Gravity's Rainbow

buttonbutton 1,475 Posts
edited December 2010 in Strut Central
Has anybody made it all the way through this ?? I've been slowly hacking away at it, piece by piece. Unbelievable stuff. Why isn't every book this enriching?

  Comments


  • I read it... I thought the middle section, with Slothrop bouncing through Europe as it crumbled at the end of the war, was particularly incredible. It's picaresque adventures felt like Huck Finn on acid, and I found it hysterical.

    The final section has the greatest epigraph in literature, "What?" - Richard M. Nixon, and is a total brain fuck that is virtually impossible to read. The book's arc has been described as the arc of the V2- and as it crashes, the book becomes a chaotic mess. Keeping that in mind really helped me make sense of the final section.

    Enjoy it- it's definitely a unique read. I found this article- on the book's editing and publication- a great read. Enjoy.

    http://www.bookforum.com/archive/sum_05/pynchon.html

  • gareth said:
    I read it... I thought the middle section, with Slothrop bouncing through Europe as it crumbled at the end of the war, was particularly incredible. It's picaresque adventures felt like Huck Finn on acid, and I found it hysterical.

    The final section has the greatest epigraph in literature, "What?" - Richard M. Nixon, and is a total brain fuck that is virtually impossible to read. The book's arc has been described as the arc of the V2- and as it crashes, the book becomes a chaotic mess. Keeping that in mind really helped me make sense of the final section.

    Enjoy it- it's definitely a unique read. I found this article- on the book's editing and publication- a great read. Enjoy.

    http://www.bookforum.com/archive/sum_05/pynchon.html

    Cosign. GR is the most challenging book I have ever read. I found the readers guide really helpful for the cultural references.

  • I haven't read it yet, but it is on my list.

    I'm actually in the middle of reading Infinite Jest right now, though. I think that it's probably a bit longer but it's also probably not as "conceptually difficult" (that sounds a bit asinine, but you know what I mean).

  • dwyhajlo said:
    I haven't read it yet, but it is on my list.

    I'm actually in the middle of reading Infinite Jest right now, though. I think that it's probably a bit longer but it's also probably not as "conceptually difficult" (that sounds a bit asinine, but you know what I mean).

    There was some talk of GR & IJ over on Waxidermy, and I think it was Goatboy who came with the very astute comment that IJ is a novel that moves inward- focusing more and more on individuals/thoughts/conciousness, while GR explodes outward to an almost inconceivable degree.

    Not to sidetrack, but IJ may mean more to me than anything I've ever read, and I said that before DFW committed suicide. It is a uniquely funny, sincere, and very sad book...

    "and the tide was way out..."

  • double posto


  • Not to sidetrack, but IJ may mean more to me than anything I've ever read, and I said that before DFW committed suicide. It is a uniquely funny, sincere, and very sad book...

    "and the tide was way out..."


    i coincidentally just picked up Gravity's Rainbow to read after finishing IJ, I've been wanting to dig into Pynchon since many compare DFW to him. IJ has recently taken over the title of favorite book I've ever read--amazing on so many levels, plus the Eschaton game and Mario's subsequent puppet show has me literally LOLing more than any other book has ever made me.

    Though I haven't started it yet, I've been looking up reviews about GR and it sounds bat shit crazy which is intriguing to me, but sounds like it's going to be a difficult read. Guess I'll find out in the next week or two... Many places I looked into recommended using this website in which some guy made illustrations for every page of the book:

    http://www.themodernword.com/pynchon/zak_smith/page index.htm

    :oh_my:

  • dwyhajlo said:
    I haven't read it yet, but it is on my list.

    I'm actually in the middle of reading Infinite Jest right now, though.

    i've been "in the middle" of reading this for like four months now. i picked it up arbitrarily never anticipating the undertaking would be so long.

  • gareth said:

    This was great. Seriously, thanks for posting the link. This line made me laugh:

    "I had stuff to do that confined my reading to the 10 PM ???midnight slot. I'd stumble off to bed, my brainwaves commandeered by Pynchon's insinuating narrative voice, to a night of uneasy dreams that fed off some of the most disturbing latent content modern fiction can provide. It was a strange six weeks, and I had the sense that I was leading a kind of secret life in my own Zone."

    It took me more than 6 weeks to read it but this was my experience too.

  • dollar_bindollar_bin I heartily endorse this product and/or event 2,321 Posts
    Unlike most books, Gravity's Rainbow has a calculus joke in it.


    I r dr r-ed mightily

  • goatboygoatboy 371 Posts
    Took me three tries to get through GR, but it was well worth the effort and persistence.
    I've made up for it by re-reading it twice.
    The Companion definitely makes the going easier...

  • buttonbutton 1,475 Posts
    GR often gets written up as this far out LSD trip, and there are clearly parts that would lend support to that, but I feel like those are just small asides compared to the book in its entirety, which I would describe as beautiful far more than I would "trippy" (but admittedly I haven't gotten to the last act yet).

    At any rate, I am having trouble accepting the fact that this work was conceived by one brain and one brain alone.

  • HamHam 872 Posts
    Put down infinte jest after 500 pages but really liked it, i'm gonna try again soon. haven't read GR. Anyone read Gaddis's JR?

  • anyone looking for a more bite-sized Pynchon experience should try The Crying of Lot 49 - no less of a trip for it's brevity.

    Mason and Dixon is another epic yet far less cluttered / more readable than GR IMHO ...

    i would recommend these two to anyone a bit daunted by GR - of which I will happily admit I have never got past the middle! every time I restart it, I get stuck in the same place. *love* the first half though!! especially the list of banana recipes.


  • vintageinfants said:

    Don't to get twisted- this anecdote starts as a Don Gately joke in IJ with him and the Crocodiles, and is one of the parts of the book I always go back to...

    Evenin' Ladies...

  • HorseleechHorseleech 3,830 Posts
    becksdad said:
    anyone looking for a more bite-sized Pynchon experience should try The Crying of Lot 49 - no less of a trip for it's brevity.

    This is the only one I've read and liked it quite a bit.

    According to a friend who worked there, all of Pynchon's academic records at Cornell are missing and it's assumed that he hired someone to steal them for whatever reason.
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