The Crying of Lot 49

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Harper Collins, 1999 - Fiction - 152 pages
This is considered a postmodernist novel. The protagonist is a woman named Oedipa Maas who, when the novel begins, learns that her former boyfriend, the wealthy Pierce Inverarity, has died and designated her to be the executor of his enormous estate. Inverarity's assets include vast stretches of property, a significant stamp collection, and many shares in an aerospace corporation called Yoyodyne. As Oedipa goes through her late boyfriend's will, aided by a lawyer named Metzger who works for Inverarity's law firm, she learns about a series of secret societies and strange groups of people involved in a sort of renegade postal system called Tristero. [She leaves her husband and heads for Southern California.] She starts seeing ubiquitous cryptic diagrams of a simple horn, a symbol with a seemingly infinite number of meanings. Every clue she uncovers about Tristero and the horn leads haphazardly to another, like a brainstorm, or a free association of ideas. --A.J. at

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User Review  - Kirkus

Whether you were with it or not, Pynchon's first novel V. had some prodigally exciting sequences to startle the most phlegmatic imagination. Here, however, his narrative verve has shrivelled into ... Read full review

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User Review  - Hannah - Goodreads

The writer is very clever and has great analogies and symbolism. However, I didn't like the plot at all. It jumps from one event to another as the main character follows a conspiracy. Most of it is ... Read full review

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About the author (1999)

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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