Pulp Fiction #reflection

Pulp Fiction

I don’t know if I have mentioned this in the past but I have been working in a library for a little while now. You would probably think that it is like a dream job, around all those books and what not, soaking in all the book scents and such.

That smell that people go gaga for is actually decaying paper and mold. Lots of mold. With an ugly mold allergy, it is something that makes life a little difficult at times. But this is neither here nor there…

If you aren’t used to the way I do stuff like this, what you just experienced is a lead in. Yeah, I don’t really just jump to the point most of the time. I like to wander around in the woods and look for the breadcrumbs that might bring us back to a sane place. But we never really get there.

And so it goes…

Actually, the reason I bring any of that up, is because one of the more interesting parts of working in a library is discussions with people about what they are reading and finding new things to explore. Which brings us to the thoughts of the day.

Pulp Fiction

Flickr Creative Commons via Kenny Louie

One of these recommendations I ran through recently came about from someone that had read a few of the Harry Dresden books (Jim Butcher) on my recommendation. Her thoughts at the time where they had a similar feel to some Clive Cussler stories. So of course, this means that I need to do some research. Yeah, I ended up picking a Cussler book at random.

Now this isn’t going to blow into a review or a conversation about the book itself. That might come at a later time. Instead this is more along the lines of reflection. You spend enough time with your nose in books and you tend to see some repeating patterns.

My first thought when I dipped into the pages of the current book I am reading was I had seen this energy before. You know what I mean, right? It’s like the feeling of the story, the overall mood of what is happening. Yeah, a bit of it is the author’s voice. But this is something that transcends that as well.

What I had found was something similar to stuff I have read in the past. There was a spirit of adventure within the story itself that reminded me of books I had grown up reading. And I used to read a good amount of pulp.

It’s probably an age thing. I mean, I was born long after pulp had pretty much disappeared, at least the magazines that gave it its name had gone away long ago. But that’s the thing, just because the main home had dried up doesn’t mean it went away.

Yeah, I know if you are all about the literary there is a bit of elitism against the whole idea of pulp fiction. Personally, I don’t care. It’s the stuff I grew up on and the stuff I still enjoy.

Some of my favorite books growing up were the Doc Savage stories. I had most of them in paperback (the replacement for the pulp magazines). It was this spirit that had clicked for me within the pages of this book. The spirit of adventure that these types of stories had embodied never died.

The idea clicked and I saw a bit further into the book landscape to find that there are a number of writers out there still filling books with the spirit of pulp fiction. A few of them are even making a pretty big business out of it.

Not that this changes our literary landscape or anything other than to give me a new perspective of what I am seeing on the shelves. But it is an interesting thought, especially when you think how far back the idea of pulp goes. Some of the most well-known story tellers through the ages embraced that same spirit of adventure.

Pulp has always been with us, and will continue on long after we are gone. Kinda gives me chills.


If you enjoy these stories, consider leaving some coffee money in the jar or you could buy a book or two. Either way helps keep the stories flowing.

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