Against the Day
Spanning the period between the Chicago World's Fair of 1893 and the years just after World War I, AGAINST THE DAY moves from the labor troubles in Colorado to turn-of-the-century New York to London and Gottingen, Venice and Vienna, the Balkans, Central Asia, Siberia at the time of the mysterious Tunguska Event, Mexico during the revolution, Paris, silent-era Hollywood, and one or two places not strictly speaking on the map at all. With a worldwide disaster looming just a few years ahead, it is a time of unrestrained corporate greed, false religiosity, moronic fecklessness, and evil intent in high places. Meanwhile, Thomas Pynchon is up to his usual business. Characters stop what they're doing to sing what are for the most part stupid songs. Strange sexual practices take place. Obscure languages are spoken, not always idiomatically. Contrary-to-fact occurrences occur. Maybe it's not the world, but with a minor adjustment or two it's what the world might be.