Dwight Garners issues what we will take as the highest compliment:
“It’s a big and sustaining pile of—as I’ve heard it put about certain people’s fried chicken—crunchy goodness.”
To make Sullivan’s ties to down-home Americana a bit more literary, Garner lights a candle to Miss O’Connor herself:
“Most of the essays in Pulphead are haunted, in a far more persuasive way, by what Mr. Sullivan refers to with only slight self-mockery as ‘the tragic spell of the South.’ The book has its grotesques, for sure. But they are genuine and appear here in a way that put me in mind of one of Flannery O’Connor’s indelible utterances. ‘Whenever I’m asked why Southern writers particularly have a penchant for writing about freaks,’ O’Connor said, ‘I say it is because we are still able to recognize one.’”
Read the entire review at the New York Times.