Results 1-10 of 629
User Review - Flag as inappropriate

Gravity's Rainbow is a book you either love or hate, and if you hate it it's probably because you couldn't finish the damn thing. Though by no means impenetrable, the novel is daunting enough to merit a list of tips for those wishing to tackle it for the first time. Below is my advice on how new readers can get over the hump. Trust me, it's a small hump, and the masterpiece that lies on the other side is worth the effort.
1. Read V first... Pynchon's V is shorter and more accessible than Gravity's Rainbow, but addresses the same themes in a similar style. If you enjoyed V, you will have built up a reserve of goodwill for Pynchon that will carry you through the initial rough patches of Gravity's Rainbow. This advice was given to me years ago, and I'm glad I took it.
2. Accept that you won't understand everything...Don't be concerned if you can't follow the many digressions or keep track of every minor character that pops up. As with other famously difficult novels, Gravity's Rainbow's real payoff comes in the rereading, so you shouldn't feel obliged to linger over each passage until it makes sense. Pynchon isn't trying to lord it over you by writing a book this dense; it's just his way of giving you your money's worth. Just follow what you can the first time through, which fortunately is a lot.
3. Accentuate the accessible...Gravity's Rainbow's unreadability is over-hyped. Yes, there are many jarring digressions, but threading through them is a fairly conventional detective story. Sure there are lyrical passages that take off for the stratosphere, but they are grace notes in a melody of otherwise breezy narrative prose. So on your first time through, it's enough to follow the main plot (will Slothrop find the mysterious Rocket 00000?) and enjoy Pynchon's jokes, which are laugh-out-loud funny.
4. Don't give up too early...I don't want to say that Gravity's Rainbow gets off to a slow start, but it has a lot of scene-setting to do, and the engine that really drives the book along only gets revved up in part 2. Part 1 is a well-executed minor key portrait of wartime London, but part 2 is where the drugs kick in, so stick with the novel at least that far.
 

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

Along with Dos Passos' "USA", one of the greatest American novels of all time. Very like a "Moby Dick" in stature, scope and permanence of vision. One of my all time favorite novels. Easily the equal of "Ulysses."

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

Worth the effort to read.

Review: Gravity's Rainbow

User Review  - Deebee - Goodreads

Definitely a challenging book. Kind of throws out the rules and redefines the novel for me. This is old news for those of you who are modernist or postmodernist fiction fans. On every page, Pynchon's ... Read full review

Review: Gravity's Rainbow

User Review  - Goodreads

'And yet, and yet: there is Murphy's Law to consider, that brash Irish proletarian restatement of Gödel's Theorem - when everything has been taken care of, when nothing can go wrong, or even surprise us... somethin will. Read full review

Review: Gravity's Rainbow

User Review  - Timothy Teigen - Goodreads

“Gravity's Rainbow” by Thomas Pynchon is the greatest American novel ever written. There, I said it. (I won't opine on American Novels not written). Less controversial, and maybe less interesting to ... Read full review

Review: Gravity's Rainbow

User Review  - Alex Dibona - Goodreads

Pynchon is like Faulkner, only funy. Reading the book, you get the sense that Pynchon really knows something and is very wise, what he knows is less clear, towards the end I did wonder if the book ... Read full review

Review: Gravity's Rainbow

User Review  - Bob German - Goodreads

Even more amazing than the first time I read it. Such density with words. Shocking juxtapositions. Amazing fetish content, made relevant to the story, for something so critically acclaimed. It's ... Read full review

Review: Gravity's Rainbow

User Review  - Johny Kariath - Goodreads

"he starts to learn about the transience of others: learns that loving them while they're here becomes easier, and also more intense - to love as if each design-hour will be the last" Read full review

Review: Gravity's Rainbow

User Review  - Goodreads

"he starts to learn about the transience of others: learns that loving them while they're here becomes easier, and also more intense - to love as if each design-hour will be the last" Read full review


User ratings

5 stars
653
4 stars
330
3 stars
243
2 stars
134
1 star
130

5 stars - 629
4 stars - 323
3 stars - 239
2 stars - 133
1 star - 128
Unrated - 281


Goodreads - 1724
Kirkus - 1