First Impressions: Gravity’s Rainbow

The last time that I tackled Thomas Pynchon was years ago in Stephen Brooke’s excellent British history course. Of course, I never finished V. as I was more interested in the course, but Pynchon’s prose style didn’t help either. However, I still have high hopes for the reclusive author.

My sister read The Crying of Lot 49 when she did her literature degree at the University of Toronto, and the way she (and others, online) have summarized the story have made appear terribly exciting.

I’m not really sure how to take this glowing line from The New Republic:

The most profound and accomplished American novel since the end of World War II.

Really?

This novel is over 750-pages long! Within these pages, I could fit in Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises together with For Whom the Bell Tolls, and still have space to spare. Heck, forget that, I could also fit in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Tender is the Night, The Last Tycoon, and still have room to spare for The Sun Also Rises. Now Gatsby-Tender-Tycoon-and-Pamplona would’ve been an awesome novel.

Really and truly, I hope Pynchon really had something or nothing to say here in Gravity’s Rainbow. No half measures, please.

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