Edan's Reviews > Pulphead

Pulphead by John Jeremiah Sullivan
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's review
Jan 28, 2012

liked it
Read from January 28 to May 02, 2012

I didn't fall in love with this book like everyone else I know. I enjoyed many of these essays, particularly the one about him as a writer's assistant. Sullivan can surely craft a sentence, and he's no doubt a bright MoFo. The thing is, for me, many of these pieces felt overly mannered, like intellectual experiments in voice. His narrative "I" didn't always feel true to me, whatever that means. I was engaged with these pieces on a brainiac level, but I was never inside of them, never truly invested. I don't read many (any) essay collections, so who knows what I expected/wanted. I just know that I'm marking this as "read" even though there are a few I haven't read and don't feel like reading.

Side note: I believe Sullivan's work is sometimes compared to the nonfiction David Foster Wallace. And the novel Skippy Dies was compared to DFW's fiction. Neither book I loved (I actively disliked Skippy Dies). This makes me think I won't enjoy Infinite Jest, or Consider the Lobster, when I finally get to them...and now I am not rushing to get to them. I can't stand the DFW hagiography these days, so I'm just stepping out of the discussion for now. Thoughts?

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message 1: by Judy (new)

Judy I am all for stepping out of the discussion, any discussion that "everybody" seems to be having, when said discussion is not my thing at the time. So my thought is: good decision.

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