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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 listeners say about The Crying of Lot 49

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    262
  • 4 Stars
    159
  • 3 Stars
    115
  • 2 Stars
    44
  • 1 Stars
    37
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    220
  • 4 Stars
    132
  • 3 Stars
    81
  • 2 Stars
    25
  • 1 Stars
    16
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    223
  • 4 Stars
    112
  • 3 Stars
    77
  • 2 Stars
    32
  • 1 Stars
    31

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

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.

32 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

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.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Oy

You can hear the reader's nose whistle it got distracting many times throughout the book

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

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.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

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).

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

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?

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Reader. However...

The reader is great, even though I’d prefer a woman to read the novel because of the main character. However, there are so many noises in the background coming from his mic.
• Dog Barking
• Routine Stomach Growling
• Long unedited pauses

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Wrong choice for me

I found this story very difficult to follow. I could excuse meaninglessness, for me, if at least the artistry is good; but, it wasn't. If I read this back in the 60s or 70s, I am sure I would have loved it. I would be more impressed, if I come to learn the obscure connections in the story are other than random. If they are, then bump my rating up another two stars, if they aren't then take away the two stars that I gave it.

1 person found this helpful