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Archive: Other Books > The Crying of Lot 49/Pynchon - 1 star

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message 1: by Anita (last edited Mar 14, 2018 11:36AM) (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6432 comments I can count on one hand the number of books I've rated one star, but this book was simply awful. From the non-existent character development (never mind their motivations) to the irritating fake history descriptions to the mere semblance of a plot . . .other than the use of vocabulary, I struggled to find anything redeeming about it. Did I mention it was breathtakingly boring? It might be great if you have insomnia and need a sleep aid. I challenge you to read more than 10 pages after 8 pm and stay awake.

The plot is ostensibly about a women, Oedipa Maas, who is named as the executor for her ex-boyfriend's will. As she goes about her duties, she appears to unearth an alternative postal system called W.A.S.T.E. As she tries to unravel the "mystery" of W.A.S.T.E., she visits a number of people who provide clues, many of whom shortly thereafter die and most of whom have some sort of affiliation with her ex. Over time, Oedipa isn't sure if she's uncovering some kind of conspiracy or if perhaps the joke is on her, and her ex set her up for sort of crazy-making wild goose chase.

The good news is that reader couldn't give a darn, because lo and behold, the author leaves the true answer up in the air. After boring the reader to tears.

So if you like a book with next to no character development, a lot of punny names (Stanley Koteks give you an idea of how juvenile it gets), a snorefest of a plot, and no resolution, then this book is for you.

I'll give it this - it was short. Thank god.

On another entirely unrelated note, it did become very, very clear to me that David Foster Wallace was heavily influenced by Pynchon. I thought Infinite Jest was very creative (even though I definitely was not a fan) with moments of brilliance, but now, I can see how much he was inspired by this guy. I did laugh some at Infinite Jest, and I managed to read the whooolllle thing. So it was better. I don't think I could have stood one more page of Pynchon.


message 2: by Nicole R (new)

Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7758 comments Anita wrote: "So if you like a book with next to no character development, a lot of punny names (Stanley Koteks give you an idea of how juvenile it gets), a snorefest of a plot, and no resolution, then this book is for you. ..."

Oh, I am sorry this was a disaster! Though not that sorry because it brought me this gem of a review! LOL! Seriously, this sentence is gold.


message 3: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6432 comments Nicole R wrote: "Anita wrote: "So if you like a book with next to no character development, a lot of punny names (Stanley Koteks give you an idea of how juvenile it gets), a snorefest of a plot, and no resolution, ..."

Thanks, Nicole!! OMG, I hated this one so so much . . .probably the worst book I've read in the past 10 years.


message 4: by Booknblues (new)

Booknblues | 5757 comments I read his V. many years ago and this sounds similar, but not as long, as V is 640 pages. I had much more tolerance for that sort of thing in those days.


message 5: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6432 comments Booknblues wrote: "I read his V. many years ago and this sounds similar, but not as long, as V is 640 pages. I had much more tolerance for that sort of thing in those days."

I'm impressed you read 640 pages of this guy . . .I don't know though because Gravity's Rainbow is supposed to be so amazing. Though I talked to an avid reader who said reading that one almost killed her.


message 6: by Karin (new)

Karin | 6994 comments Since I rarely like satire (I do like Jane Austen satire), I'll pass. Your rating got me curious to see how my friends who have rated it, and the only number of stars I don't remember seeing is 2--it's all over the place!

I have family members who would like those punny names, but I'm going to pass on this book.

Loved your review, though.


message 7: by Booknblues (new)

Booknblues | 5757 comments Anita wrote: "Booknblues wrote: "I read his V. many years ago and this sounds similar, but not as long, as V is 640 pages. I had much more tolerance for that sort of thing in those days."

I'm impres..."


What has stuck in my brain about V is there was a guy that sharpened his teeth to points and a woman who was replacing her body parts. She had a ruby for a belly button....Anything beyond that I've forgotten, except it was very weird.


message 8: by Cynda (last edited Mar 14, 2018 07:09PM) (new)

Cynda Anita, I am sorry you had difficulty with it. I did too when reading this book for some literature class. I had recently wondered if I should give it another chance. Now I think not.

