“The comedy crackles, the puns pop, the satire explodes.”—New York Times
Thomas Pynchon’s highly original, postmodernist classic, a satire of American life about a woman who finds herself enmeshed in a seeming international conspiracy.
When her ex-lover, wealthy real-estate tycoon Pierce Inverarity, dies and designates her the coexecutor of his estate, California housewife Oedipa Maas is thrust into a paranoid mystery of metaphors, symbols, and the United States Postal Service. Traveling across Southern California, she meets some extremely interesting characters—including a teenage rock band called the Paranoids, a right-wing historian and critic of the postal system, and a former child actor with whom she has an affair—and begins to unravel conspiracies she suddenly sees all around her.
Written in 1966, The Crying of Lot 49 demonstrates the piquant wit and power of invention that are the hallmarks of Pynchon’s acclaimed works. It is the shortest of his novels, and widely held to be the benchmark of this literary lion’s career.
About the Author
Thomas Pynchon was born in 1937. His books include V, Gravity's Rainbow, Vineland, Mason & Dixon, Against the Day, Inherent Vice, and Bleeding Edge.
“A puzzle, an intrigue, a literary and historical tour de force.” — San Francisco Examiner
“The comedy crackles, the puns pop, the satire explodes.” — New York Times
"Mr. Pynchon's satirical eye doesn't miss a thing, including rock n' roll singers right wing extremists, and the general subculture of Southern California." — Library Journal
“[A] spectacular tale. . . . The work of a virtuoso with prose. . . . His intricate symbolic order is akin to that of Joyce's Ulysses." — Chicago Tribune
“Pynchon is again whispering something in our ear about the meaning of coincidence, the possibility of recurrence in history, and the circularity of time. . . . . The Crying of Lot 49 is one of those mystery novels that can’t be solved.” — New York Review of Books
“Remarkable. . . . The Crying of Lot 49 resembles metaphysical poetry in the range of its allusions and the curiosity of its creator. Consequently, the book is always surprising.” — Washington Post