Autodidact: self-taught


Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon

by V. L. Craven


I’ve recently read Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon and I can see why Pynchon is so divisive. This is the first book of his that I’ve read but I’m guessing that his style is train-of-thought-y, which gets right on some people’s nerves. I have a high tolerance for interesting writing with very little plot, so I like it fine.

Gravity’s Rainbow reminds me of Catch 22 if it were written by Hunter S Thompson. It’s set during (and mostly just after) World War II and features characters from both sides of the equation. One of the main characters is Slothrop, who, due to some Pavlovian training as an infant, gets erections when in proximity to bombs. The military then wants to study him to see if they can use that information to figure out where bombs will be dropped and then to find a highly secret and dangerous bomb that’s still floating around after the war is over.

There are several other plot lines happening, none of which could I describe presently, but plot really isn’t the point of a Pynchon novel. That’s what I’m taking away from this one, at least.

Oh, and just for fun, Zak Smith has made one illustration for each page of Gravity’s Rainbow. It’s pretty impressive.

One Response to “Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon”

  1. Tough Books for Extreme Readers | V. L. Craven Says:

    […] Pynchon. We’re up to 33 and have finally reached one I’ve read all the way through. And I loved it. 34. The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer. I’ve read bits and pieces of this and enjoyed it, but […]

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