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Pulp – tekijä: Robin Talley
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Pulp (alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi 2018; vuoden 2018 painos)

– tekijä: Robin Talley (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
1306162,743 (3.56)1
In 1955, eighteen-year-old Janet Jones keeps the love she shares with her best friend Marie a secret. It's not easy being gay in Washington, DC, in the age of McCarthyism, but when she discovers a series of books about women falling in love with other women, it awakens something in Janet. As she juggles a romance she must keep hidden and a newfound ambition to write and publish her own story, she risks exposing herself--and Marie--to a danger all too real. Sixty-two years later, Abby Zimet can't stop thinking about her senior project and its subject: classic 1950s lesbian pulp fiction. Between the pages of her favorite book, the stresses of Abby's own life are lost to the fictional hopes, desires and tragedies of the characters she's reading about. She feels especially connected to one author, a woman who wrote under the pseudonym "Marian Love," and becomes determined to track her down and discover her true identity. The story of two young women connected across generations through the power of words.… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:tarr.chris
Teoksen nimi:Pulp
Kirjailijat:Robin Talley (Tekijä)
Info:Harlequin Teen (2018), Edition: Original ed., 384 pages
Kokoelmat:CHS - New, CHS - Fiction
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Pulp (tekijä: Robin Talley) (2018)

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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 6) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
This review is posted on both my personal account and the account for Crossroads Public Library.

I like to consider myself vaguely well-versed in queer history, but honestly anything pre-Stonewall is not a time frame that I’m familiar with. I had no idea lesbian pulp fiction was a thing, nor did I know anything about the Lavender Scare. Pulp was educational but it never felt boring. YA historical fiction does not circulate well at my library, but I think having it bounce between 2017 and 1955 will really help draw in more readers who wouldn’t normally pick up a historical book.

There were a few problems with it - Abby was kind of frustrating for me. I can be confrontational, so her running away from her problems was entirely foreign to me. And the conflict started to feel a little...convoluted(?) towards the end.

But all in all, I enjoyed it, and I think others interested in the topic will enjoy it as well. ( )
  zombiibean | Nov 20, 2020 |
I’m not recommending this book for the writing, which is pretty standard YA fare even if it does some neat things with the parallel stories. I’m recommending it for the way it presents queer history and activism, and the discussion and learning possibilities it opens up. Possibly I would feel differently if I was a) a teenager b) American c) sapphic, so take my thoughts as you will.

I have likes and dislikes for both halves of the story. There’s some good realism about pressure on teens, broken marriages, becoming aware of one’s sexuality, discovering life-changing books, 1950s American politics and social conventions, personal growth… and slightly unbelievable naïvety and reactions, plot points and personal developments that almost come out of the blue, and some heavy-handedness about the history and activism, but that gets a pass. This is a book for teens, after all. Lack of subtlety is a thing and if it gets people asking questions, doing research, or protesting, who cares?

What takes this from “fine” to “good” is the theme of queer history and activism through time. (Abby’s and Janet’s halves actually feel a bit sculpted sometimes to support that theme.) There’s some really strong stuff about queer teens today not knowing where their freedoms came from, that their history began before Stonewall, and about the different struggles and forms that activism has taken over the years. Lots of stuff about the power of representation too, and a lot of hope for the future of equality, and that so much change for queer people has happening in a single lifetime. And I’m pretty impressed how much history Talley either works into the plot or tips her hat to. (And pleased by how many queer people were in the supporting cast.)

All in all, I enjoyed this but didn’t love it, even if I got kind of misty near the end which doesn’t usually happen. Definitely reccing it for the queer history stuff, like I said. I haven’t seen any other YA novels that tackle this stuff (heck, not sure I’ve seen a book cover this, period) and Talley has written a good introduction and dramatised it well. And yes, I will be getting a copy in at work.

Warnings: Janet’s story is necessarily full of homophobia, including but not limited to the Lavender Scare and McCarthyism. She is very unsafe throughout much of the book though never in physical danger. The “Tragically Dead Lesbian” makes an appearance but without much staying power. (There’s also some racism and period slurs.)

7/10 ( )
1 ääni NinjaMuse | Jul 26, 2020 |
Thanks to Netgalley for providing a copy in exchange for my honest review!

I have mixed feelings about this.

Firstly, I loved the premise: what's not to love about a dual narrative, with one focusing on a girl (Abby) discovering lesbian pulp fiction from the 1950s in modern times and the other following another girl (Janet) who actually lived in the 50s - and their stories maybe eventually tying together?

