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This book seem very intimidating to read (length and the fact Pynchon seems kind of a nut). Is it a difficult read?

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Craig B. Yes.
It is tremendously densely packed.
Sort of the first 1600-page novel that's only 760 pages.

But don't let that scare you off. It's one of those few extraordinary books that teaches you how to read it as you go along.

And of course, the musical interludes where the characters break into song help chop up the density.
Zardoz I had to resort to the Internet to try and make sense of whole sections only to find out nobody understands it.
John Maberry Yes, extraordinarily so. There are more allusions packed into each page than any other book I have ever read. If you want to read it, do so near a computer where you can look them all up as you read. It is turgid prose.
Phlippie It's quite dense, but that is partly because a lot of meaning is on the surface; Pynchon explicitly brings out the implications, themes, connections to other ideas etc. of most passages, that I think other authors might have left for the reader to decode. This actually makes it an easier read, because you only need get through it to get most of it.
Miroslaw Aleksander Yes, they're dense, and you won't get every detail the first time 'round you read it. That said, most people who finish the novel have two immediate reactions: They realize they didn't understand about half of it, and they desire to start rereading the whole thing just after putting it down.
Jack Trainor Absolutely. Somewhere between "Ulysses" and "Finnegans Wake." If that doesn't intimidate you, nothing will.

However, GR does have wonderful passages. Such as "The Disgusting English Candy Drill" which you can find starting on p. 114. One of the funniest things I've read anywhere.

Also here: http://bella.media.mit.edu/people/fon...
Ramesh YES. I'm not above using Sparknotes or a guide to get through a difficult book but Gravity's Rainbow has entire websites dedicated to it. It's not just the references that you need a companion to decipher that make it a hard read. There are characters that appear and disappear, there are long meaningless meanderings and sometimes just plain nonsense.
Laurance Emory I suggest reading slowly, like with voice in your head, to best absorb. This isn't a fast food novel, more like gourmet dinner with each bite to be savored. We don't speed listen to Beatles, or other great music/art. I read opening two paragraphs to friend who was said difficult to get into. She said "Wow, that is like poetry" Poetry in prose.
Eric If Lisa Simpson can read it...
Kim George Guidall's reading on the OverDrive ebook I just finished, made it much more bearable! He can make anything sound amazing. I think the book is 37 hours, and I read that it took him a month of 40 hour weeks to record! This is the one book I set down and never finished (I think I was in college), and I really enjoyed "reading" it this way, while crocheting, and occasionally consulting an online synopsis, when my mind wandered or I thought "WHAT was that I just heard?!"
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