Gravity's Rainbow

Gravity's Rainbow

Book - 1973
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Penguin Putnam
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.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Publisher: New York : Viking Press, [1973]
ISBN: 9780670348329
0670348325
9780140188592
9780670003747
0670003743
9780140283389
0140283382
Characteristics: 760 p. 23 cm

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Emma_Rainey
Feb 13, 2017

So after I realize it's been a whole five years since I read any sort of novel cover to cover, what book do I decide to read but this dense, absurd, obscene, and somehow engaging work? While Gravity's Rainbow is indeed a difficult book - one that requires you understand the internal logic to its structure and grammar in order to make heads or tails of the matter - but I believe anybody with enough determination and willingness to go along for the ride can admit that there is tremendous literary work to this.

Admittedly, this review comes half way through reading the thing, and I'll be sure to update as I go.

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1aa
Dec 19, 2016

A wild, almost random book: every second page has a lightning flash of linguistic wizardry, often of preternatural insight, for example, "down the corridor, fuzzy patches of afternoon sun stagger along, full of mortar dust" (p. 466), "partygoers stagger fore and aft, evening clothes decorated with sunbursts of vomit" (p. 498), "...breathing the closing smell of grey weather" (p. 536), "It will be possible, after all, to die in obscurity, without ever having helped a soul: without love, despised, never trusted, never vindicated - to stay down among the Preterite, his poor honour lost, impossible to locate or redeem." (p. 553), "But every true God must be both organizer and destroyer." (p. 101), "I should ... should have ... there are in his history, so many of these unmade moves, so many 'should haves' [...]" (p. 143), and "weeds of paranoia begin to bloom, army-green, among the garden and midday tranquilities." (p. 579).
There are also lots of big ideas addressed: cause and effect (31), history and war (107, 529-30), colonies (321-2), psychology and addiction (354), language (358-9), the German language (397), life and human mutability (548-9), anomie (600-1), and death (736-7).
It also includes the words fuck, shit, cock, cunt, nigger, faggot, and asshole.
It includes scenes of coprophagia (238), sex (199, 453 (an anal rape), 474), bestiality (454), and castration (620).
There is an extraordinary amount of obscenity, both words and scenes. If one can bear the nonsense to get those flashes, its worth reading, but it requires much patience and determination to finish reading it.

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TylerGroves
Oct 18, 2016

I just checked this book out and Im scared

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traceofbase
Sep 08, 2015

I strongly recommend NOT reading this book. Gratuitous, offensive scenarios that changed the way I look at the world for the worse, I won't go into describing here. After about 500 pages the story starts to read like he just gave up any literary structural guidelines he began with. the story finale seems lazy, disorganized, and forced (the first portions are a cakewalk comparatively). What began as a potential Picasso became a garbage dump of words. If you do decide to read, I recommend brushing up on your German. There is a distinct recurrent theme in his books that really seems to indicate he should be in prison or at least flagged for his neighborhood's watch list. I truly feel sorry for his editor and his therapist.

timforker Jan 19, 2012

Just made it past the bananas and going strong!!

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GrumpyDave
Dec 11, 2010

1974 National Book Award - Fiction

daymakerdave Nov 22, 2010

Just started reading this one. So far it's complicated and wierd. A little hard to follow so far.

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michael12
Sep 17, 2009

Pynchon and comics http://www.walrusmagazine.com/blogs/2009/08/12/pynchon-and-comics

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tomarneson
May 24, 2007

If I hadn't been hooked on Pynchon from reading "V" in the 60's and several reads of "Mason & Dixon", I wouldn't have attempted to read this book. Its long and the reading is slow and hard.

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Partisan
Mar 13, 2014

Partisan thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

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