Pulp - reading popular fiction.

By: McCracken, Scott.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: Manchester : Manchester University Press, 1998Description: 209p, 23cm.ISBN: 0719047595.Subject(s): Literature | American fiction | History and criticism | English fictionDDC classification: 823MCC
Item type Current location Collection Call number Status Date due Barcode Item holds
Standard Loan Book Standard Loan Book AUB Library
Book 823 MCC (Browse shelf) Available 022985
Total holds: 0

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Pulp brings together in one volume chapters on the best seller, detective fiction, popular romance, science fiction and horror. It combines a lucid and accessible account of the cultural theories that have informed the study of popular fiction with detailed readings of Jackie Collins, Jilly Cooper, Colin Dexter, William Gibson, Stephen King, Iain Banks, Terry McMillan and Walter Mosley.<br> <br> Scott Mc Cracken argues that popular fiction serves a vital function: it provides us with the means to construct a workable sense of self in the face of the disorientating pressures of modernity.

Bibliography: p189-201. - Includes index.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Introduction: World, Reader and Text
  • Bestsellers
  • Detective Fiction
  • Popular Romance
  • Science Fiction
  • Gothic-horror
  • Transgression and Utopianism in Popular Fiction

Reviews provided by Syndetics


McCracken maintains that to evaluate popular fiction properly one must explore the relationships among the (modern) world, the popular text, and the reader. In negotiating relationships between the other two, the reader positions him- or herself relative to the world and can, therefore, construct newer and better worlds. McCracken thus sides with critics who find positive value in popular fiction. However, when he turns to the fiction itself, he is compelled to discuss each genre (the detective novel, the romance, science fiction, and Gothic horror) in terms of modern social and cultural theory. He uses one or two examples of a genre to demonstrate how one can use poststructuralism, for example, or feminist criticism, to explore the complex activity of reading that genre. Unfortunately, the demonstrations tend to be too few and too simplistic to reveal much about either the fiction or the experience of reading it. Thus, in spite of the author's thorough research and a critical vocabulary relying on terms such as "utopianism" and "transgression," the book seems to do little more than argue that popular fiction is escapist. For extensive collections serving upper-division undergraduates and above. J. L. Culross; Eastern Kentucky University