Fick kämpa för att bli engagerad av den här (oerhört välskrivna) boken. Att "Kallocain" är före sin tid (nästan tio år före "1984") känns nästan som eFick kämpa för att bli engagerad av den här (oerhört välskrivna) boken. Att "Kallocain" är före sin tid (nästan tio år före "1984") känns nästan som en nackdel - hur mycket har inte den dystopiska genren utvecklats sedan dess?
Här är det bra idéer och fint anslag men allt har sagts mer personligt på andra håll, och hela berättelsen är alldeles för abstrakt och brister i gestaltning. Även i en homogen polisstat finns det plats för slående bilder, som när Margaret Atwoods berättare beskriver färgen vitt i "The Handmaid's tale". Kanske är huvudkaraktären Leo Kall helt enkelt för tråkig för att bära en roman. ...more
It's also complex, immature, farcical, outrageous, obscene, sad, tragic, a little wistful and occasionally very funny. Often severalIt's very uneven.
It's also complex, immature, farcical, outrageous, obscene, sad, tragic, a little wistful and occasionally very funny. Often several of these at the same time.
But my general take on "Gravity's Rainbow", the most praised of Pynchon's novels, is that it's uneven, and not quite the masterpiece "V", "The Crying of Lot 49" and general critical acclaim led me to expect.
There's simply too much going on here, and Pynchon's inspiration fails to meet the potential within the book. As in "V", there are chapters here that are absolutely profound. In this case the stand-out is the 40-odd pages about Franz Pökler, an engineer who is coaxed into work on a mysterious rocket - all the while being kept in check by the government through visits from a "daughter" that may or may not be real...
There is also a lot of fun to be had. It's hard to really hate a book where the main character Slothrop is engaged in a pie-throwing fight atop a balloon, where the friendly nature of pigs are discussed while Slothrop is wearing a pig mask and rambling through the German countryside, where the elect vs. the preterite is discussed in an essay that says maybe we oughtta pray to Judas instead?
The problem is that these moments of focus and clarity gradually peters out towards the end, and is replaced by more of the same ramblings about sadomasochism and control that Pynchon does better in early parts of the novel. During the last 200 pages, it seems that his impulse control is actually getting a lot worse. He's getting wordier, more abstract, and his cartoonish Samourai brothers, his fixation with kazoos, and the fights between his addicts on the quality of their marijuana drains the novel of all momentum.
I don't mind the toilet humor, I don't mind the constant digressions, I don't mind the million characters or the open-ended story or lack of story or heavy-going symbolism or whatever.
What I do mind is all these parts not working together in concert. As a Grand Novel, "Gravity's Rainbow" is masterful from maybe around pages 300-500. As a psychosexual study of certain behaviour during the WWII, it's brilliant in some 50-60 chosen pages. As an unserious romp through postwar Germany, it's great in spurts but weighed down with a lot of filler...
What to make of it all? It seems that this has been the main problem for a lot of people trying to review "Gravity's Rainbow". The novel falls apart - however, it also seems _designed_ to fall apart, and doesn't this reflect the main character's own destiny? You can take the good with the bad and just call the book a masterpiece, get it over with, sometimes it really sucks but that is the case with all great art, right?
No, I don't like this view. "Gravity's Rainbow" should not be praised by its ability to confuse and overbear and exhaust the reader in lieu of meaningful sentences. The novel is intellectually astounding and sometimes rises to meet its full potential on the postwar state of mind. Other times, it's a story about an eternal light bulb being screwed into a dude's ass, and suddenly it all starts to feel very tiresome. ...more