I have a problem with most satire. But like Karin, I have an appreciation of Jane Austen.


message 9: by Tracy (new)

Tracy (tstan) | 1194 comments I tend to like satire if it’s not too silly. I looked back, and I gave this one three stars. But I read it about 10 years ago. I don’t know why I gave it that rating, but I’m not rereading to find out!


message 10: by Cynda (new)

Cynda Tracy wrote: "I tend to like satire if it’s not too silly. I looked back, and I gave this one three stars. But I read it about 10 years ago. I don’t know why I gave it that rating, but I’m not rereading to find ..."

😉


message 11: by Nicole D. (new)

Nicole D. | 1482 comments I guess I liked this. You kind of made me want to re-read


message 12: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6432 comments Cynda wrote: "Anita, I am sorry you had difficulty with it. I did too when reading this book for some literature class. I had recently wondered if I should give it another chance. Now I think not.

I have a pro..."


Yeah, I'm clearly not a fan of satire either. I don't think I've liked any of the past four books characterized as such that I've read.

I have to admit not loving Pride and Prejudice and now my book club is thinking about doing another Austen. Sigh. I really don't want to read more satire if I can avoid it.


message 13: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6432 comments Tracy wrote: "I tend to like satire if it’s not too silly. I looked back, and I gave this one three stars. But I read it about 10 years ago. I don’t know why I gave it that rating, but I’m not rereading to find ..."

Ha ha, yeah, I would try another Pynchon if you must, but this cannot possibly be worth re-reading even if you thought it was okay.

Have you read Gravity's Rainbow?


message 14: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6432 comments Booknblues wrote: "Anita wrote: "Booknblues wrote: "I read his V. many years ago and this sounds similar, but not as long, as V is 640 pages. I had much more tolerance for that sort of thing in those days..."

Well, that sounds a little more interesting than this book at any rate.


message 15: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6432 comments Nicole D. wrote: "I guess I liked this. You kind of made me want to re-read"

Lol, it's only 157 pages. I saw your review before reading it so was kinda thinking I might like it since you did, but I think the one area we really differ on is satire. You like it. I do not. i.e. The Sellout.

Have you read David Foster Wallace at all?


message 16: by Sushicat (new)

Sushicat | 804 comments Thank god i didn’t even try to read this. I tend to shiver at the thought of reading anything labeled satire. My very few one stars probably all fall into that category.


message 17: by Nicole D. (new)

Nicole D. | 1482 comments Anita wrote: "Nicole D. wrote: "I guess I liked this. You kind of made me want to re-read"

Lol, it's only 157 pages. I saw your review before reading it so was kinda thinking I might like it since you did, but ..."


tried, and abandoned.


message 18: by Tracy (new)

Tracy (tstan) | 1194 comments Anita wrote: "Tracy wrote: "I tend to like satire if it’s not too silly. I looked back, and I gave this one three stars. But I read it about 10 years ago. I don’t know why I gave it that rating, but I’m not rere..."
Nope. It’s sitting on my shelf collecting dust. It might crumble if I pick it up. Maybe I should just leave it there...


message 19: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6432 comments Tracy wrote: "Anita wrote: "Tracy wrote: "I tend to like satire if it’s not too silly. I looked back, and I gave this one three stars. But I read it about 10 years ago. I don’t know why I gave it that rating, bu..."

Without knowing anything about it really, I advise letting it rot.


message 20: by Karin (new)

Karin | 6994 comments Anita wrote: "Cynda wrote: "Anita, I am sorry you had difficulty with it. I did too when reading this book for some literature class. I had recently wondered if I should give it another chance. Now I think not. ..."

Well, there is that metafiction one that is more of a parody than a satire, Northanger Abbey.


message 21: by Cynda (last edited Mar 17, 2018 04:27PM) (new)

Cynda Yes. And only because I love and respect Austen, I plan to soon participate in buddy read of The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe within another group I belong to. I want to have a deeper appreciation of Austen's novel that I am willingly read Radcliffe's. Plus Mysteries will also satisfy my personal classic challenge element--a novel over 500 pages.


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