Raymond Chandler, Charles Bukowski, and the Dead Psychic

Charles BukowskiWhat’s the link between Raymond Chandler, poet laureate of noir detective fiction, and Charles Bukowski,  patron saint of low-life drunks? Two that I can think of: a dead gay psychic and a book.

The book was Bukowski’s Pulp. Published in 1994, it was the last he ever wrote. The bard of the bottle was on his way out when he wrote this homage/parody to the LA detective thriller.

The works of Chandler and fellow noir master Dashiell Hammett loom large over Bukowski’s book, even as he subverts their tropes and goes looking for more philosophical mean streets to stroll down. The text eventually escapes its Chandler pastiche and meanders off into autobiography and a creeping sense of mortality.

The dead gay psychic is something else.

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