Vineland
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Vineland

3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  5,640 ratings  ·  335 reviews
Vineland è un'immaginaria cittadina della California. Qui, nel 1984, vive Zoyd Wheeler, un hippy degli anni Sessanta, che una volta all'anno si butta attraverso una vetrina... Frenesi, sua moglie, bellissima ex attrice underground, scompare nel nulla... Prairie, sua figlia, è un'adolescente eccentrica e sexy... Intorno a loro un universo improbabile ma reale in cui si muov...more
Hardcover, 446 pages
Published May 1991 by Rizzoli (first published 1990)
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oriana
So when you think of Pynchon you think of serious work, right? And trudgery and difficulty and obfuscation and pedanticism, and like this dizzying thing that just makes you feel unintellectual and slow for never being able to catch up, right?

Well if that is the case, you have never read Vineland . Because oh. my. god. This book is so fucking good.

I'm not going to try to summarize or anything, because this book is too sprawling and reeling, and anyway that would be an afront to its amazingness....more
Bennet
Playlist added 4/4/2013

With this read I officially become a Pynchon fan. I have admired him for years but made it through only one other book, Inherent Vice, which I thoroughly enjoyed, enough to give it 5 stars. Vineland I just flat out love.

Story matters to me, and yes, there's a story here, a crazy-quilt kind of political, personal, cultural, criminal and fanciful bits that a couple of times almost lost me, but the language made all the difference, his way with words. A story is what makes t...more
Madeleine
I don’t usually finish a book and start a review in the same breath. But I also don’t usually allow myself to read more than one of an author’s works within a calendar year (many books, little time, etc. -- though of course Stephen King would be this year’s other exception because the Tower, all things yield to it): T. Ruggs, you magnificant bastard, I hope you know how many personal rules I’m violating because you’re the first time since auspiciously picking up my first collection of Bukowski p...more
Jimmy
I had a preconceived notion of what just how good Vineland would be before I read it. My opinions about the book have been influenced by numerous accounts of how weak it was. After having read everything that preceded Pynchon's fourth novel, it's still difficult for me to wholeheartedly disagree, even though I thoroughly enjoyed some parts of it. It made me laugh...but even though I wasn't an avid fan when it was published in 1990, I still couldn't help wonder why this was the book that Pynchon...more
Rayroy

Prairie, a 14 year daughter of an old time hippie Zoyd, who up till 1984 raises her alone in a hippie retreat in Vineland County. Paririe is sent away by Zoyd, because the DEA is on his tail. Prairie runs into people of her fathers past and learns of her mother's betrayle towards her, her father and the Movement. Vineland is full of culture references from Star Wars, Godzilla, the buger king where's the beef lady ads form T.V. and countless others.
There is so much that goes on in the novel, f...more
Sentimental Surrealist
For as big of a fall from Pynchon's first three novels as it is, and for as massive as an improvement as follow-ups were, it's hard to really stay mad at Vineland. While V. and The Crying of Lot 49 were fine novels in their own right, they also seem to function as lead-ups to Gravity's Rainbow, far and away the peak of early-period Pynchon, and arguably all of Pynchon's career, although Mason and Dixon puts up a good challenge in that regard. After you've hit your peak, where is there to go but...more
Algernon
Far less intimidating than his great, overwrought Gravity's Rainbow, this 1990 novel presents a zany spoof satirical thriller on the surface, with an order of Harley-riding nuns, ninjettes, Reaganaught law enforcement agencies, 1960's radicals who have been driven underground or turned informants, and their mall-seeking children.

