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Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon

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  • Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravity's_Rainbow
    Anyone read this yet? I am curious as to others' input to this staggering piece of work. I am approximately one-third through the novel, and already I have been assaulted by Pynchon's vast knowledge in many fields(Science, Psychology, Popular Culture, Philosophy, History, to mention a just few among the minefield of information). I'm also amazed by his ability to integrate all that in such a dense novel. Pynchon also makes astute observations of human nature in between people breaking out in song and engaging in coprophilia to rockets and pavlovians in between all that octopus sex. Is it no wonder that people call this novel vulgar? It is a staggering work of beauty... if you manage to get to the end of the book (I swear I will!)

  • #2
    I've always thought of giving Gravity's Rainbow a try, but have never picked up the book. I'll be interested to read what you write about it.

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    • #3
      The Crying of Lot 49 is the work I remember best, a cool read by the time I got around to it in the '70s.
      Last edited by Talisant; 06-22-2006, 11:11 AM.
      "A man is no man who cannot have a fried mackerel when he has set his mind on it; and more especially when he has money in his pocket to pay for it." - E.A. Poe's NICHOLAS DUNKS; OR, FRIED MACKEREL FOR DINNER

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      • #4
        I've read it; in fact it's one of my favourite books of all time. It can be very hard to get into, and the way the characters chage identities is very confusing.

        Once you're in the swing of it, though, it has everything: Action, slapstick, jazz, 12 tone music, parallels to Moby Dick (another of my favourite books of all time), coprophilia. You name it, it's in there.

        Pynchon's writing style is astonishing; even people who don't like the book, admire the way he writes.

        The first time I read it, it took me months and months; the second time I shot through it really quickly and still picked up loads of stuff I hadn't spotted the first time. I really want to read it again, but have all this other stuff I want to read first...

        Once you have read it, I recommend you take a look at The Gravity's Rainbow Companion to get a feel of just how obssessive the level of detail Pynchon has packed into the book really is. I wouldn't read it alongside the Companion, as that would spoil the book, part of the joy of which is the whole 'what the hell is going on?' feeling you get out of it, but it's definitely worth checking out afterwards.

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        • #5
          Thanks johneffay!

          It sounds like it will be a project when I finally start it. I'm fairly compulsive about finishing books. I'm really unsettled when I pick up a book and don't finish it. Sometimes I'm rewarded greatly (and it seems GR will do that), but other times I wind up compulsively finishing a bad book.

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