The Crying of Lot 49

ions
Forum junkie
ions
Forum junkie
Joined: 3:11 PM - Dec 03, 2006

5:36 PM - Jan 06, 2007 #1

Read it yesterday. Not in a single sitting as planned unfortunately. When the re-read comes it will be read that way. Anyway...

What a neat book! This was fun! Really neat book about paranoia and excess. About a lot more as well but I only finished last night and it's still percolating away. Much easier than V., perhaps because it's shorter? But also because it is certainly much more linear and cinematic than V.

5/5, loved it.
Currently reading: "A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Periodically reading: Collected Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges and the Collected Works of Nietzsche
Quote
Like
Share

Pointsman
Forum junkie
Pointsman
Forum junkie
Joined: 2:34 PM - Dec 31, 2006

5:53 PM - Jan 06, 2007 #2

I read it in one sitting... I thought somebody had soaked LSD into the pages and got into my blood stream via the sweat pores... Turns out it was just the plot. Great novel though.
Look Out Itchy - He's Irish!
Quote
Like
Share

Martstar
Literary lunatic
Martstar
Literary lunatic
Joined: 4:49 PM - Nov 20, 2006

5:55 PM - Jan 06, 2007 #3

Yeah, Lot 49 is the "easy" one, but a good one at that. Pynchon has sense disowned it as being written to make a quick buck to sustain himself while writing GR, but perhaps he's just being dodgy. Anyhow, it's still a book that is very dense with ideas, and I think you're right that the linear narrative is helpful in better orienting his other works. I do like the paranoia and the journey through underground systems that may or may not be a conspiracy. I've read that Pynchon is a fan of both Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz, which definitely comes out in all of his works, but Lot 49 in particular. It's interesting to see Oedipa's adventures in comparison to Alice's adventures down the rabbit hole or Dorothy's over the rainbow. Hmmm, rainbow.....
Quote
Like
Share

WilliamTwellman
Forum junkie
Joined: 7:34 PM - Nov 20, 2006

8:09 PM - Jan 07, 2007 #4

Lot 49 is probably my favorite Pynchon (Gravity's drags just a wee bit but is possibly more fevered and transcendent) The lot packs a killer punch and can indeed be read in one day. It really makes me wish Pynchon would treat us to another fiction under 300 pages someday.
These fragments I have shored against my ruins
Quote
Like
Share

kline19
Forum junkie
kline19
Forum junkie
Joined: 3:19 AM - Nov 24, 2006

3:46 AM - Jan 08, 2007 #5

Lot 49 works like an espresso shot... it was my first pynchon and happened to be one of those book-that-changed-your-life deals...
The love hoarded all your life ... for the work, and his lips still moved silently over that last word - TR
Quote
Like
Share

Bleak
Literary lunatic
Bleak
Literary lunatic
Joined: 8:02 AM - Nov 20, 2006

8:49 AM - Jan 08, 2007 #6

again, I'm in the minority here but the prose of Lot 49 rubs me completely wrong, despite the fact that it was written concurrently with GR, which I consider his prose masterpiece.

I dunno- the prose, the names... everything just seems so off compared to GR, although even lesser Pynchon is admittedly pretty fascinating.
"I have a truly marvelous proof of this proposition which this margin is too narrow to contain."
Quote
Like
Share

WilliamTwellman
Forum junkie
Joined: 7:34 PM - Nov 20, 2006

6:42 PM - Jan 08, 2007 #7

I disagree. It's also the differance of California early beat culture vs. kitchy WW2 pastiche. I also like how crying is much more overtly a comedy as opposed to a giant melodrama with hints of comedy (Gravity's, ATD). He tried for a similar approach with Vineland and while I like that book, the inner framework of 49 makes it a superior work IMO. I don't know why I'm ripping on the Rainbow lately, I've read it 3 times and it is one of my all time favorite works. I'm preparing to get attacked by a Giant Adenoid soon.
These fragments I have shored against my ruins
Quote
Like
Share

kl0pper
Literary lunatic
kl0pper
Literary lunatic
Joined: 9:07 AM - Nov 21, 2006

8:25 AM - Jan 09, 2007 #8

Bleakhaus wrote: again, I'm in the minority here but the prose of Lot 49 rubs me completely wrong, despite the fact that it was written concurrently with GR, which I consider his prose masterpiece.

I dunno- the prose, the names... everything just seems so off compared to GR, although even lesser Pynchon is admittedly pretty fascinating.
i agree with you, i hate lot 49.
certum est quia impossibile
Quote
Like
Share

Mr Self Destruct
Casual reader
Mr Self Destruct
Casual reader
Joined: 11:02 PM - Jan 27, 2007

3:02 AM - Feb 02, 2007 #9

It wasn't until I started reading these posts did I realize that there's such animosity for "Lot 49". While it is the simplest of Pynchon's books, that doesn't mean it's lacking at all. I've read it multiple times and enjoy the hell out of it each time. I enjoy it much more than "Vineland" and it's more approachable (and FAR less demanding) than "GR". While it doesn't have the scope of the larger works, It's a great read. AND it's the book I use to introduce my students to Pynchon when they're ready to move on. Where they go from there is their choice, but I've not yet had a kid come back and tell me they were less than mesmerized by "Lot 49".

IF I woke up looking like that, I'd run to the nearest living thing and kill it!
-Master Shake
Quote
Like
Share

Martstar
Literary lunatic
Martstar
Literary lunatic
Joined: 4:49 PM - Nov 20, 2006

2:58 PM - Feb 02, 2007 #10

Mr Self Destruct wrote: It wasn't until I started reading these posts did I realize that there's such animosity for "Lot 49". While it is the simplest of Pynchon's books, that doesn't mean it's lacking at all. I've read it multiple times and enjoy the hell out of it each time. I enjoy it much more than "Vineland" and it's more approachable (and FAR less demanding) than "GR". While it doesn't have the scope of the larger works, It's a great read. AND it's the book I use to introduce my students to Pynchon when they're ready to move on. Where they go from there is their choice, but I've not yet had a kid come back and tell me they were less than mesmerized by "Lot 49".
I think the backlash might be a combination of Pynchon's dismissal of it in the intro to Slow Learner and the fact that it's overall easier than his other works and therefore not as much of a mental challenge. Bring out the big books, and sometimes the whole thing turns into a pissing contest.

By the way, are you/were you on MySpace under the same screen name?
Quote
Like
Share