"Some kind of bard...aaaasss"
July 21, 2015 8:14 AM   Subscribe

Pulp! The Classics is a new(isn) British imprint producing pulped-up neon editions of various classic novels and plays. The text is untouched, but the day-glo covers are as brash and trashy as as any 1950s B-movie poster. Authors covered so far are Joyce, Shakespeare, Hardy, Kafka, Dickens, Shelley, Stevenson, Austen, Carroll, Conrad, Wilde, Bronte, Fitzgerald, Jerome, Defoe and Doyle. The blurbs aren't bad either....

"He’s a bardass brother with the love of a fine woman. That is until some cloven hoofed honky starts talking crazy about variously hued sheep tupping the hell outta each other! You gotta pity the fool who gets shafted by the green eyed monster. Let’s hope Othello can work out who to trust before it’s too late…"

"Tess is just a humble milkmaid when the local landowner has his wicked way. Her new beau, the smarmy Angel Clare, is none too pleased when he finds out she’s already been deflowered. What is a girl to do? Bloody revenge of course, and an ending to touch the hardest of hearts."

"Liars, thieves, whores and priests… James Joyce sure knew how to throw a party! This relentlessly downbeat collection explores the very worst aspects of human nature, and doesn’t leave out the juicy bits. It might not be in the best possible taste, but who doesn’t want to get down and dirty in Dublin?"

In a nice extra touch, they've even coloured the page edges is luminous colours. I just passed a display of all these titles in London's Rough Trade record shop, and when you see them altogether they really knock your eyes out. I suspect they'll be bought as jokey gifts rather than reading copies, but what the hell...
posted by Paul Slade (5 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
I am curious about how they acquired the rights to use images of all these famous people on their covers.

(And assuming they didn't, whether or not any of said famous people might start sending them C&Ds.)
posted by ocherdraco at 8:26 AM on July 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

The Hound of the Baskervilles cover is particularly good.

I had never pictured the eponymous hound as a pissed-off Chihuahua before. Clearly, this was a mistake. It totally works. "Mr. Holmes, they were the footprints of a teeny-tiny hound!"

posted by Harvey Jerkwater at 8:36 AM on July 21, 2015 [8 favorites]

I enjoyed these, though I was hoping for something less cheeky and referential -- there are vintage covers out there that play salacious pulp imagery totally straight, and to me those are a lot more fun. (Reminds me of Susan Sontag's line about camp falling apart when you do it on purpose.)
posted by thesmallmachine at 9:24 AM on July 21, 2015 [2 favorites]

The Frankenstein one made me laugh, thesmallmachine.

"What... do I do with these... hands?"
posted by Segundus at 12:32 PM on July 21, 2015

Do these books need to be made fun of for some reason? Worse still, the joke is poorly executed. Couldn't they find a good painter to do the pulp pastiche? Shallow humor at the expense of books that are (some of them at least) well worth reading. (I wish "Frankenstein" would disappear into the dustbin of history>)
posted by Modest House at 3:07 PM on July 21, 2015

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