The Crying of Lot 49

The Crying of Lot 49

Paperback Vintage Books

By (author) Thomas Pynchon

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  • Publisher: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback | 160 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 194mm x 10mm | 100g
  • Publication date: 1 November 2002
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0099532611
  • ISBN 13: 9780099532613
  • Sales rank: 4,720

Product description

Suffused with rich satire, chaotic brilliance, verbal turbulence and wild humour, "The Crying of Lot 49" opens as Oedipa Maas discovers that she has been made executrix of a former lover's estate. The performance of her duties sets her on a strange trail of detection, in which bizarre characters crowd in to help or confuse her. But gradually, death, drugs, madness and marriage combine to leave Oepida in isolation on the threshold of revelation, awaiting "The Crying of Lot 49". This is one of Pynchon's shortest novels and one of his best.

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Author information

Thomas Pynchon is the author of V., The Crying of Lot 49, Gravity's Rainbow, Slow Learner, a collection of short stories, Vineland, Mason and Dixon and, most recently, Against the Day. He received the National Book Award for Gravity's Rainbow in 1974.

Review quote

"The best American novel I have read since the war" -- Frank Kermode "For the reader who has yet to make acquaintance with this important comic talent... an appropriate introduction...defiantly, purposefully outrageous" Spectator "The Crying of Lot 49 contains some of the most elegiac writing about America since Fitzgerald, as well as packing an intense metaphorical punch about revelation, hierophany, meaning and connection that is far too complex to reduce to precis" Observer

Editorial reviews

Whether you were with it or not, Pynchon's first novel V. had some prodigally exciting sequences to startle the most phlegmatic imagination. Here, however, his narrative verve has shrivelled into sheer bizarrerie. So much of it is not only unidentifiable but also unintelligible - it's not to be read as much as deciphered. The third chapter opens with "Things then did not delay in turning curious" but it has been prefaced with all kinds of Happenings after Mrs. Oedipa Maas leaves her husband Mucho. He's a disc jockey spooked by his dream of the car lot where he had once worked. She spends a night with a lawyer in a motel, playing Strip Botticelli in front of the tube. And from then on Oedipa's search, in fluid drive up and down the freeways, to the Yoyodyne electronics factory in San Narciso, into a strange society called The Tristero and for the answer to a reappearing symbol - W.A.S.T.E., back to her psychiatrist Dr. Hilarius, and to Mucho who now knows the answer to the "crying" of the lot (it's N.A.D.A.) - oh well, this is all a dizzying exposure to what is presumably a satire of contemporary society and its fluor-essence, Southern California... Pynchon's accessories include names (Driblette; Koteks; Genghis Cohen); props (feeding "eggplant sandwiches to not too bright seagulls"); insets (a long Jacobean play) and in jokes... HELP! Even the Beatles can't and they suggest the singing group called the Paranoids. Somehow it seems as if a genuine talent had reduced itself to automated kookiness. Hip, yes; hooray, no. (Kirkus Reviews)