Books 2011 #1 V.

I’m never going to get tired of reading Thomas Pynchon’s books. Sure, they can be tough, but the payoff is always well worth any effort it takes to work your way through the incoherent bits of madness. Actually, V., an earlier work, was surprisingly coherent throughout. Of course, there are jarring shifts in tone, characters are introduced at the drop of a hat and the book soars off on 10-15 page tangents with very little warning (one noteworthy one was about nose jobs), but compared to something like Gravity’s Rainbow (which at times felt like reading the incomplete contents of an acid trip), this was like a young adult novel.

Not that you’d want to introduce many young adults to Pynchon. I’m not sure what he would do to their malleable brains.

Anyway, V. I enjoyed it. It’s interesting how set in his ways Pynchon was from the start. You’d think someone as ornate in style as Pynchon would take a little while to find his voice. Nope. While his books did crank it up a notch in terms of complexity, the basic elements were all in place here in his first novel. Of the later novels that I’ve read, this most reminded me of Against the Day, but there are hints here of what was to come in several other books as well.

It’s taken me a few years (I need a break in between them,) but after having read this I’m nearing the end of my Pynchon journey, with just Vineland and Mason & Dixon to go.

Wish me luck.

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