Sunday, January 15, 2012

Book Report: John Jeremiah Sullivan Is Not David Foster Wallace Despite Having Three Names

PulpheadPulphead by John Jeremiah Sullivan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


There is no doubt that Sullivan is a good writer, but he suffered from extravagant praise, in my opinion. I had to have this book of essays for Christmas after The New Yorker compared his writing to that of David Foster Wallace. He is no David Foster Wallace. Not even close.

"Upon This Rock," the author's account of attending a three-day Christian rock music festival is the strongest piece, reminiscent of Wallace's famous account of attending the Illinois State Fair in Springfield, but not matching it. Sullivan's essays about searching out old blues singers and visiting Bob Marley's mentor, Bunny Wailer, just become plain tedious if you're not a blues or reggae devotee. This is a little-above average book, but not nearly masterpiece quality.



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1 comment:

forsythia said...

Another book not to read any time soon.