But here it already starts to get messy. The different stories the novel follows were too similar to actually keep straight (heh): Both Abby and Janet discover pulp, both of them become obsessed, both of them begin writing some of their own, the story the one writes is read by the other, they both also read another book that is the same - and excerpts from everyhing they're reading and writing is included, which makes it really hard to follow where we actually are and what is actually happening. The sheer number of different stories explored made it very difficult for me to get into the novel and then keep track of what was happening and I kept wondering what the actual point of the story was.

Another thing I did not enjoy is that a lot of the historical context necessary to make sense of why Janet (and the characters in the lesbian pulp) act the way they do is given in a sort of "history lesson" style instead of being woven organically into the narrative. One of our POV characters is actually living that life - we did not need to be explicitly told that information in the modern perspective again!

I also could not understand why Abby was acting the way she was - her actions made zero sense to me. Why did she even become obsessed with Marian Love? Why did she ignore her schoolwork? Did she actually want to college or not? It felt a little like she was lying to herself, but at the same time she wasn't. She lived in a bubble for so long, but that bubble was never really explored and then that bubble suddenly burst, but I can only guess what the moment was because it just was not given any proper screentime. All of a sudden, she just acted so mature and it was just strange.

But to round everything off on a more positive note, here are some things about Pulp that I did really like:

It was nice to see the lack of diversity in pulp fiction and the blatant racism of the time both acknowledged and challenged. Abby did this by attempting to invert the genres of the trope, while Janet met black lesbians and began recognizing and reflecting on racism and her own ignorance and privilege.

I also especially loved the portrayal of politically active teens that was Abby's circle of friends - it was so nice to see them actively standing up for what they believe in, and not just on the internet but also out in the world.

Overall, while there were significant parts I didn't understand the relevance of, the elements I liked I really loved and thought were very well done. ( )
  j_tuffi | May 30, 2020 |
I loved how the author, Robin Talley, worked historical names into the story. As another reviewer pointed out, it is three stories in one book. I read Pulp in the evenings before bed, so every now and then I had to re-read a few pages to remind myself of which characters belong to which storyline. I hope the historical fiction brings a greater understanding to a younger generation of what it was like to live when lesbian women and gay men were treated as mentally ill criminals.

Aside from overlooking some of the more annoying traits of the main character, Abby, it was a wonderful book and fun to read. As I mentioned I recognized a few of the names, I assume as homages to writers and bibliographers. I greatly appreciated the list of resources included at the end of the book. ( )
  MichaelC.Oliveira | Jan 30, 2019 |
4.5 stars, rounded up.

I'm still undecided if it's my favorite Talley book so far, but I think this book definitely highlights her capabilities as a writer.

I'm just gonna do a quick pros/cons breakdown:

Pros:
+ Talley shows that she has range here, as she has to write essentially 3.5/4 different stories at once.
+ This is more of an "issues" book, like Lies We Tell Ourselves rather than a slice-of-life
+ I think Talley has a great voice for historical fiction, which is on full display here.
+ The characters are all realistic and engaging, though I admit I didn't love Abby.
+ I liked how not everything had a neat/expected ending.

Cons:
+ To be fair, I can't understand Abby's POV, but at times she came across as very annoying.
+ Janet was more interesting than Abby; I actually would have preferred a Janet-only book.
+ The plot is a little ridiculous/contrived at time in regards to what happened to Janet. ( )
1 ääni majesdane | Jan 8, 2019 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 6) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
ei arvosteluja | lisää arvostelu
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Katso lisäohjeita Common Knowledge -sivuilta (englanniksi).
Kanoninen teoksen nimi
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To the rich community of queer writers, editors and publishers who changed the world so many times over and are still changing it today.
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It took all Abby's willpower not to kiss her.
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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In 1955, eighteen-year-old Janet Jones keeps the love she shares with her best friend Marie a secret. It's not easy being gay in Washington, DC, in the age of McCarthyism, but when she discovers a series of books about women falling in love with other women, it awakens something in Janet. As she juggles a romance she must keep hidden and a newfound ambition to write and publish her own story, she risks exposing herself--and Marie--to a danger all too real. Sixty-two years later, Abby Zimet can't stop thinking about her senior project and its subject: classic 1950s lesbian pulp fiction. Between the pages of her favorite book, the stresses of Abby's own life are lost to the fictional hopes, desires and tragedies of the characters she's reading about. She feels especially connected to one author, a woman who wrote under the pseudonym "Marian Love," and becomes determined to track her down and discover her true identity. The story of two young women connected across generations through the power of words.

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