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The Crying of Lot 49 (1966)

by Thomas Pynchon

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
9,346159554 (3.72)1 / 392
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. Oedipa leaves her home and her husband and heads to Southern California to sort through Pierce's affairs. Pierce, however, did not intend for the job to be an easy one for Oedipa, and soon she becomes ensared in a surreal, hilarious, and puzzling world-wide conspiracy centered around Pierce's strange business partners and dealings.… (more)

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English (150)  Spanish (2)  Hebrew (1)  Italian (1)  Dutch (1)  Swedish (1)  Danish (1)  French (1)  All languages (158)
Showing 1-5 of 150 (next | show all)
(31) Gawd - this was close to one of the worst critically acclaimed books that I have ever read. The one star is for being thankfully short. Some sort of a nonsensical satire about a young married woman who leaves home to act as an executor for an old boyfriend's will. Among his varied possessions and real estate holdings is a stamp collection that leads to some underground society that has been acting as an alternative to the formal postal service for hundreds of years. No, I am not kidding. It is dated garbage - I can't possibly review the plot any further likely because I didn't get it, not was I intrigued enough to try. It was all I could do not to skim. In fact, I think I did at times.

The whole 1960's California scene (the book I think was written contemporaneously) with women being 'broads,' and it being 100% acceptable for men to grab-ass and solicit every woman they come across, and the LSD stuff, the puerile sexual crap. It just made me sick. And the author did a horrendous job narrating as a woman. Not even close and vaguely misogynistic. I am really not sure what was being parodied. I get that it wasn't supposed to be taken seriously - but then what the hell was the point?

This is absolutely not my type of book. post-modernism, absurdist - two things I do not usually like. So I guess this could have been predicted, but I had never read this author whose works show up in a lot of lists of modern classics so I have been meaning to give it a try. Never again - life is too short. ( )
  jhowell | Jun 28, 2020 |
I have tried to get through this book three times now, and doubt I will ever succeed. ( )
  cygnoir | Jun 27, 2020 |
2016 (review on a LibraryThing page at link)
https://www.librarything.com/topic/209547#5522824 ( )
  dchaikin | Jun 14, 2020 |
It is a mind-bending little book about the futility of finding true meaning (i.e. intention) in the [literary] works of others, and is aware that it is a work and that its readers are looking for its meaning. ( )
  Kelmanel | Apr 17, 2020 |
I read this book for a class on postmodern literature so my reading was definitely informed by that context. However, I will say that I have been meaning to crack into Pynchon for a while, and I'm glad I did it with this book instead of Gravity's Rainbow which was my original plan. Not that I didn't thoroughly enjoy and admire his style, but starting with one of his larger novels would have been a bit like spontaneously stopping into a full length screening of Michael Snow's La Region Centrale having never seen an experimental film before. It's good to know what you're getting into.

I will certainly be reading Gravity's Rainbow. Not only did I find myself laughing out loud in more than one spot, there were moments of abrupt poetry and dramatic artfulness that felt totally unexpected, though I couldn't tell you why. For all its whimsy and punning, the story itself, to quote the story, was "...so labyrinthine that it must have meaning beyond just a practical joke."

Though I'm not certain either way. ( )
  Adrian_Astur_Alvarez | Dec 3, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 150 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (31 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Pynchon, Thomasprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Albahari, DavidAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Albahari, DavidTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Angell, OlavTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bocchiola, MassimoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chalupský, RudolfTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Doury, MichelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jeffs, NikolaiForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jonkers, RonaldTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kim, Sang-guTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lawrie, BobCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lundgren, CajTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moya, Antonio-PrometeoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Penberthy, MarkCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Petersen, Arne HerløvTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Potokar, JureTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shimura, MasaoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shorer, ʻIditTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Siemion, PiotrTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Teichmann, WulfTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Valkonen, TeroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
One summer afternoon Mrs Oedipa Maas came home from a Tupperware party whose hostess had put perhaps too much kirsch in the fondue to find that she, Oedipa, had been named executor, or she supposed executrix, of the estate of one Pierce Inverarity, a California real estate mogul who had once lost two million dollars in his spare time but still had assets numerous and tangled enough to make the job of sorting it all out more than honorary.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
The author of "The Crying of Lot 29" is Thomas Pynchon, not Kurt Vonnegut. If this is your copy, please correct the author.
Thank you.
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Haiku summary
To manage a will, Oedipa follows the horn, while Trystero waits. (johnxlibris)

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Average: (3.72)
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2.5 45
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