Winner of the 1973 National Book Award, Gravity's Rainbow is a postmodern epic, a work as exhaustively significant to the second half of the 20th century as Joyce's Ulysses was to the first. Its sprawling, encyclopedic narrative and penetrating analysis of the impact of technology on society make it an intellectual tour de force.
"Like being belted in the head with a Swiss Alp"
This novel spans the period between the Chicago World's Fair of 1893 and the years just after World War I. With a worldwide disaster looming just a few years ahead, it is a time of unrestrained corporate greed, false religiosity, moronic fecklessness, and evil intent in high places. No reference to the present day is intended or should be inferred.
It's been awhile since Doc Sportello has seen his ex-girlfriend. Suddenly out of nowhere she shows up with a story about a plot to kidnap a billionaire land developer whom she just happens to be in love with. Easy for her to say. It's the tail end of the psychedelic sixties in L.A., and Doc knows that "love" is another of those words going around at the moment, like "trip" or "groovy", except that this one usually leads to trouble.
"If you enjoyed The Crying of Lot 49..."
Quite unexpectedly, Mrs. Oedipa Maas finds herself the executor of the estate of Pierce Inverarity, a man she used to know in a more-or-less intimate fashion. When Oedipa heads off to Southern California to sort through Pierce's affairs, she becomes ensnared in a hilarious and puzzling worldwide conspiracy.
"Good book, Average recording"
Maxine Tarnow is running a nice little fraud investigation business on the Upper West Side, chasing down different kinds of small-scale con artists. She used to be legally certified but her license got pulled a while back, which has actually turned out to be a blessing because now she can follow her own code of ethics - carry a Beretta, do business with sleazebags, hack into people's bank accounts - without having too much guilt about any of it. Otherwise, just your average working mom - two boys in elementary school, an off-and-on situation with her sort of semi-ex-husband Horst - till Maxine starts looking into the finances of a computer-security firm....
"A fine wine in a dirty and cracked glass"
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.