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Slothrop's father was an unwitting part of the cosmic doublecross. To provide for the boy's future Harvard education, he took cash from the mad German scientist Laszlo Jamf, who performed Pavlovian experiments on the infant Tyrone. Laszlo invented Imipolex G, a new plastic useful in rocket insulation, and conditioned Tyrone's privates to respond to its presence. Now the grown-up Tyrone helplessly senses the Imipolex G in incoming V-2s, and his military superiors are investigating him. Soon he is on the run from legions of bizarre enemies through the phantasmagoric horrors of Germany.
That's just the Imipolex G tip of the shrieking vehicle that is Pynchon's book. It's pretty much impossible to follow a standard plot; one must have faith that each manic episode is connected with the great plot to blow up the world with the ultimate rocket. There is not one story, but a proliferation of characters (Pirate Prentice, Teddy Bloat, Tantivy Mucker-Maffick, Saure Bummer, and more) and events that tantalize the reader with suggestions of vast patterns only just past our comprehension. You will enjoy Pynchon's cartoon inferno far more if you consult Steven Weisenburger's brief companion to the novel, which sorts out Pynchon's blizzard of references to science, history, high culture, and the lowest of jokes. Rest easy: there really is a simple reason why Kekulé von Stradonitz's dream about a serpent biting its tail (which solved the structure of the benzene molecule) belongs in the same novel as the comic-book-hero Plastic Man.
Pynchon doesn't want you to rest easy with solved mysteries, though. Gravity's Rainbow uses beautiful prose to induce an altered state of consciousness, a buzz. It's a trip, and it will last. --Tim Appelo --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Beautiful edition, compelling (if occasionally obtuse) narrative. You're going to want to dedicate some time to get through this behemoth.Published 4 days ago by Colin Hinckley
It is hard to find the right words to describe this magnificent book. To paraphrase Whitman, it is large, it contains multitudes. Read morePublished 19 days ago by Willabalou
I'm halfway through this book, and although the plot is difficult to follow, the imagery makes it a good read. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Dawn Michelle
While Pynchon's wide-ranging novel has many brilliant moments, and effectively uses "black humor," its extensive use of allusions to everything from history to technical... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
bread from an acerbic, a mottled calico near Flanders standing by shoeless hobbits, peanuts, an open fire, oblong shapes you only see upon half-waking gazes at the window, a... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Renard LeCray
It took me 8 tries to get thru this book the first time I read it. Since then, it has become my comfort read. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Charles C.