With his trademark humor and his prose (such maddening prose, veering from beautiful and lyrical to stunted and awful) he undertakes an ambitious critique of America's p...more
Alex
As dense and meaty as Pynchon ever was. The odd references are easier to pick up, now that they refer to Godzilla and grunge punk instead of doo-wop or Baron von Ribbentrop. I'll never argue with the addition of ninjas to a work of high literature, and though the action does come packed- motorcycle rescues from campus riots, late-night blackout drug runs- the images are often watered down with that heavy, heavy prose. An example:
"As time went by, that is, he did begin to wonder. But could not...more
Suzanne
May 02, 2013 Suzanne rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Suzanne by: Bennet's review
Has anyone else ever employed such loopy, labyrinthine, lovely language to tell such weird and wackily written tales? I think not.
j. ergo
likely no review to come here as reading seems to've taken a surmounting lead, prioritistically speaking, over trying to put into words feelings about something made out of words already, & words that make my words feel like grunts. i will say this. i started vineland a few times--as pretty much most pynchon--w/o success, & over the yrs my assumptions about the follow-up, w/ 17 yrs b/w, of what i consider to be the greatest novel of the 20th century, skewed toward the heavy majority--tha...more
sologdin
A dystopian presentation, but with zombies and ninja magic, of Reagan's United States.

Follows a group of '60s new leftists and their antagonists, through use of translucent digressions, elliptical flashbacks, and abrupt changes of perspective, back and forth through several decades.

It might read as a mess at first, and therefore likely requires labor-intensive rereadings. That said, there're plenty of brilliant turns of phrase, descriptions, and scenes. Much comedy, satire, parody. Likely in the...more
Kristen Shaw
Gravity's Rainbow is the flashy intellectual you date for a few months before discovering his/her pretensions to be vaguely problematic long-term; Vineland (like Zoyd) is the partner you keep around for while, who cuddles you at night and makes fancy herbal tea. I'll stay friends with Gravity's Rainbow always, but Vineland hit me really hard and my allegiance is to the latter - as a more accessible, beautifully-written but nonetheless still-Deleuzian brain fuck of healthy proportions.
Malapata
Me rindo. Cuando te da tanta pereza coger un libro que parece que lo estás leyendo obligado es mejor decir basta. Y eso que al principio me enganchó; tengo debilidad por el humor absurdo y los personajes estrambóticos de los que está bien servida Vineland. Pero conforme avanzaba la lectura tenía cada vez la sensación de no estar yendo a ningún sitio.

Pynchon se mueve aquí en espirales que van abarcando cada vez más personajes a los que dedica unas páginas antes de pasar al siguiente, como un esp...more
Nick
Excitement!
Drama!
Action!
Violence!
Fresh fruit!
Passion!
Thrills!
Spills!
Romance!
Adventure!
All the things you can read about in this book.
Sasha Zbarskaya
Писать рецензии на не понравившиеся книги мне легко и (не)приятно, на умеренно понравившиеся - труднее, а на очень понравившиеся - почти невозможно, поскольку очень похоже на вивисекцию чего-то, что дорого живым и чирикающим. "Вайнленд" - это каминг-хоум, это Додж и Толкин одновременно, это "Властелин колец", в котором назгулы - госмрази, хиппари и их дети - хоббиты, а сама Винляндия - Шир, что размещается на территории былой славы Арнора/рок-н-ролльщиков. Саурон, тем не менее, непобедим, а лишь...more
Francesca
Thomas Pynchon ormai è saldamente collocato nel mio personale Olimpo degli scrittori. Adoro il suo stile, il suo incrociare i piani narrativi e i punti di vista della moltitudine dei personaggi, il suo sguardo tagliente e ironico che mira a scoprire il velo dorato e ipocrita della società e dei suoi ingranaggi. Così rimango incantata dal suo far cantare il flusso di coscienza della Storia, intessendo immagini auliche ad altre decisamente realistiche, grazie anche ad un sapiente intreccio di diff...more
Tony
First, the plot is ridiculous. Pynchon is one politically pissed-off and paranoid dude. The result is that characters act as they should not; indeed, could not. Plenty of reviewers have made the point, however, that one doesn't read Pynchon for the plot. Well, why read him?

