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Comment: Used book in acceptable condition. All pages and the cover are intact but the dust cover may be missing. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting but the text is not obscured or unreadable. Overall a great reading copy! Thanks for supporting our small family-run business.
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Against the Day Paperback – October 30, 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 111 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Knotty, paunchy, nutty, raunchy, Pynchon's first novel since Mason & Dixon (1997) reads like half a dozen books duking it out for his, and the reader's, attention. Most of them shine with a surreal incandescence, but even Pynchon fans may find their fealty tested now and again. Yet just when his recurring themes threaten to become tics, this perennial Nobel bridesmaid engineers another never-before-seen phrase, or effect, and all but the most churlish resistance collapses. It all begins in 1893, with an intrepid crew of young balloonists whose storybook adventures will bookend, interrupt and sometimes even be read by, scores of at least somewhat more realistic characters over the next 30 years. Chief among these figures are Colorado anarchist Webb Traverse and his children: Kit, a Yale- and Göttingen-educated mathematician; Frank, an engineer who joins the Mexican revolution; Reef, a cardsharp turned outlaw bomber who lands in a perversely tender ménage à trois; and daughter Lake, another Pynchon heroine with a weakness for the absolute wrong man. Psychological truth keeps pace with phantasmagorical invention throughout. In a Belgian interlude recalling Pynchon's incomparable Gravity's Rainbow, a refugee from the future conjures a horrific vision of the trench warfare to come: "League on league of filth, corpses by the uncounted thousands." This, scant pages after Kit nearly drowns in mayonnaise at the Regional Mayonnaise Works in West Flanders. Behind it all, linking these tonally divergent subplots and the book's cavalcade of characters, is a shared premonition of the blood-drenched doomsday just about to break above their heads. Ever sympathetic to the weak over the strong, the comradely over the combine (and ever wary of false dichotomies), Pynchon's own aesthetic sometimes works against him. Despite himself, he'll reach for the portentous dream sequence, the exquisitely stage-managed weather, some perhaps not entirely digested historical research, the "invisible," the "unmappable"—when just as often it's the overlooked detail, the "scrawl of scarlet creeper on a bone-white wall," a bed partner's "full rangy nakedness and glow" that leaves a reader gutshot with wonder. Now pushing 70, Pynchon remains the archpoet of death from above, comedy from below and sex from all sides. His new book will be bought and unread by the easily discouraged, read and reread by the cult of the difficult. True, beneath the book's jacket lurks the clamor of several novels clawing to get out. But that rushing you hear is the sound of the world, every banana peel and dynamite stick of it, trying to crowd its way in, and succeeding. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Bookmarks Magazine

The Seattle Times sums up critical reaction to Against the Day best: "Like Bruegel's painting 'Landscape with the Fall of Icarus,' this is a portrait of mankind's attempt to transcend our mortality—or at least push up against its very edge." Thomas Pynchon's previous novels, including V., The Crying of Lot 49,and Gravity's Rainbow, tested boundaries as well—not only of our own human understanding but of the fiction craft itself. This newest offering contains familiar elements—a whimsical humor, an erudite intellect, leftist ideals, and a sense of historical logic. Despite its magnificence, however, Against the Day tested most reviewers' patience (especially Michiko Kakutani's). The novel's length, digressions, and intellectual complexity will not please everyone, but those who stick with it are, well, probably smarter than the rest of us.

Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1104 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (October 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143112562
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143112563
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.8 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #237,014 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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on November 25, 2006
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