Review: The Crying of Lot 49

The Crying of Lot 49The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is my second Pynchon book after V. The style is somewhat different, but the logic of dreams that binds the surreal events of Pynchon’s narrative, albeit very straightforward and much more linear than in V., is the same.

There is something I find very appealing and sympathetic about the portrayal of the protagonist’s character, Oedipa.

The narrator follows Oedipa and her forays into the fictional city of San Narcisco as the executor (“or should it be executrix?”) of the will of a now dead past rich lover, whom we only get to know through her memories of him. A mystery, threads to a complex universal conspiracy theory that seems to unfold itself around her completely possesses her and engulfs her; or is everything not what it seems?

As stated, the narrative is rather linear, but it is not that easy to come up with a conclusion as to what it is really about: our reality, our perception thereof, its emptiness,how we seek to fill it, none of that?

The book is very intriguing and enjoyable; thought-provoking as it is, it provides for a smooth fast read, and it left me somewhat confused and disoriented, but definitely eager to read it again, also because I know that a lot of the cultural references remain lost on me and which I will want to look up before I attempt a second read.

Behind the hieroglyphic streets there would either be a transcendent meaning, or only the earth.

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