Mason & Dixon

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Penguin, Jun 13, 2012 - Fiction - 975 pages
288 Reviews
A Time magazine and New York Times Best Book of the Year 

Charles Mason (1728–1786) and Jeremiah Dixon (1733–1779) were the British surveyors best remembered for running the boundary between Pennsylvania and Maryland that we know today as the Mason-Dixon Line. Here is their story as reimagined by Thomas Pynchon, featuring Native Americans and frontier folk, ripped bodices, naval warfare, conspiracies erotic and political, major caffeine abuse.

Unreflectively entangled in crimes of demarcation, Mason and Dixon take us along on a grand tour of the Enlightenment’s dark hemisphere, from their first journey together to the Cape of Good Hope, to pre-Revolutionary America and back to England, into the shadowy yet redemptive turns of their later lives, through incongruities in conscience, parallaxes of personality, tales of questionable altitude told and intimated by voices clamoring not to be lost.

Along the way they encounter a plentiful cast of characters, including Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, and Samuel Johnson, as well as a Chinese feng shui master, a Swedish irredentist, a talking dog, and a robot duck. The quarrelsome, daring, mismatched pair—Mason as melancholy and Gothic as Dixon is cheerful and pre-Romantic—pursues a linear narrative of irregular lives, observing, and managing to participate in the many occasions of madness presented them by the Age of Reason.

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Takes a bit of getting into with the style of writing. - Goodreads
It's obviously a work of art, but it's hard to read. - Goodreads
Gorgeous writing and an enjoyable read. - Goodreads
Digressions abound, but unlike in "Gravity's Ra - Goodreads
Pynchon is an amazing writer. - Goodreads
I've finally finished re-reading the ending. - Goodreads

Review: Mason and Dixon

User Review  - Andy Miller - Goodreads

Masterpiece. Read full review

Review: Mason and Dixon

User Review  - Megan Baxter - Goodreads

So I changed how I was reading it. Instead of trying to read it in 100-page chunks, as soon as I got up in the morning, while the oatmeal was simmering and the water for coffee and tea was boiling, I ... Read full review

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About the author (2012)

Thomas Pynchon was born in 1937. His books include The Crying of Lot 49, Gravity's Rainbow, Vineland, and Mason & Dixon.

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