“Most of the world was mad. And the part that wasn’t mad was angry. And the part that wasn’t mad or angry was just stupid. I had no chance. I had no choice. Just hang on and wait for the end.”
Pulp was the last book Bukowski published in his life. Like much of his later work the book’s main concerns are Bukowski’s legacy, making peace with the past, the difficulty of the creative process as you get older, and the toll humans are taking on the earth and civilization. Added to this are Bukowski’s regular themes of drinking, women, horse racing, and the banality of everyday life.
The satirical plot involves a not too swift private investigator who ends up with list of bizarre and interrelated cases involving the identity of a Frenchman hanging out in a bookstore, a cheating wife, space aliens sent to scope out earth, and finding the red sparrow. Most of the PI’s luck is blind, but he does pull a few cunning tricks of his own which he celebrates with a drink or three. He goes to great lengths to solve the mystery of the red sparrow only to realize there are some things we can never know in life.
This was the first novel I read by Bukowski. It was a fast read, humorous at times and heavy at others and filled with a unique insight into life. In other words, the novel was much like Bukowski’s poetry and the man himself.
Available from City Lights Bookstore.