Thomas Pynchon

Jason Read This and Thinks This

This book is about 200 pages long and is a quick and easy read the
first time you take a notion to do it. It is the perfect introduction
to Thomas Pynchon, who is generally left unread by a lot of people
because he is wrongly considered a difficult person to understand. The
reason that it is so good an introduction is that Pynchon puts multiple
layers of meaning in his stories, and packs sentences with jokes and
hidden meanings, but at the same time writes them so that they can be
enjoyed in a straightforward way.

The Crying of Lot 49 is about
one woman’s realization that there is a conspiratorial underground
postal service that has been behind the scenes for 200 years and that
involves pretty much everyone except her. She has to deal with the fact
that she is either wildly paranoid or there is a group of people that
use wastebaskets as mail drops, and bathroom graffiti as bulletin

And it builds and builds and ends with a crescendo that when I read it
made me hateful because I will never, ever write anything that good in
the course of my life. And then I read it again and realized that there
was weird between-the-lines shit, and then I did some research and
found out that books have been written about this book, elucidating
pretty much every single line, college classes are taught based on it,
dig, it’s worshiped by people who are heavy into books. Like the word
“God” is used 4 times, and you can either let it just slide by as part
of the text, or you can read it as a direct invocation of a deity, and
let that read make the book something entirely other than what you
initially read it as.

And even if you don’t get it, even if you think that the book sucks,
you immediately get intellectual points just by having it in your

Ruthless Ratings

10 out of 10 postmodern points. You better believe it, bubi.