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The Crying of Lot 49 (Perennial Fiction Library) Paperback – November 7, 2006
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"The best American novel I have read since the war" -- Frank Kermode "For the reader who has yet to make acquaintance with this important comic talent. . . an appropriate introduction...defiantly, purposefully outrageous" * Spectator * "The Crying of Lot 49 contains some of the most elegiac writing about America since Fitzgerald, as well as packing an intense metaphorical punch about revelation, hierophany, meaning and connection that is far too complex to reduce to precis" * Observer * --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Back Cover
The highly original satire about Oedipa Maas, a woman who finds herself enmeshed in a worldwide conspiracy, meets some extremely interesting characters, and attains a not inconsiderable amount of self knowledge.
Top customer reviews
A weathered copy was given to me by a new friend, as a test of our compatibility I suppose.
I found the intricacy of the story very enjoyable and the characters colorful and interesting.
I enjoyed the journey the author took me on - the layers of the story.
It is a story that invites discussion which is evident by the many books that have been written
about the author and this book in particular.
At the time I was reading The Crying of Lot 49 I had no idea that others found it as important.
This personal connection I felt when reading the story is what makes Pynchon's writing so special
My copy is still on my bookshelf waiting to be passed along.
That said, I first read this book in college (Freshman English, in fact), and hated it. It seemed nonsensical and really dumb. Many years later on second reading, I appreciated it a lot better. Among many other fine qualities, like an endless cast of wacky characters and insightful takes on various California mindsets, its very topical in bringing out the captivating pleasures of a good conspiracy theory. We see in Lot 49 how one can just take over your life in fairly short order. It also helped me, for some reason, to know that (like any good conspiracy theory) its partly rooted in fact -- there really was a medieval Thurn & Taxis postal system. Highly recommended.
Pynchon speaks on many aspects of Capitalism and, for example, in the following passage directly to the plight of intellectual workers who find themselves entangled in the corporate world:
"...Look what's happened to them. In school they got brainwashed, like all of us, into believing the Myth of the American Inventor - Morse and his telegraph, Bell and his telephone, Edison and his lightbulb, Tom Swift and his this or that. Only one man per invention. Then when they grew up they found they had to sign over all their rights to a monster like Yoyo-dyne; got stuck on some 'project' or 'task force' or 'team' and started being ground into anonymity. Nobody wanted them to invent - only perform their little role in a design ritual, already set down for them in some procedures handbook. What's it like...being all alone in a nightmare like that? Of course, they stick together, they keep in touch. They can always tell when they come on another of their kind. May be it only happens once every five years, but still, immediately, they know.' Metzger...wanted to argue. "You're so right-wing you're left-wing." he protested. "How can you be against a corporation that wants a worker to waive his patent rights. That sounds like the surplus value theory to me, fella, and you sound like a Marxist."
The title of the work specifically references the reader to capitalist markets as a crying is the name for an auction. As any ECON 101 student will tell you an auction is the exact intersection of demand and supply, customers and sellers where the magic of free markets is revealed to any observer.
I strongly recommend this book for students of Capitalism, Marx, and business in the era of globalization.
Most recent customer reviews
Love Pynchon, he is so eclectic. The book came well packed, all good.