The Crying of Lot 49

Author: Thomas Pynchon
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781101594605
Release Date: 2012-06-13
Genre: Fiction

The highly original satire about Oedipa Maas, a woman who finds herself enmeshed in a worldwide conspiracy, meets some extremely interesting characters and attains a not inconsiderable amount of self-knowledge.

New Essays on The Crying of Lot 49

Author: Patrick O'Donnell
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521381630
Release Date: 1991
Genre: Literary Criticism

The Crying of Lot 49 is widely recognized as a significant contemporary work that frames the desire for meaning and the quest for knowledge within the social and political contexts of the '50s and '60s in America. In the introduction to this collection of original essays on Thomas Pynchon's important novel, Patrick O'Donnell discusses the background and critical reception of the novel. Further essays by five experts on contemporary literature examine the novel's "semiotic regime" or the way in which it organizes signs; the comparison of postmodernist Pynchon and the influential South American writer, Jorge Luis Borges; metaphor in the novel; the novel's narrative strategies; and the novel within the cultural contexts of American Puritanism and the Beat movement. Together, these essays provide an examination of the novel within its literary, historical, and scientific contexts.

Vineland

Author: Thomas Pynchon
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781101594636
Release Date: 2012-06-13
Genre: Fiction

“Later than usual one summer morning in 1984 . . .” On California’s fog-hung North Coast, the enchanted redwood groves of Vineland County harbor a wild assortment of sixties survivors and refugees from the “Nixonian Reaction,” still struggling with the consequences of their past lives. Aging hippie freak Zoyd Wheeler is revving up for his annual act of televised insanity when news reaches that his old nemesis, sinister federal agent Brock Vond, has come storming into Vineland at the head of a heavily armed Justice Department strike force. Zoyd instantly disappears underground, but not before dispatching his teenage daughter Prairie on a dark odyssey into her secret, unspeakable past. . . . Freely combining disparate elements from American popular culture—spy thrillers, ninja potboilers, TV soap operas, sci-fi fantasies—Vineland emerges as what Salman Rushdie has called in The New York Times Book Review “that rarest of birds: a major political novel about what America has been doing to itself, to its children, all these many years.”

Inherent Vice

Author: Thomas Pynchon
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781101594674
Release Date: 2012-06-13
Genre: Fiction

A Best Book of the Year for the Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, and Los Angeles Times Part noir, part psychedelic romp, all Thomas Pynchon—private eye Doc Sportello surfaces, occasionally, out of a marijuana haze to watch the end of an era. It’s been awhile since Doc Sportello has seen his ex-girlfriend. Suddenly out of nowhere she shows up with a story about a plot to kidnap a billionaire land developer whom she just happens to be in love with. It’s the tail end of the psychedelic sixties in L.A., and Doc knows that “love” is another one of those words going around at the moment, like “trip” or “groovy,” except this one usually leads to trouble. In this lively yarn, Thomas Pynchon, working in an unaccustomed genre, provides a classic illustration of the principle that if you can remember the sixties, you weren’t there . . . or . . . if you were there, then you . . . or, wait, is it . . .

Slow Learner

Author: Thomas Pynchon
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781101594612
Release Date: 2012-06-13
Genre: Fiction

Compiling five short stories originally written between 1959 and 1964, Slow Learner showcases Thomas Pynchon’s writing before the publication of his first novel V. The stories compiled here are “The Small Rain,” “Low-lands,” “Entropy,” “Under the Rose,” and “The Secret Integration,” along with an introduction by Pynchon himself.

Against the Day

Author: Thomas Pynchon
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781101594667
Release Date: 2012-06-13
Genre: Fiction

A New York Times Notable Book of the Year, a Washington Post Best Book of the Year Spanning the era between the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893 and the years just after World War I, and constantly moving between locations across the globe (and to a few places not strictly speaking on the map at all), Against the Day unfolds with a phantasmagoria of characters that includes anarchists, balloonists, gamblers, drug enthusiasts, mathematicians, mad scientists, shamans, spies, and hired guns. As an era of uncertainty comes crashing down around their ears and an unpredictable future commences, these folks are mostly just trying to pursue their lives. Sometimes they manage to catch up; sometimes it’s their lives that pursue them.

White Noise

Author: Don DeLillo
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0140283307
Release Date: 1999
Genre: Fiction

Jack Gladney, a professor of Nazi history at a Middle American liberal arts school, and his family try to handle normal family life as a black cloud of lethal gaseous fumes threatens their town. Reprint.

