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Book Review

Book Cover

Pulp Fiction
The Complete Story of Quentin Tarantino's Masterpiece (Hardback)


Author: Jason Bailey
Publisher: Voyageur Press
RRP: £25.00, US $35.00
ISBN: 978 0 7603 479 8
Publication Date: 15 November 2013

Some cult films, for all their artistic or stylistic innovation, remain beloved of a small niche market. There are other cult films whose influence has a significant impact on movie making and so it was with Pulp Fiction.

Pulp Fiction: The Complete Story of Quentin Tarantino’s Masterpiece, written by Jason Bailey, charts the film from its inception to its explosion into the zeitgeist.

It’s another big and heavy coffee book affair, with a thick cardboard cover. Mine did not come with a dust jacket, but the look of the brute makes me think that it probably doesn’t come with one - nor do I own a coffee table.

The book follows the age old tradition of splitting itself up into chapters; in this case six are presented for your exploration, in chronological order.

The book opens with an exploration of the young Tarantino and his influences; apart for the last two chapters each has a guest essay which illuminates various aspect of the man and his work. Within the body of each chapter you will also find small panels dedicated to either ‘Pulp Facts’ which tend to link directly in with the film and ‘Frame of Reference’ which provides more oblique information. The pages have a good selection of illustrations and pictures, which are well balanced with the text.

We have the expected information about how the film was made and its success, with lots of Tarantino quotes, interspersed with some good, insightful exploration., through the chapters, The Movie Geek, The Script that Changes Everything, Making Fiction, “Let’s get Down to Brass Tacks, Gentlemen”, The release and Aftermath and The Tarantinoverse.

It’s strange to discover that something so violent was turned into a musical or that it inspire interpretive dance, either sounds completely brilliant or mind numbing awful, either way I would have been up for seeing them. But then this book is full of snippets of information which will surprise you.

It is fitting that a film which so immersed itself in pop culture references should be celebrated in a format which itself has become an inevitable offshoot of film and television books, a cultural icon discussed in a cultural icon.


Charles Packer

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