Oedipa Maas discovers that she has been made executor of a former lover's estate. The performance of her duties sets her on a strange trail of detection, in which bizarre characters crowd in to help or confuse her. But gradually, death, drugs, madness, and marriage combine to leave Oepida in isolation on the threshold of revelation, awaiting The Crying of Lot 49.
©1965 Thomas Pynchon (P)2005 Recorded Books LLC
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After a dip into current fiction with Shani Bolanjiu I fancied another run down memory lane with a re-read of this, that I’d first read thirty years ago - October 1984 to be precise. In all that I’ve re-read with the ‘benefit’ of thirty years, I’ve always been more than impressed with how well they have stood up to the test of time and memory. Here again, my warm glow was fanned and I quickly re-entered Pynchon’s world to my great rest and satisfaction.
What was a surprise was just how poetic some of the runs are - they definitely stand in isolation as set pieces and can really be appreciated for the depth and width of the vision and a simple connection to everyday sensual life. A revelation.
Where Umberto Eco and Jorge Luis Borges follow and seeks to align with a long literary tradition, Pynchon’s cod-history does not diminish the fact that he is writing from the mid-60s was a whole new genre. The same, really is that despite many attempts the English writers - Martin Amis and Will Self - it has never been bettered. There’s a doctoral thesis which might line up Roberto Bolano and anticipate further writings from Tom McCarthy. We are not there yet - and, as such, whilst Pynchon himself is unconvinced, this still represents a real and lasting achievement and, apart from a half-way delve into V, also represents the full extent of my venture into Vineland.
Atrocious drivel read in apalling american drawl. I am rarely disappointed by books from Audio Books but this was a regretable exception and a waste of money.
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