Pulphead
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Pulphead

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Description

A New York Times Notable Book for 2011 One of Entertainment Weekly's Top 10 Nonfiction Books of the Year 2011 A Time Magazine Top 10 Nonfiction book of 2011 A Boston Globe Best Nonfiction Book of 2011 One of Library Journal's Best Books of 2011 A sharp-eyed, uniquely humane tour of America's cultural landscape--from high to low to lower than low--by the award-winning young star of the literary nonfiction world. In Pulphead, John Jeremiah Sullivan takes us on an exhilarating tour of our popular, unpopular, and at times completely forgotten culture. Simultaneously channeling the gonzo energy of Hunter S. Thompson and the wit and insight of Joan Didion, Sullivan shows us--with a laidback, erudite Southern charm that's all his own--how we really (no, really) live now. In his native Kentucky, Sullivan introduces us to Constantine Rafinesque, a nineteenth-century polymath genius who concocted a dense, fantastical prehistory of the New World. Back in modern times, Sullivan takes us to the Ozarks for a Christian rock festival; to Florida to meet the alumni and straggling refugees of MTV's Real World, who've generated their own self-perpetuating economy of minor celebrity; and all across the South on the trail of the blues. He takes us to Indiana to investigate the formative years of Michael Jackson and Axl Rose and then to the Gulf Coast in the wake of Katrina--and back again as its residents confront the BP oil spill. Gradually, a unifying narrative emerges, a story about this country that we've never heard told this way. It's like a fun-house hall-of-mirrors tour: Sullivan shows us who we are in ways we've never imagined to be true. Of course we don't know whether to laugh or cry when faced with this reflection--it's our inevitable sob-guffaws that attest to the power of Sullivan's work.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 369 pages
  • 127 x 187.96 x 27.94mm | 181.44g
  • Farrar, Straus & Giroux Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0374532907
  • 9780374532901
  • 45,784

Review quote

"Sullivan's essays have won two National Magazine Awards, and here his omnivorous intellect analyzes Michael Jackson, Christian rock, post-Katrina New Orleans, Axl Rose and the obscure 19th century naturalist Constantine Rafinesque. His compulsive honesty and wildly intelligent prose recall the work of American masters of New Journalism like Hunter S. Thompson and Tom Wolfe." --"Time""Sullivan's essays stay with you, like good short stories--and like accomplished short fiction, they often will, over time, reveal a fuller meaning . . . Whether he ponders the legacy of a long-dead French scientist or the unlikely cultural trajectory of Christian rock, Sullivan imbues his narrative subjects with a broader urgency reminiscent of other great practitioners of the essay-profile, such as "New Yorker" writers Joseph Mitchell and A. J. Liebling or Gay Talese during his '60s "Esquire" heyday . . . ["Pulphead"] reinforces [Sullivan's] standing as among the best of his generation's essayists.show more

About John Jeremiah Sullivan

John Jeremiah Sullivan is a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine and the southern editor of The Paris Review. He writes for GQ, Harper's Magazine, and Oxford American, and is the author of Blood Horses. Sullivan lives in Wilmington, North Carolina.show more

Rating details

6,095 ratings
4 out of 5 stars
5 32% (1,941)
4 43% (2,613)
3 20% (1,231)
2 4% (246)
1 1% (64)
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