feb 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
Take away a noir detective's story, his class, his street smarts, and write an entire book without ever giving him a reason to live. Welcome to Nick Belane's world in "Pulp."

This is crime fiction that is just too real and too surreal at the same time. Do we ever really believe that someone can smoke a pack of cigerettes and drink a pint of whiskey every day and still look good enough to score a smoking hot femme fatale? We don't, and Burkowski never let's us pretend that Belane ever could. Bela
...more
Leo Robertson
I found this at my work's open library, and while I might have conquered your everyday winter blues, extended Oslo winter blues add that extra dollop of 'Say goodbye to your concentration levels RE: difficult books,' so I picked this up, but I still don't get Bukowski. So that's that :)
Moein Esmaeeli
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“ But trouble and pain were what kept a man alive. Or trying to avoid trouble and pain. It was a full time job. “
Cbj
Apr 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
PULP is spectacular. I am still thinking about it, I think PULP could be nearly as good as FACTOTUM and it sort of outguns HAM ON RYE, POST OFFICE, WOMEN and HOLLYWOOD.

Bukowski is in the form of his life here. The humor is brilliant. The social commentary is sharp. And it also has the two most depressing pages (chapter no.22 in the Ecco; 1st Ecco Ed edition ,May 31, 2002) Bukowski has ever written.

It is incredible how Bukowski combines slapstick humor, sharp social commentary and melancholia wit
...more
Yair Ben-Zvi
Jan 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
"We have come to terms". Sorry, just wanted to start my review with a nicely terminal quote from a relatively obscure show (the fabulous anime The Big O for those interested) before jumping in. Here we have Bukowski's final published novel and for all its various flaws (and there are quite a few don't get me wrong) the work still succeeds through a rare combination of authorial resignation, acceptance, the tragedy of the mortal human condition, and the inverted triumph that results from all this ...more
Matt
Jan 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was a classic private eye novel, with some interesting twists. Similar writing style to Post Office, and another great character. Nick Belane is basically Sam Spade, you know, if Sam Spade were a huge drunk ass hole with a propensity to get in bar fights. Despite seeming to stumble through life drunk and betting on the ponies (very similar to Chinaski), Belane manages to solve pretty much any case that comes to him (especially the ones involving Lady Death and aliens). He solves cases by pi ...more
Garrett Mortin
Jul 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
Pulp is the title of Charles Bukowski's final novel before his death in 1994. As huge Bukowski admire, i was excited to read his take on the detective "pulp" genre. He portrays himself as Private Detective Nick Belane, and we follow him as tries to solve four different cases. Between barroom brawls, and pulls from the bottle, Belane pushes on through a string mistaken identities, and confronts death head on. In my mind anything Bukowski writes is golden, but i will say of all his work this novel ...more
NEGΔR
Apr 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I got a good laugh not a good novel!
Hats off to "bad writing"
That was the point? right?
This was the first book by Charles Bukowski that I've read. Maybe I shouldn't have started with this one but it was fun even though humour noir is not my cup of tea. It had an absorbing tone, a true comedy that I liked.

P.S: I loved Blane 😂 I wanted to hammer his head through the wall but I liked how his mind worked!
...more
Peggy
Feb 10, 2020 rated it liked it
I didn't like it at all, some parts were good some good sentences some good dialogs, but thats it...
Cwn_annwn_13
Oct 23, 2009 rated it it was ok
Well I have finally ran across a Bukowski book I don't like. Cliche ridden detective story, (yes I realize that some of those cliches were put there intentionally, but still) and Bukowskis attempts at humor for the most part fall flat.
AmirHossein Obbohat
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
I couldn't imagine such a book would be so famous and a make the writer proud of it!
No complaints as the name says it's pulp and ironically it's not even more than the name, not a bit!
I think reading bukowski books is just wasting time! Trust me it doesn't worth NOT A BIT!!!
Chayma Jeddaoui
Jul 11, 2014 rated it liked it
This book is so fu**ed up. Startled me so much i think i'll start looking for the Red Sparrow myself!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Sense of the novel and the "Red Sparrow" figure 1 3 Jul 02, 2020 05:49AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Suicide Shop
  • سمفونی مردگان
  • Ask the Dust (The Saga of Arturo Bandini, #3)
  • The Clown
  • A Fraction of the Whole
  • خداحافظ گاری کوپر
  • میرا
  • The Blind Owl
  • چشمهایش
  • Letter to a Child Never Born
  • کجا ممکن است پیدایش کنم
  • سه قطره خون
  • سال بلوا
  • The Road to Los Angeles (The Saga of Arturo Bandini, #2)
  • مرگ در می‌زند
  • Mangez-le si vous voulez
  • پاییز فصل آخر سال است
  • Wait Until Spring, Bandini (The Saga of Arturo Bandini, #1)
See similar books…
24,089 followers
Henry Charles Bukowski (born as Heinrich Karl Bukowski) was a German-born American poet, novelist and short story writer. His writing was influenced by the social, cultural and economic ambience of his home city of Los Angeles.It is marked by an emphasis on the ordinary lives of poor Americans, the act of writing, alcohol, relationships with women and the drudgery of work. Bukowski wrote thousands ...more

News & Interviews

Hispanic Heritage Month is the perfect time to relish the latest works from beloved Hispanic and Latinx authors like Isabel Allende, Natalia...
81 likes · 72 comments
“It wasn’t my day. My week. My month. My year. My life. God damn it.” 1009 likes
“We waited and waited. All of us. Didn't the shrink know that waiting was one of the things that drove people crazy? People waited all their lives. They waited to live, they waited to die. They waited in line to buy toilet paper. They waited in line for money. And if they didn't have any money they waited in longer lines. You waited to go to sleep and then you waited to awaken. You waited to get married and you waited to get divorced. You waited for it to rain, you waited for it to stop. You waited to eat and then you waited to eat again. You waited in a shrink's office with a bunch of psychos and you wondered if you were one.” 150 likes
More quotes…