Tag Archives: thomas pynchon

Review: Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon

Ok, so what the hell did I just read?

I get that this is a post-modern classic, but it really didn’t work for me. It’s all over the place, and not in a good way.

For a start, the book has literally hundreds of characters. And it’s not always clear who they are or what they’re up to. And then they’ll disappear for hundreds of pages. (And I MEAN hundreds – this book is loooonnng!).

The way the story is told is also kind of a mess. You really have to piece together what the overall plot is. This works really well in some books (eg. Infinite Jest), but here it was just kind of annoying. LIke there’ll just be a whole chapter about something entirely irrelevant – a sentient lightbulb or something like that.

Maybe if the book was funnier this would work. Sure, there’s plenty of humour, but it’s pretty obtuse. Like the ‘hero’ of the book is this army guy called Slothrop – who runs all over Europe getting into adventures. At one point he’s dressed up as a pig, another time he’s a superhero called Rocketman.

I’m not saying it’s a terrible book by any means. It’s pretty highly acclaimed. I just think I didn’t get it.