Winner of the 1973 National Book Award, Gravity's Rainbow is a postmodern epic, a work as exhaustively significant to the second half of the twentieth century as Joyce's Ulysses was to the first. Its sprawling, encyclopedic narrative and penetrating analysis of the impact of technology on society make it an intellectual tour de force.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Genius, failed generally by its readership
I find the novel builds its momentum astonishingly to an inevitable and quite extraordinary climax. It’s the closest ting going to a real successor to Milton and Conrad. And the to really, really freaking funny. My second favorite of his books after the sublime Mason and Dixon (WHERE IS THAT ONE ITUNES? Or V??) and rewards close reading. And rereading. It was the second go where some of the mysteries started to come clear for me personally, and another two readings before I felt like the d actually penetrated it. And it rewards that kind of attention in spades. Lots of great writers are like that- Mann, Proust, Walser, Joyce, ad infinitum. Good one to have around on audio. Same holds true for the less opaque but equally encyclopedic Against the Day. Second time through that and whole sub- plots disclosed themselves.
Not for the shallow or lazy reader though, to be sure. And this isn’t the right narrator. But still.
Highly flawed genius
The tragedy of this novel is the lost potential. At times the genius of Pynchon’s talent shines through. At his best Pynchon creates mosaics of seemingly random imagery resulting in a synergistic picture of a much greater whole than a more direct narrative. However, the vast majority of the novel fails at this to the point one wonders if Pynchon was impaired during the writing. It just falls apart in the end. The emperor has almost no clothes.
Don't get the wrong impression, great book, good voice acting, dreadful editing
Gravity's Rainbow is some of the best brain candy around, it is a tale of the debauchery and madness of postwar Europe. However editing errors make the last half of this already difficult and borderline occult text into a nonsensical and often repetitive babble. iTunes dropped the ball