Steve's Reviews > V.

V. by Thomas Pynchon
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really liked it
bookshelves: got-distracted-by-another-book, to-read

09SEP13. What are the odds? I've had V. on my shelf for YEARS (ever since devouring Gravity's Rainbow.) I'd pick it up occasionally, flip through it, replace it on the shelf.

This weekend my 20-year-old daughter asked me about it (her name is Vienna, though we all call her V and have since she was born.) At age 13 she memorized the "vanguarding vice and vouchsafing" speech from V for Vendetta, and I found it hard to believe she hadn't seen this on the shelf before. Alas, I had nothing to tell her since I had not read it...only what I've learned and loved during my multiple readings of CL49 and single meticulous reading of GR.

She immediately took a pass. :-)

I am often--and currently, as it happens--wracked by what I guess I'll call "choice paralysis;" I have SO many books in my house that the thought of devoting a month to one to the exclusion of SO. MANY. OTHERS. Yikes. (See? I can't even finish a friggin' sentence about it.)

And this morning I see in my Goodreads update email that one of my Goodreads friends has begun reading V. I'm not at all superstitious except when it's fun to be so, so I'm taking this happy coincidence as a sign and saying it here now: I'm starting V.

What will it mean? Last year (sorry) over two years ago I made a public commitment like this and got as far as ninety pages into The Recognitions (a prominent long-time resident of my "intimidated-me-for-years-so-never-picked-it-up" shelf) which is ninety pages WAY more than I ever thought I'd get, and assures me that I will read the rest someday, no rush. (And I keep hearing William H. Gass, like a ghost, from his introduction to The Recognitions: "How many have arrived at the last page of Proust or completed Finnegan's Wake? What does it mean to finish Moby Dick, anyway? Do not begin with any hope of that. This is a book you are meant to befriend. It will be your lifelong companion." Which in my brain-voice I, for some reason, attenuate to: "The book's not going anywhere. It'll be there when you're ready for it."

...which NOW has me thinking seriously about The Recognitions again! What delicious madness!

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Reading Progress

August 18, 2008 – Shelved
September 12, 2013 –
page 16
2.93% "Slow going for two reasons, one good one bad:
Good: I'm looking up anything I don't recognize which, reading TP, is most things (and yes, looking up stuff is my idea of a good reading experience)
- Bad: life and work are impinging upon my reading, and I don't appreciate it one bit. I SERIOUSLY need to win the lottery over here."
September 15, 2013 –
page 30
5.48% "Enjoying this much more than I thought I might."
September 27, 2013 –
page 74
11.56% "I'm working with the wrong edition of this novel. (Changed Editons but the review, likes, comments did not transfer. Anyone have a suggestions?)" (Mass Market Paperback Edition)
September 27, 2013 –
page 74
October 7, 2013 –
page 113
20.66% "This edition does not have 547 pages but 533."
October 11, 2013 –
page 126
October 20, 2013 –
page 161
November 1, 2013 –
page 176
32.18% "176/533 = 33.02%.
Slow & steady, man, slow & steady..."
September 14, 2014 – Shelved as: got-distracted-by-another-book
September 14, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read

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