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Gumbywan

Randolph "Dilda" Carter

A rant about books, horror, and the weird.  I sometimes take on my love/hate relationship with goodreads and Amazon.

Currently reading

Perchance to Dream: Selected Stories
Ray Bradbury, Charles Beaumont, William Shatner
Progress: 140/336 pages
Pavane
Keith Roberts

Messy

Against the Day - Thomas Pynchon

In the end I don't know what I think of this mess.  There is one good complete novel and the guts of probably one more good one here.  But there are about four more incomplete skeins that aren't very good.  The whole thing seems bolted together by the Webb Traverse thread, or maybe the Chums of Chance narrative.  Hard to say.  I really liked parts of it, but the whole thing was so padded with drivel that it took away from the whole.  

 

It seems like Pynchon had a lot of ideas and decided to just throw them together without any plan for resolving or connecting things, like writing six novels at the same time and just separating them by chapters.  Each narrative has a different style/genre which is fine as long as the writing is good, but the endless encyclopedic details that fail to advance setting, character, or plot are just tedious.  It reminds me of a kid in high school English trying to impress a teacher with a photographic memory.  It seems like Pynchon wants to emulate War and Peace or Life and Fate.  But the astute reader realizes the man behind the curtain is no Tolstoy, at least not in this novel.

 

Each part should have been able to stand on its own, but too frequnetly they didn'.  I found the whole Eurasian TWIT parts to be the worst part, full of badly written eroticism and wandering nowhere, just like the characters.

 

I'm sure the literati see this blender full of words as brilliant and perhaps experimental but I think the emperor has been caught with his pants down.

 

All that said, it was at times a very funny and shocking book and Pynchon has a talent for the wry metaphor and an interesting narrative.