Broadly speaking, Sullivan is interested in American culture: from its sugary and omnipresent mainstream (MTV’s The Real World, Michael Jackson) to its dustier, quieter corners (forgotten blues records, ancient cave paintings in Tennessee). There’s not a bad piece in the bunch, most of which was originally written for GQ magazine, but Sullivan’s work hits the stratosphere when it achieves a delicate triangulation—simultaneously reporting the fine details of the piece, the big-picture implications and, most importantly, Sullivan’s personal relationship to each.
It took nearly a year, but I’m back in the pages of the National Post today with a review of John Jeremiah Sullivan’s Pulphead. Hooray! The book is superb—and come to think of it, you’d be hard pressed to find a more foolproof Christmas gift. Sullivan is a crowd-pleaser.
And I’m proud of the review, too; they really let me go to town. Read the full thing—including where I threaten to make out with my favourite passage—here.