Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Book Review: Gravity's Rainbow

Gravity's Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon
5.7.11 -- 8.2.11

It's been a long time since I've spent three months reading one thing (that wasn't a textbook). I recorded my notes by parts, because by the end of the book I knew I'd be completely incapable of summarizing the first (or second. or third.) part.

Part 1
So many characters! It's impressive if he manages to keep them all straight, but also super irritating.

"...it is the poet singing back the silence" --173
"You go from dream to dream inside me. You have a passage to my last shabby corner, and there, among the debris, you've found life. I'm no longer sure which of all the words, images, dreams or ghost are "yours" and which are "mine". It's past sorting out" --177

Part 2
So much easier to read. It helped that the majority of it was from only one perspective. It's nice to see a plot finally forming. I have a hunch that part three will be impossible...

Part 3
I was correct. Reading this part made sense only in fits and spurts; it was like those hellish dreams where you can only open half of one eye at a time. My method alternates between overthinking and underthinking (dare I admit to skimming at times?), but I suspect I have as solid a grasp as I'll ever get on this damn book. I gave up following along with Wikipedia in Part 2, but just that much helped quite a bit. Should probably have kept up with it, but it was really exhausting.

"The minute he put on the head.... he knew himself. He was the wolf" --390

Part 4
I feel like maybe there were some characters who had two names or something, but it feels like I missed a twist. An important one.

Most books, upon finishing, requiring no other books or distractions after, to help me clear my head. Not this one--jumping immediately into another was the only way my brain settled enough to even write a recap of part four.

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