Because the writing is brilliant. I didn't care how the story ended. After tangent after segue after tangent and another morphing tangent, who could care. You either drop Pynchon after 50 pages or you hang on for the ride. Par...more
Mike
When I was getting a PhD in English, I refused to read Pynchon because I thought the last thing the world needed was another book by a modernist author who trying to be more difficult than Joyce.

Then I picked up Vineland out of a bargain bin, and realized it was probably the funniest thing I had ever read. Pynchon is an incredible comic writer.
Stian
So that's it for my third Pynchon. Coming down from a sort of high after reading Mason & Dixon about a month ago, I had pretty high expectiations going into this one.

Well, what's it all about? As usual Pynchon has a lot of sub-plots going on, characters disappearing and then coming back into the story again almost at random, and characters coming into the book but you never actually see them ever again. But in its essence it's about freedom, political repression, the tremendous failure that...more
Λουκιανὸς
Classic Pynchon: complexly convoluted, erratically jumping around different characters and time periods; narratives within narratives within narratives, often so labyrinthine that when he returns to the actual narrative you’ve forgotten what is actually going on.

As far as I can tell, the book is an interesting study in innocent, anarchic, childish naivete—guised in the hippy drug-euphoria of the sixties-early seventies and personified in musician-turned-ersatz-mentally-disabled-pothead Zoyd Whe...more
Frank Roberts
Jul 12, 2012 Frank Roberts rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Other Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, General Dipshits
Shelves: books-to-burn
Can't remember the name of the guy who suggested I read this stack of won tons. He was a waiter I worked with in the North End, had cystic fibrosis and, halfway through Vineland, I recall thinking he was among the dopiest dingbats alive. But I felt bad about that, with the image of him coughing out a heartfelt recommendation for the newest novel from the great Thomas Pynchon. CF cases don't live too long so I finished the fucker.

It's a tragic tale, since Pynchon tells you how it ends in the begi...more
Raffaella Foresti
Benvenuti a Vineland. Questa sarà la vostra specialissima guida virtuale della città. Partite appena potete. Non c’è stagione migliore per leggere un libro di Pynchon dell’istante stesso in cui vi viene in mente di farlo.

Come arrivare. C’è un volo low cost che parte giovedì mattina da Milano Malpensa alle 06.40. Amsterdam – Minneapolis – Los Angeles. L’arrivo è previsto per le 16.30, in perfetto orario per un coloratissimo smoothie biologico da supermarket. Solo che una volta raggiunta la Califo...more
Nathan Roberson
Oh Thomas, I'm so very very sorry. I'm sorry that the revolution of the 1960s never really came true. I really am. I wasn't there, but I think we would be a lot better off right now if it had worked out. Regardless of this desire, it didn't work out. Thomas Pynchon looks back on why it didn't go as planned, and what became of revolution's champions in Vineland.

There isn't much to say for the plot of Vineland. Plot is never important in Pynchon's world. Always about the journey, never about the d...more
Phillip
not my favorite pynchon, this has a decent set up, and lots of tangential raving, but somehow the strands didn't connect so well to the center. there were moments of pynchon greatness, but several lulls. some have compared it to INHERENT VICE, which i much preferred - i've lived in both regions - grew up in los angeles and thought IV did a great job of capturing it, while VINELAND doesn't do as well for humboldt and the surrounding areas - the novel takes place in many places, as is common in py...more
Melody
Jan 02, 2010 Melody marked it as started-but-did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
There is a point in a book where I connect. After that point I could no more abandon reading the book than I could leave that last little sliver of cheesecake on my plate. And while being able to leave that last bite of cheesecake uneaten, on my plate, might be one of my new year's resolutions I could never refuse to finish a book with which I have become engaged.

Then there are other books that make me feel like an outsider. Like I'm just simply overhearing a conversation, and not very clearly...more
Tempest
Pynchon has a clever way of twisting words and editing sentences so that they allude to a lot more than what is on the page. This is interesting, but because of the overwhelming cleverness of it all, prevents me from really becoming involved with the characters. Everything is so external that I am never able to fully trust the personas Pynchon presents. Having no insight into the character's internal workings, they remain a story and never morph into a person.

