Typical Pynchon in that you never completely know what is going on but less so than some of his other books. I very much enjoyed the main character Maxine and the picture of post-dot.com boom New York. Funny, touching and silly all in one.
It was okay. It took me forever to finish this book- I just couldn't get into it.
I wanted to read this book for its great revelations and understandings of 9/11 but paid too high a price. Right away it comes off as too esoteric. The only people are Jewish New Yorkers, everyone else is an ethnic or regional caricature. With no constructed plot there is no hero's journey. There is also no antagonist but rather the pop culture of the late nineties still oozing into the new century. Pynchon's only goal here may be to lament the loss of reality. New York as it was for his generation. Real capital and real labor that leads to real production and real fulfillment. And a time when the hyped-up ever-present threat of a bogeyman did not consume our daily lives. These are worthwhile pursuits but poorly achieved. Be careful when embarking upon this book. Abandon when you find yourself counting the pages.
No stars. Unreadable.
Top 10 list 2013 Entertainment weekly
If not the greatest novelist of his generation (that goes to Philip Roth), the reclusive Thomas Pynchon may be the most influential, as he casts a shadow that falls over big guns like Don DeLillo, David Foster Wallace, William Gibson and Jonathan Lethem, among others. His latest opus, his 8th novel, takes on 9/11 and the the mood and events of the early '00s. Pynchon is nothing if not ambitious, but this ultimately falls flat and fails to make sense of the period, despite copious period details like the growth of the internet, the dotcom bubble, Keanu Reeves movies, Jay-Z and Nas, beanie babies and even "Friends." Yes, Thomas Pynchon, the writer of "Gravity's Rainbow" has put "Friends" in one of his books. And this is an odd, uneven mix of the whimsical and trivial with the tragic and grave. Pynchon's late style is strangely lighter and more superficial than in his earlier works. "The Trade Center tower were religious too. They stood for what this country worships above everything else, the market, always the holy f***in market."
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