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The Crying of Lot 49 (Perennial Fiction…
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The Crying of Lot 49 (Perennial Fiction Library) (original 1966; edition 2006)

by Thomas Pynchon

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7,635120445 (3.75)309
Member:george1295
Title:The Crying of Lot 49 (Perennial Fiction Library)
Authors:Thomas Pynchon
Info:Harper Perennial (2006), Paperback, 192 pages
Collections:Novels, Your library
Rating:**
Tags:American Literature, 20th Century, Fiction, Postmodernism

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The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon (1966)

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English (114)  Italian (1)  Hebrew (1)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  All languages (118)
Showing 1-5 of 114 (next | show all)
If you've ever been to downtown San Jose, California, then you might have seen the Adobe's Almaden Tower. At the top of the building are 4 rotating wheels of light with each wheel having 4 possible positions. These wheels are actually part of a public art project, the San Jose Semaphore. The wheels change every 7.2 seconds and create a pattern that is flashed to the sky. On August 6, 2007, the Semaphore project started transmitting a message and the challenge was issued to figure out what the semaphore was saying. It took over a year, but finally in 2008, a pair of engineers cracked the code and identified the message as the text of Thomas Pynchon's book, The Crying of Lot 49.

Having heard this story and seen the Semaphore, you can imagine how excited I was to finally read this book -- a literary masterpiece that was significant enough to be broadcast across of the sky in Silicon Valley. Well after finishing this short satirical novel, I have to say I'm underwhelmed. The story about the San Jose Semaphore is better than The Crying of Lot 49! There were definitely some jabs at society and subtle references to other famous books, but maybe I just don't get it, because the book seemed more absurd than life changing. Hope I'm not missing something! ( )
1 vote jmoncton | Jan 10, 2015 |
This short little book kept fascinating and frustrating me. But what else would you expect from a book that can be considered both a great postmodern work, as well as a great parody of postmodern writing? Pynchon himself tended to look down on his own work as he aged, and yes the book does have it's weaknesses, but for the most part, it's a fascinating little tale of both suspense and conspiracy, as well as postmodern musing on the nature of fact and understanding vs perception and fantasy.

If you're on the fence about Pynchon or are unwilling to tackle one of his longer works, start here. I think you'll know whether or not you feel like reading him more from this very comfortably short novel. ( )
  wjmcomposer | Nov 5, 2014 |
This short little book kept fascinating and frustrating me. But what else would you expect from a book that can be considered both a great postmodern work, as well as a great parody of postmodern writing? Pynchon himself tended to look down on his own work as he aged, and yes the book does have it's weaknesses, but for the most part, it's a fascinating little tale of both suspense and conspiracy, as well as postmodern musing on the nature of fact and understanding vs perception and fantasy.

If you're on the fence about Pynchon or are unwilling to tackle one of his longer works, start here. I think you'll know whether or not you feel like reading him more from this very comfortably short novel. ( )
  wjmcomposer | Nov 5, 2014 |
i know i liked this a lot, but i can't really remember it. that's pretty silly. ( )
  behemothing | Oct 25, 2014 |
A perfect example and parody of post-modernism, this is one of easiest to "get" of Pynchon's works: it's quite short and the plot isn't as convoluted and dense as say Gravity's Rainbow or V. However, that isn't to say it's easy-going, the characters are eccentric and the mystery is not solved, leaving the reader on a cliff-hanger right at the end. Nevertheless, it's still an entertaining and interesting read. ( )
  xuebi | May 30, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 114 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Thomas Pynchonprimary 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
Lundgren, CajTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moya, Antonio-PrometeoTranslatorsecondary 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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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.
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To manage a will, Oedipa follows the horn, while Trystero waits. (johnxlibris)

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 006091307X, Paperback)

The highly original satire about Oedipa Maas, a woman who finds herself enmeshed in a worldwide conspiracy, meets some extremely interesting characters, and attains a not inconsiderable amount of self knowledge.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:31:02 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

When Oedipa Maas is named as the executor of her late lover's will, she discovers that his estate is mysteriously connected with an underground organization.

(summary from another edition)

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