Literary classics are being introduced to a new generation of readers thanks the clever folks at Pulp! The Classics, an imprint of the Old Castle Books Group, that have given famous novels pulp fiction makeovers. Each of these new paperback books feature striking original retro covers in pulp fiction style by illustrator David Mann and cheeky taglines beneath the original title. Another aspect that sets these books apart is that the edges of the textblock are in neon colors, similar to the Penguin Drop Cap series. The only thing that isn’t retro is the price — about $7 compared to $10 cents, the cost of a pulp novel in the early 1900s.
The original unabridged text of each novel has been retained and redesigned by book designer Elsa Mathern. “It’s a cool concept,” writes the editor of Blogcritics, “but what makes me so excited about it is that it does more than add some clever new covers to beloved books; it irreverently challenges the way we view classics. It reminds us that most of what we regard as high culture today.”
Pulp fiction refers to the cheap novels and magazines — usually detective, science fiction, and fantastic adventure stories — that were published from 1896 to 1955. These publications were called “pulp fiction” because they were printed on very low-quality paper made from wood-pulp that yellowed and disintegrated quickly. The covers, however, were printed on slightly better quality paper and featured sensational, colorful drawings — often featuring scantily-clad women in distress. Some of the early pulp writers included luminaries like Edgar Rice Burroughs, Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, H.P. Lovecraft,and Ray Bradbury.
The first title, released in 2013, was Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. That novel was followed by Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, Arthur Conan Doyle’s Hound of the Baskervilles, and the F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. The series now includes 16 titles. Bibliophile completists are sure to be drawn to these books like bees to honey.
Here are some of the titles in the Pulp! The Classics series:
Lewis Caroll: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: This cupcake was off her head!
Joseph Conrad: Heart of Darkness: Whoops! Apocalypse…
Daniel Defoe: Robinson Crusoe: Solitude was driving him nuts!
Charles Dickens: A Christmas Carol: This cat was a drag… ’till a midnight wakeup call!
F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Great Gatsby: When it came to loving… he knew which Daisy to pick!
Arthur Conan Doyle: The Hound of the Baskervilles: Murder… Mystery… Walkies!
Franz Kafka: The Metamorphosis: Change really bugged him…
William Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet: Too wild to live, too young to die!
Mary Shelley: Frankenstein: This kid was born on the Wrong Side of the Lab…
For further reading: http://www.pulptheclassics.com/index1.php?imprint=8