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Publisher's Summary

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.

Calling Thomas Pynchon a "virtuoso with prose", the Chicago Tribune compares his work to James Joyce's Ulysses. Pynchon, winner of the National Book Award, has shocked, enthralled, and delighted fans for more than 40 years with his satire and wit.

©1965, 1966 Thomas Pynchon; (P)2005 Recorded Books

Critic Reviews

"The comedy crackles, the puns pop, the satire explodes." (The New York Times)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.8 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
  • James
  • Germantown, TN, USA
  • 08-12-07

Good book, Average recording

The book itself is a modern classic that I thoroughly enjoyed. Pynchon's style, while quirky and oddball, is rich and enjoyable. For the uninitiated Pynchon reader, TLC49 is a great start before delving into his longer more complex works.

The book is fairly well read. However, my biggest hang-up is with the recording itself. From the start, the myriad nasal whistles, throat gurgling and other extraneous noises had me distracted and, by the end, raw with annoyance. Not sure if I should blame the narrator or the recording engineer. Anyway I found that listening in a place with ambient noise made the recorded distractions more tolerable. If not for this drawback, I would have given the rating another star.

24 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

The source of all the pomo lit I've loved

What about George Wilson’s performance did you like?

The narrator's performance was solid. Didn't overly color the text, which is good, but it did seem a bit too passion-less.

Any additional comments?

I love Haruki Murakami's A WILD SHEEP CHASE, Umberto Eco's FOUCAULT'S PENDULUM, and Tom Robbins's EVEN COWGIRLS GET THE BLUES and STILL LIFE WITH WOODPECKER. Now I realize they all can trace their DNA back to this novel. The conspiracy theory. The metaphysical detective story ... or the post-modernist style of wrapping a hidden history or a social commentary within the wrapper of a genre novel.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Beginnings of Genius

I recently rediscovered Pynchon after a brief brush with him in collrege and am in awe of his singularly American genius. This complex, layered, immensely intellectual, wildly wacky, symbolic and ultimately spiritual novella was written in the mid 60's. Way ahead of its time, its scary clairvoyant glimpse into the culture-to-be is classic Pynchon-to-be. In "Crying" we see the genesis of genius and a completely original mind not to be missed by anyone who loves literature. I'm on my 6th reading (listening) of this book and each time I appreciate it more. I like the narration even though other reviews have been negative about it. It's a tough book to read, and I feel this narrator does it justice.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Paul
  • Jarrettsville, MD, United States
  • 05-10-12

Great novel, terrible performance.

The Crying of Lot 49 remains one of my favorite contemporary novels, but I cannot recommend the audiobook due to Mr. Wilson poor performance as the narrator. He reads like a machine, betraying absolutely no feeling for the work, basic sentance structure, or standard cadence of the English language. I admit that Mr. Pynchon's phrasing is often a bit odd, but Mr. Wilson seems to make no attempt to properly understand or present the more difficult (difficult, but not impossible) passages. Even when reading snippets of poetry or song lyrics, Mr. Wilson fails to demonstrate any sense of rhythm or meter, and manages in one case to deliver a rhyming couplet without the rhyme. I would pass on this one, especially if you have not yet read the book. Thomas Pynchon is not for everyone, but Mr. Wilson's performance here might convince you that Pynchon is not for anyone.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Someone please record Gravity's Rainbow!

This book is boring - just a bunch of random silliness with no plot-connection, just some talk about "coincidences". By halfway, I just couldn't make myself listen to any more. Won't someone please record Gravity's Rainbow so we can enjoy Pynchon?

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Lost in Narration

I regret that this audio recording was my introduction to a Thomas Pynchon work. I think Crying of Lot 49 might be a better more indepth work than what i took from it, but unfortunately it was lost on me due to the readers monotone unexciting performance.

The book itself is not an exciting tale to be sure and the story is hard to follow, but i think it could be appreciate more for the work of art it is in a different form than this (read or different audio production).

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Audio version very comprehensible

If you could sum up The Crying of Lot 49 in three words, what would they be?

I have read this book twice; this audio version was more comprehensible than either of my previous readings.

What other book might you compare The Crying of Lot 49 to and why?

Inherent Vice covers much the same physical territory, if Crying can be considered to cover any real geographic location, but the newer book is more playful and less determined to take itself seriously.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

I'm the only one crying after reading this book

What is this book even about? It starts out fine, and then just absolutely derails into a cluster-f. I'm glad I got all the way to the end, for there to be zero resolution to this web of mystery.

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  • Story

"Shall I project the world?"

Pynchon's prose is exceptionally beautiful and intelligent, his narrative world is a remarkable structure of a collective, shared projection of a counter-counter-revolutionary conception of new America, lost in technology and human disconnection, and brought back into reality only through the reinvigoration of reason, imagination and a new history of original human agency.

  • Overall
  • Performance
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very slow

The narration was very, very slow, I ended up listening at 1.75x speed! That said, the narration style was very fitting.