peteg's blog - noise - books - 2015 08 15 Pynchon TheCryingOfLot49

Thomas Pynchon: The Crying of Lot 49

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A non-scifi suggestion from David S. Roman W. suggested I instead commence my Pynchon campaign with Bleeding Edge. Always late to the party, I hedged my bets by borrowing both from the Chicago Public Library, and went with the shorter. Pynchon is so of his time, and sometimes so obscure, that there's a wiki to help you trainspot his references. (I made no use of it however.) He may leave us hanging, unlike a bloke taking a Brody, but the wiki does not. Is this some kind of meditation on the American founding mythologies, or a precursor to Fear and Loathing in all its world-weary glory? (Like the latter it contains a fragment of the American Dream, before the squashing of the recreational drug culture got serious in the later 1960s.) I think the thing with Pynchon is that you don't have to choose. Just so long as you like shaggy dog stories, in this instance told from the perspective of competing postal services. Which makes me wonder what the Coen brothers would have made of Inherent Vice.

I was all set up to be let down by the ending, and wasn't.