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Paperback Gravity's Rainbow (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) Book

ISBN: 0143039946

ISBN13: 9780143039945

Gravity's Rainbow (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)

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Book Overview

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 twentieth 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. This Penguin Classics deluxe edition features a specially designed cover by Frank Miller along with french claps and...

Customer Reviews

7 ratings

Great condition!

Gravity’s Rainbow came in great condition and in average time. I’m very happy with this purchase.

Thomas Pynchon wrote a 700+ page inside joke with himself

A headache of a novel. Keep some aspirin handy. I have never been more relieved to finish a book. At moments the language is incredibly beautiful, even Shakespeare-esque, but 99% of the time I found myself frustrated, trying to figure out what the hell was going on, and wondering why this book is so highly-acclaimed. The book seemed intentionally confusing, but without any kind of payoff at the end. Unless you are a very patient reader who doesn't mind getting jerked around, then don't bother.

The Best Novel Since "Lolita" and "Ulysses"

"Some joker put hashish in the hollandaise, causing a run on the brocolli." Just another event in the life of Lt. Tyron Slothrop, who was attending the wild party in question in the Herman Goering casino as part of his search for the Schwatzgerat--the V2 rocket (serial no. 00000) which carries the mysterious Imipolex G device--all over wartime Europe, while the British secret service, and assorted others, search for *him*. Why? You'll have to read the book. Along the way, he meets--among many others--a British captain with black-market connections that allow him to have fresh bananas in London's wartime winter in return for homegrown "magic mushroom" drugs; an African tribe whose members serve in the SS as V2 crews; an insane American Major whose solidiers sing diry limmericks about the V2's various components; an Italian nobleman--and a British Brigadier--with odd sexual practices (even by Pynchon's standards); and that's just the start of it. The adventures of Lt. Slothrop in this mad looking-glass world are funny, amusing, bizzare, and complex. What's more--and this is what makes the novel a masterpiece--Pynchon integrates so many actual facts into his fictional world that it makes it and its inhabitants have much more versimilitude than the people described in most *non*-fiction works about WWII. Slothrop is more "real" than the Hitler we read about in most biographies of the man; his friends and enemies more real than, say, the defendants in Nuremberg are in most books about the trial. If Pynchon speaks, say, of a car used by a lieutenant in a specific sub-department of the German Army in 1944, you can be damn sure that particular car model was in fact used by just such lieutenants at the time in reality; that pynchon took into account the wartime shortages that made the car's quality to deteriorate from 1944 to 1941; and that the lieutenant's resentment of this would be relevant to the plot. To be sure, the lieutenant might then want to kill Slothrop in order to fulfill an anient prophecy based on Mayan star charts (which you can bet are also accurately portrayed); or to have a homosexual affair with him; or to do any number of bizzare or absurd things that one would expect in the looking-glass world where the novel is set. But that is just what makes this novel so great: Pycnhon doesn't research to teach us facts about WWII--even if a lot of the facts he puts in the novel are probably unknown even to WWII history buffs (like myself). He *uses* his research to create his funny, bizzare, and incredibly engaging world. Read it--perferably, with a glass of wine (or something stronger) at your side. You will laugh, chortle, be shocked, and be amazed. Rarely had a better novel been written.

Don't overanalyze. Don't underestimate.

There are those that consider "Gravity's Rainbow" the greatest American novel of this, or perhaps any, century. I can't make a case for or against this; I haven't read 'em all. However, I will say that "Gravity's Rainbow" is good enough to at least deserve some of the lavish praise its earned. I get the feeling though that some people praise the book just to appear intelligent, just like some people criticize the book just to appear intelligent and unpretentious. However, let me just say that if a book is no more to you than a means of wearing a mask (on the internet for that matter), then you probably did not appreciate it for what it is. So what is "Gravity's Rainbow?" Well, it IS difficult. But unreadable? No. It is encylopedic. But dull and boring? Not in the least! "Gravity's Rainbow" is, if anything, an enormous collection of brainstorms, daydreams, and nightmares of one of the most incredible imaginations of our time. Most of it seems to me to be Pynchon writing to entertain Pynchon. Episodes like the ones with the giant adenoid, the Kenosha Kid, and, of course, Byron the Bulb, are as funny and fun to read as anything written this century. Yes, "Gravity's Rainbow" is extremely deep. But it sure is fun too.Let me just recommend, however, that you read something else of Pynchon's before tackling this work. I recommend reading 'em in order.

This book will change your life!

It's more than a novel, of course--it's an experience. A few suggestions to first time readers: 1) do not, I repeat, *do not* refer to annotations or any other academic ramblings on the first read. This point is essential if the novel's venom is ever to seep under your skin. I don't care how many degrees you have, where you went to school, etc., the first time you read this novel it must be an act of faith that becomes a direct experience in the making. Later on, if you want to engage the lit-crits in their game, then by all means read all their po-mo stuff on Pynchon. But always remember--Pynchon did not write this novel to serve as a topic for some grad student's dissertation.2) Embrace chaos (not as easy as it sounds).4) Re-read periodically over a specific period of time (you'll figure out exactly how long).5) And finally, to quote a famous rock song, "Roll with the changes to get to what's real."

A screaming comes across the psyche

Because we have launched the first V-1, we have launched the final bomb that will be our undoing. This book is the Ocham's Razor of literature, infinitely bisecting the line or the arc, trying to single out the desired by eliminating the unwanted. In this case, it appears to be working on a most disturbing result--as if it were a warning to us. We cannot, in reality, bisect the line forever. ***** On a lighter note (and the book is filled with hilarity), yes I love this encyclopedic book. When I feel I cannot write, I get it out and read the first few pages (through the great "banana breakfast" episode), or the story of 'Byron the Lightbulb' (one of the stories-within-the-story), or Slothrop's adventures in the giant pig suit.... If you can't get past the first 50 pages, and many people have encountered this (as did I), start again. The rewards are on every page, on every line. And keeping a copy of the OED handy won't hurt, either.

Gravity's Rainbow is America's Ulysees

In scope, scale and ambition Gravity's Rainbow is similar to Ulysees and for this reader the enigmatic Thomas Pynchon matched the achievement of Joyce.
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