Jenn(ifer)'s Reviews > Gravity's Rainbow

Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Jun 02, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: 5-f-ing-stars, beach-reads, dark, game-changers, giggles, read-in-2012, the-tops, you-should-read-this, own, gr-group-coreads, my-reviews-that-dont-suck, national-book-award-winners
Recommended to Jenn(ifer) by: the literati
Recommended for: degenerates
Read from May 10 to June 07, 2012

First off, a song: this was supposedly influenced by Gravity's Raibow. HA!

This one's for you Slothrop & Bodine (I had no idea that there actually were zoot suit riots! Everything I've learned, I've learned from reading books. Crappy public school education...)

Where to begin?!

Regarding the creation of this novel, it has been said, “ Pynchon sequestered himself in a room, writing the novel out by hand, filling sheet after sheet of graph paper with the precise script of an Engineer. Perched atop this stack of papers was his small offering to the Muse, a totem of invocative magic: a rocket formed from "a pencil type eraser (the kind from which you peel off the corkscrew wrapper) with a needle in its nose, and a re-formed paper clip serving as a launching pad." The working title of his draft was Mindless Pleasures…”

Mindless Pleasures.
Well, that suits, doesn’t it? Despite the varied themes and fragmented plot lines, it all comes down to one thing: Slothrop’s magical penis. This man is so blessed that he is able to make women orgasm upon entry! Natürlich! Now that’s something. Who needs porn when you have Pynchon? However…

There comes a time when the ability to sincerely shock your reader reaches a threshold, after that, nothing you write will cause me to so much as raise an eyebrow. This point came for me about half-way through the novel (maybe a little further) with the whole incest bit. Pynchon threw in just about every taboo subject there is, and maybe even made up a few new ones. After awhile, it wasn’t so shocking or interesting anymore, it just became vulgar. Oh, Slothrop screwed another farm animal? Yawn… Okay, so I don’t think he actually screwed any farm animals, but he did just about everything else. Or did he? Hmmm… I think he must have a very vivid imagination. I mean, the guy is pretty tubby, and he’s traveling around Western Europe in pig suits and zoot suits and Rocketman suits. Where I come from, the ladies aren’t dying to drop trou for a guy like that. Yet women seem to be flocking to our friend Slothrop. But who am I to judge, there was a war going on! Oh yeah, there’s a war going on…

When sir Slothrop isn’t getting laid, some interesting ideas are presented. It’s easy to get caught up in all of the lascivious prose, but when you allow yourself to ignore all of that, what you are left with is brilliant BRILLIANT writing. Pynchon tackles the Big Issues without blinking an eye: the preterite vs. the elect, metaphysics, death,War; don’t forget about the war.

This was far and away THE FUNNIEST book I’ve ever read. I mean, come on, pie fights in hot air balloons, nasal erections, silly songs, a trained octopus, Byron the Bulb(?)... and hundreds of kazoos!

Pynchon likes to keep you on your toes. There’s no such thing as “casually reading” this book. You have to pay attention, otherwise you’ll end up in another country with a whole new cast of characters in another time period and have NO IDEA how you ended up there (he uses analepses early and often). Characters may change names without notice(as with von Goll/der Springer and Weissman/Capt. Blicero).

I will not make claims that this is a perfect novel. There were times when I felt like Pynchon was beating me over the head with a hammer, times when the vulgarity was too much to take, the slapstick humor way too over the top. But those moments paled in comparison to the joy I felt reading this novel.

But don’t take my word for it: the proof of the Pudding is in the eating. Uh, or something *wink.*

(I’m going to go now and drop some acid and read this thing again.)

Casting for the part of Slothrop:




Or finally:


**A note to those who wish to read this book: it should come with a warning label DO NOT READ WHILE EATING. Poor Major Marvy, I'm lookin' at you.
61 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Gravity's Rainbow.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

05/13/2012 page 70
9.0% "Am I gonna get hit by a shit storm if I say I'm just not digging this right now? Maybe my mind hasn't fully recovered from Ulysses yet. Imma give it 50 more pages, and if I'm still not digging it, it'll go back up on the shelf until I'm ready to try again." 8 comments
05/17/2012 page 120
15.0% 4 comments
05/19/2012 page 183
24.0% "I am catching the War. It is infecting me." 3 comments
05/21/2012 page 222
29.0% "'the penis he thought was his own' HA!"
05/21/2012 page 240
31.0% "Coprophagia? Really Pynchon? Glad I didn't read that delightful scene on my lunch break!"
05/22/2012 page 285
37.0% "part drei" 4 comments
05/23/2012 page 305
39.0% 9 comments
05/24/2012 page 320
41.0% "I need to read this entire 'Erdschweinhohle" episode again.What the? What?" 8 comments
05/27/2012 page 425
55.0% "oh no, it's half over!" 1 comment
05/28/2012 page 450
58.0% "nasal hardon, now that's a new one" 1 comment
05/29/2012 page 476
61.0% "ummmm.... uhhh... did that really just happen? I feel dirty." 9 comments
05/30/2012 page 515
66.0% "Is there some sort of point to this whole thing? If so, it may have gotten lost amongst all the fornicating." 5 comments
05/31/2012 page 542
70.0% "oh Pudding, you had to have seen that one coming!" 4 comments
06/05/2012 page 631
81.0% "part 4! "black neckerchiefs whipping about like the mustaches of epileptic villains..." Oh Pynchon, you funny, funny man"
06/05/2012 page 631
81.0% "part 4! "black neckerchiefs whipping about like the mustaches of epileptic villains..." Oh Pynchon, you funny, funny man" 2 comments
06/05/2012 page 653
84.0% ""for every They there ought to be a We""
06/06/2012 page 700
90.0% 11 comments
03/23/2016 marked as: read
show 3 hidden updates…

No comments have been added yet.

1 next »