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Suffused with rich satire, chaotic brilliance, verbal turbulence and wild humour, "The Crying of Lot 49" opens as Oedipa Maas discovers that she has been made executrix of a former lover's estate. The performance of her duties sets her on a strange trail of detection, in which bizarre characters crowd in to help or confuse her. But gradually, death, drugs, madness and marriage combine to leave Oepida in isolation on the threshold of revelation, awaiting "The Crying of Lot 49". This is one of Pynchon's shortest novels and one of his best.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780099532613
ISBN-10: 0099532611
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 9mm)
Pages: 160
Imprint: Vintage Classics
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 3-Jan-1998
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Reviews

UK Kirkus Review » This surreal take on southern Californian subculture follows the fortunes of heiress Oedipa Maas. Her quest to find the truth about her inheritance, and to discover what motivated her deceased lover, sets her on a trail of vague clues which leads her into a web of international conspiracy. With his usual satire and wit, Pynchon depicts a kind of apocalypse which only he could imagine. Following on from V, this is a highly original book packed with sharply drawn characters. A 20th-century classic. (Kirkus UK)

US Kirkus Review » Whether you were with it or not, Pynchon's first novel V. had some prodigally exciting sequences to startle the most phlegmatic imagination. Here, however, his narrative verve has shrivelled into sheer bizarrerie. So much of it is not only unidentifiable but also unintelligible - it's not to be read as much as deciphered. The third chapter opens with "Things then did not delay in turning curious" but it has been prefaced with all kinds of Happenings after Mrs. Oedipa Maas leaves her husband Mucho. He's a disc jockey spooked by his dream of the car lot where he had once worked. She spends a night with a lawyer in a motel, playing Strip Botticelli in front of the tube. And from then on Oedipa's search, in fluid drive up and down the freeways, to the Yoyodyne electronics factory in San Narciso, into a strange society called The Tristero and for the answer to a reappearing symbol - W.A.S.T.E., back to her psychiatrist Dr. Hilarius, and to Mucho who now knows the answer to the "crying" of the lot (it's N.A.D.A.) - oh well, this is all a dizzying exposure to what is presumably a satire of contemporary society and its fluor-essence, Southern California... Pynchon's accessories include names (Driblette; Koteks; Genghis Cohen); props (feeding "eggplant sandwiches to not too bright seagulls"); insets (a long Jacobean play) and in jokes... HELP! Even the Beatles can't and they suggest the singing group called the Paranoids. Somehow it seems as if a genuine talent had reduced itself to automated kookiness. Hip, yes; hooray, no. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - Thomas Pynchon

Thomas Pynchon is the author of V., The Crying of Lot 49, Gravity's Rainbow, Slow Learner, a collection of short stories, Vineland, Mason and Dixon and, most recently, Against the Day. He received the National Book Award for Gravity's Rainbow in 1974.

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