Reading the novel Pulp by Charles Bukowski is akin to watching a bad stereotypical gumshoe film from the late 1940's filled with plot dead ends and continuity mistakes. But you love the film anyways because it's FUN. Who cares if it makes sense? Pulp doesn't make sense either, but it sure is fun.
Published in 1994, this was Bukowski's last novel and it shows in the writing. The book ending is reminiscent of how a bad guy character in a cheap film might reach his demise. But isn't life all about the ride?
The novel doesn't feature Bukowski alter-ego Henry Chinaski, instead we have LA private dick Nicky Belane (Mickey Spillane--get it?) drinking gin, visiting sordid dive bars, spying on adulterous wives and making out with space aliens. Sound nuts? It is. And thank goodness for it.
This isn't Bukowski's greatest work, but it sure is a laugh out loud riot of pulp fiction spoofing as only a misogynist drunken writer can. If you're easily offended or like your detective stories a tad more squeaky and clean, skip this novel and read the less offensive Raymond Chandler or Dashiell Hammett; but if you like it sordid and sleazy with a dose of sick humor, by all means give this a try. Turn off prime time television and read Bukowski instead!--after all, humor is in the mind of the beholder.
Dan @ Central