Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Pulp by Charles Bukowski

Pulp (original 1994; edition 2007)

by Charles Bukowski

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,464205,106 (3.56)16
Authors:Charles Bukowski
Info:Ecco (2002), Edizione: 1st Ecco Ed, Paperback, 208 pagine
Collections:2012/2013 (inactive), Your library
Tags:romanzo, USA

Work details

Pulp by Charles Bukowski (1994)



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 16 mentions

English (15)  Italian (2)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  All (20)
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
Highly enjoyable. Bukowski knew his end was coming up and it seems as if he decided that he'd try something a bit different for his last novel, which I think worked out marvelously.
  bartt95 | Mar 3, 2017 |
Bukowski’s last novel is a fun and ridiculous one. Humorously nihilistic, Pulp tosses around, and even mutates, the standard noir private investigator clichés like candy.

Los Angeles P.I. Nick Belane, horny, drunk and broke, has three cases fall into his lap at once. They involve Lady Death, space aliens and a dead French writer (Celine.) And, of course, beautiful but dangerous women – one of which is Death. Unmistakably a Bukowski novel. ( )
  Hagelstein | Jul 1, 2016 |
Charles Bukowski's final novel, Pulp, is hard to assess. On one level, it's rubbish. It makes no sense, what with its space aliens and red sparrows, and at times it seems like a rough draft that could have used a bit more polish. Bukowski's work has always had that rough-around-the-edges feel, but it didn't feel like that here. It felt incomplete, unfocused - the 'Red Sparrow as metaphor for death' angle was clearly intended, but difficult to reason out. One can see the strands - Lady Death is obviously the Grim Reaper (What a babe. Never let you down." (pg. 142)), and the loan that Nicky Belane, the protagonist, is "suckered into and never saw" a dime of (pg. 170) is clearly a metaphor for life itself. Bukowski is confronting life's biggest mystery - death - and so chooses a detective mystery setting; perhaps this novel is the only known instance of 'existential pulp fiction'. It's an idea which never comes fully to fruition, but is intriguing nonetheless.

Yet on another level, Pulp is immensely enjoyable, as Bukowski takes away what few shackles may have influenced his previous writing and just lets rip with gleeful abandon. Pulp shows Bukowski at his most batshit crazy; the book is absurd, and all the more entertaining for being so. Why are there space aliens? Just because. Why are there grapefruits on the floor? "Because I like them like that." (pg. 36). The Buk is clearly enjoying himself; at one point he stops half-way through a pervy description of a beautiful woman with the words: "Don't bother me now. I want to think about it." (pg. 4). There's a lot more identifiable humour than in his previous books; his character of Nicky Belane is essentially Chinaski, the protagonist of his other novels, but with a gun. This, after all, is a private detective whose idea of investigative work is just to walk into a random bar and shout at the baffled patrons: "Has anybody here seen Cindy, Celine or the Red Sparrow?" (pg. 31). He's also a large ham - note his 'choo-choo' speech to Brewster on page 47. All in all, it's just a riot to read, especially when Belane has his camcorder with him.

That said, it's not for apprentice Bukowski-ites. I think the reason I enjoyed Pulp so much is because I was familiar with the author's style, so it helps if readers have read some of his other novels first. As a pulp detective novel, it is rather less than ordinary, but as 'Bukowski-pulp' for ardent Bukowski fans, it's a real treat." ( )
  MikeFutcher | Jun 3, 2016 |
Ridiculous but charming. ( )
  mcolv989 | Mar 20, 2014 |
It's basically like Chandler or Hammett on acid with aliens, Lady Death, and of course the mysterious Red Sparrow. ( )
  ptdilloway | Nov 21, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Important places
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Dedicated to bad writing
First words
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Stavo in ufficio, il contratto d'affitto era scaduto e McKelvey voleva ricorrere al tribunale per sfrattarmi.
Last words
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Depresso, appesantito da una pancia ingombrante, il conto in rosso, i creditori sempre alle porte, tre matrimoni alla spalle, Nick Belane è un detective, "il più dritto detective di Los Angeles". Bukowski gioca con un vecchio stereotipo e vi aggiunge la sua filosofia di lucido beone, il suo esistenzialismo da taverna e un pizzico di cupa, autentica disperazione. I bar, le episodiche considerazioni sul destino, il cinismo, l'ormai sbiadito demone del sesso, il fallimento professioale ed esistenziale, insieme alle mere invenzioni narrative, diventano il "pulp" ('pasticcio') del titolo. Lontano dalle atmosfere tenebrose delle ordinarie follie, un piccolo capolavoro d'ironia, il testamento spirituale di un grande scrittore che non ha mai esitato a immergersi nel degrado della società contemporanea.
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

A takeoff on private eye novels by the author of Ham on Rye. In Los Angeles, PI Nick Belane is hired by Lady Death to find out if the man she spotted in a bookstore is the dead French writer, Celine, or an impersonator. The assignment leads Belane to many bars, many fights and many beautiful women.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
2 avail.
214 wanted
1 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.56)
0.5 1
1 8
1.5 5
2 39
2.5 18
3 99
3.5 32
4 119
4.5 7
5 77

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 115,169,473 books! | Top bar: Always visible