Nonetheless--Pynchon has style, and...more
Anna Sinyatkina
Говорили сегодня с Нюсей в Додо про книги, которые ты читаешь - и кажется, что идёшь по ровному асфальту, а в какой-то момент - оп! и под ногами сияющая бездна. Вот "Винляндия" из этих книг совершенно точно. Пинчон не то что бросает читателя посреди такой бездны и отказывается вести дальше. Не, бездна у него всю дорогу через нагретый калифорнийским солнцем асфальт просвечивает, и ослепляет проблесками. И он, конечно, прекрасно знал, куда ведёт читателя, дорогой упоротой грёзы. Но с какого-то мом...more
Alice
Vineland covers a lot of ground, in a jumping-hither-and-thither fashion. It frequently revolves around issues of the viewer and the viewed (especially regarding TV), the user and the used (be it narcs or emotional entrapment), and the dependent individual in contrast to the independent. A web of people come together and separate across time, all ending up in the titular Vineland and often revolving around the family of one Frenesi Gates. Though the space-cadet time line can make any one charact...more
La Stamberga dei Lettori
Entrare a "Vineland" (è il primo Pynchon che affronto) procura un immediato stato d'ansia. Sarà la prosa clamorosamente barocca dell'autore, sarà il fatto che è uno dei pochissimi che Harold Bloom (secondo alcuni Vate supremo della letteratura mondiale, per altri cialtrone baronale dedito alla cura del suo ormai lucrosissimo marchio di fabbrica) mette indiscutibilmente sugli altari che uno si chiede subito: "fu vera gloria o questo romanzo è immangiabile"? Il Re è nudo o sono io che non ne vedo...more
molosovsky
Eigentlich ein 5-Sterne-Roman, dem ich aber ›nur‹ vier Sterne gebe, weil ich dummer Mensch den Roman hauptsächlich unterwegs auf dem Weg zur & von der Arbeit gelesen habe, wofür er sich eben nicht unbedingt eigent. Die vielen Rückblenden — teils sogar mehrere ineinander verschachtelte — machten es mir nicht leicht, flüssig und verwirrungsfrei dem ganzen munteren Abgesang-Panorama auf die Alternativ- & Protestkultur der 60er/70er-Jahre zu folgen.

Dennoch eine dolle Reise und wie alle Pynch...more
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Thomas Ruggles Pynchon, Jr. is an American writer based in New York City, noted for his dense and complex works of fiction. Hailing from Long Island, Pynchon spent two years in the United States Navy and earned an English degree from Cornell University. After publishing several short stories in the late 1950s and early 1960s, he began composing the novels for which he is best known today: V. (1963...more
More about Thomas Pynchon...
The Crying of Lot 49 Gravity's Rainbow V. Inherent Vice Mason and Dixon

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“It would all be done with keys on alphanumeric keyboards that stood for weightless, invisible chains of electronic presence or absence. If patterns of ones and zeroes were "like" patterns of human lives and deaths, if everything about an individual could be represented in a computer record by a long strings of ones and zeroes, then what kind of creature could be represented by a long string of lives and deaths? It would have to be up one level, at least -- an angel, a minor god, something in a UFO. It would take eight human lives and deaths just to form one character in this being's name -- its complete dossier might take up a considerable piece of history of the world. We are digits in God's computer, she not so much thought as hummed to herself to sort of a standard gospel tune, And the only thing we're good for, to be dead or to be living, is the only thing He sees. What we cry, what we contend for, in our world of toil and blood, it all lies beneath the notice of the hacker we call God.” 14 likes
“Easy. They just let us forget. Give us too much to process, fill up every minute, keep us distracted, it's what the Tube is for, and though it kills me to say it, it's what rock and roll is becoming - just another way to claim our attention, so that beautiful certainty we had starts to fade, and after a while they have us convinced all over again that we really are going to die. And they've got us again.” 5 likes
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