Aaron's Reviews > Vineland

Vineland by Thomas Pynchon
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's review
Jun 14, 2011

liked it

I really want to like Thomas Pynchon, but after two novels of his down now, I'm not sure that I'm capable of getting him. It's crazy to me that there exists a book that is more difficult to follow than David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest (which I loved), but Vineland is it. It started off more cohesively than The Crying of Lot 49, but as it is roughly 250 pages longer, it was even easier to get derailed by all of the intricate and bizarre plot lines. I have no idea how to even begin explaining what exactly took place within this novel. I can try, and probably cover all the bare essentials, but am not willing to put forth the effort. There are definitely some stylistic things to like, though. Pynchon's influence on DFW is pretty obvious (in fact, Vineland almost feels like a DFW novel as it dips into a plethora of genres and is post-modern as hell). A lot of Pynchon's imagery is entertaining if not beautiful, and his sense of humor is impressive (and at times right up my alley). I also think the subtle references to The Crying of Lot 49 are a fun little detail. However, the fact remains that Vineland was nearly impossible to follow, and that is a turn off.

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Reading Progress

June 14, 2011 – Started Reading
June 14, 2011 – Shelved
June 14, 2011 –
page 107
June 15, 2011 –
page 130
June 16, 2011 –
page 158
June 18, 2011 –
page 218
June 19, 2011 –
page 294
June 19, 2011 –
page 400
June 20, 2011 – Finished Reading

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