Thomas Pynchon discussion

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VINELAND

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message 1: by Phillip (last edited Jun 08, 2012 10:43AM) (new)

Phillip | 57 comments i just started this one, which is, at this point, the only pynchon novel that i haven't read.

so far i'm liking it ok ... it seems the book most easiest to compare with INHERENT VICE - seems like pynchon lite - but IV has a lot more polish to it ... the humor is more overt and layered (INHERENT VICE came later, obviously, so fair enough). i lived in humboldt county back in the late 70's, so, just as with INHERENT VICE, i can really relate to the setting (having grown up in LA during the era that IV is set).

anyway, i'm just 40 pages or so into it ... so i don't want to make assumptions or predictions yet.

any comments - or anyone else reading it?


message 2: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Ingraham | 5 comments Hi:

read it a long time ago--probably when it first came out. I do remember it as the easiest of the Pynchon reads--and I've read pretty much everything of his- and will have to go back at it again sometime, but I have to re-read Gravity's Rainbow first

Kevin


message 3: by Phillip (last edited Jun 08, 2012 11:49PM) (new)

Phillip | 57 comments good idea. gravity's rainbow the second time around was much more enjoyable for me.


message 4: by Josiah (new)

Josiah Miller (josiahthemessiah) | 1 comments Hello all. I wanted to comment on here about Vineland. I'm a really big fan of Pynchon and I studied him in college. Vineland was one of the last novels of his I read except for IV. I can never decide which Pynchon novel I like the best. It seems like whichever novel I'm reading at the time slowly starts becoming my favorite. I can see why a lot of people wouldn't like VL nearly as much being that it was his first novel after GR. I feel that VL is highly underrated and there are some great and memorable moments. I won't give any away. This strictly my opinion of the novel and all I can say for a first read of any Pynchon novel...enjoy it.


message 5: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimruland) | 5 comments I don't see much point in "defending" where a book sits on my personal ranking system, but I will say that my estimation of Vineland improved considerably after I read it a second time.


message 6: by Rohan (new)

Rohan | 1 comments I recently finished reading Gravity's Rainbow and though I am not really a re-reader at this point (too many books to read out there) I have been feeling like I need to reread GR.
The first time around I found the first 450 pages (of my 900 page edition) riveting but then as Slothrop seems lost and starts to just drift I started to lose interest. But I definitely want to go back and reread the thing. I just finished it to finish it but things will become a bit "clearer" on re-reading I guess.


message 7: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 57 comments i really enjoyed my second time around with GR - i think you will too - it came alive in ways i didn't experience the first time - not surprising with a bulky, thought-laden text like this.


message 8: by Joe (new)

Joe Runde (drjoe) | 6 comments All of Pynchon's books bear rereading, and of all modern writers' works, his most reward rereading. I really like Mason & Dixon the first time through. The second time was amazing. Right now I am about a third of the way through Against the Day for the second time and discovering so much that I'd missed the first time because I did not know where the book was headed. There's so much to catch that I think a third reading my be even more rewarding.


message 9: by Phillip (last edited Jul 02, 2012 11:32PM) (new)

Phillip | 57 comments just finished it - not my favorite pynchon. this has a decent set up, some tangential raving, but somehow the strands didn't connect so well to the center. there were moments of pynchon greatness, but several lulls. some have compared it to INHERENT VICE, which i much preferred - i've lived in both regions - grew up in los angeles and thought IV did a great job of capturing it, while VINELAND doesn't do as well for humboldt and the surrounding areas - the novel takes place in many places, as is common in pynchon's work, but the center - vineland - as location, in this case resembles the theme, from which pynchon strays liberally. of course, "place" isn't really the main attraction, the 80's and reganomics and the war on drugs sit front and center. don't get me wrong, it's pynchon, and there are lots of wonderful bits - i liked it and am glad i read it, but i don't think it is one i will revisit. i will say that the ending - and the last 80 pages, were pretty wonderful - especially the ending sequence.


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