Pulp by Charles Bukowski

When I first read this, I thought it was the worst novel I had ever read. On a second reading, however, it comes off remarkably well. It’s much funnier than I remembered the first time around, and somehow the ending seems more poignant now. It’s not one of Bukowski’s best, but it’s still Bukowski: funny, misanthropic, uninhibited, darkly philosophical. The first time I read it I would have given it a one star rating, but now I’m giving it four stars. I believe this is the last thing Bukowski published in his lifetime; it’s worth reading just to see his last printed words, which are as cynical and unrepentant as ever. And yet…there is beauty here, some roses growing out of the garbage heap. Bukowski has been dead for twenty years, but his brilliant, bitter words live on.

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