A Gravity s Rainbow Companion

Author: Steven C. Weisenburger
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
ISBN: 0820337641
Release Date: 2011-03-15
Genre: Literary Criticism

Adding some 20 percent to the original content, this is a completely updated edition of Steven Weisenburger's indispensable guide to Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow. Weisenburger takes the reader page by page, often line by line, through the welter of historical references, scientific data, cultural fragments, anthropological research, jokes, and puns around which Pynchon wove his story. Weisenburger fully annotates Pynchon's use of languages ranging from Russian and Hebrew to such subdialects of English as 1940s street talk, drug lingo, and military slang as well as the more obscure terminology of black magic, Rosicrucianism, and Pavlovian psychology. The Companion also reveals the underlying organization of Gravity's Rainbow--how the book's myriad references form patterns of meaning and structure that have eluded both admirers and critics of the novel. The Companion is keyed to the pages of the principal American editions of Gravity's Rainbow: Viking/Penguin (1973), Bantam (1974), and the special, repaginated Penguin paperback (2000) honoring the novel as one of twenty "Great Books of the Twentieth Century."

Lost in the Funhouse

Author: John Barth
Publisher: Anchor
ISBN: 9780804152501
Release Date: 2014-06-25
Genre: Fiction

Barth's lively, highly original collection of short pieces is a major landmark of experimental fiction. Though many of the stories gathered here were published separately, there are several themes common to them all, giving them new meaning in the context of this collection.

Mason Dixon

Author: Claudia Mills
Publisher: Yearling Books
ISBN: 9780375872761
Release Date: 2013-01-08
Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Fourth-grader Mason struggles to enjoy playing basketball after his best friend persuades him to join a team, and learns that the dog-hating lady next door is not so bad after all.

A Companion to The Crying of Lot 49

Author: J. Kerry Grant
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
ISBN: 0820332089
Release Date: 2011-03-15
Genre: Literary Criticism

Contains more than 500 notes keyed to the "2006 Harper Perennial Modern Classics", the "1986 Harper Perennial Library", and the 1967 Bantam editions. This edition adds quotations and paraphrases drawn from criticism published since 1994. It includes more than fifty annotations that have been added and eighty annotations that have been expanded.

Cults and Conspiracies

Author: Theodore Ziolkowski
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 9781421422893
Release Date: 2017-01-15
Genre: Literary Criticism

Human beings have believed in conspiracies presumably as long as there have been groups of at least three people in which one was convinced that the other two were plotting against him or her. In that sense one might look back as far as Eve and the serpent to find the world’s first conspiracy. Whereas recent generations have tended to find their conspiracies in politics and government, the past often sought its mysteries in religious cults or associations. In ancient Rome, for example, the senate tried to prohibit the cult of Isis lest its euphoric excesses undermine public morality and political stability. And during the Middle Ages, many rulers feared such powerful and mysterious religious orders as the Knights Templar. Fascination with the arcane is a driving force in this comprehensive survey of conspiracy fiction. Theodore Ziolkowski traces the evolution of cults, orders, lodges, secret societies, and conspiracies through various literary manifestations—drama, romance, epic, novel, opera—down to the thrillers of the twenty-first century. Arguing that the lure of the arcane throughout the ages has remained a constant factor of human fascination, Ziolkowski demonstrates that the content of conspiracy has shifted from religion by way of philosophy and social theory to politics. In the process, he reveals, the underlying mythic pattern was gradually co-opted for the subversive ends of conspiracy. Cults and Conspiracies considers Euripides’s Bacchae, Andreae’s Chymical Wedding, Mozart’s The Magic Flute, and Eco’s Foucault’s Pendulum, among other seminal works. Mimicking the genre’s quest-driven narrative arc, the reader searches for the significance of conspiracy fiction and is rewarded with the author’s cogent reflections in the final chapter. After much investigation, Ziolkowski reinforces Umberto Eco’s notion that the most powerful secret, the magnetic center of conspiracy fiction, is in fact "a secret without content."

Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me

Author: Richard Farina
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781101549520
Release Date: 1996-05-01
Genre: Fiction

A witty, psychedelic, and telling novel of the 1960s Richard Fariña evokes the Sixties as precisely, wittily, and poignantly as F. Scott Fitzgerald captured the Jazz Age. The hero, Gnossus Pappadopoulis, weaves his way through the psychedelic landscape, encountering-among other things-mescaline, women, art, gluttony, falsehood, science, prayer, and, occasionally, truth. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Gravity s Rainbow

Author: Thomas Pynchon
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781101594650
Release Date: 2012-06-13
Genre: Fiction

Winner of the 1974 National Book Award “A screaming comes across the sky. . .” A few months after the Germans’ secret V-2 rocket bombs begin falling on London, British Intelligence discovers that a map of the city pinpointing the sexual conquests of one Lieutenant Tyrone Slothrop, U.S. Army, corresponds identically to a map showing the V-2 impact sites. The implications of this discovery will launch Slothrop on an amazing journey across war-torn Europe, fleeing an international cabal of military-industrial superpowers, in search of the mysterious Rocket 00000, through a wildly comic extravaganza that has been hailed in The New Republic as “the most profound and accomplished American novel since the end of World War II.”

Lure of the Arcane

Author: Theodore Ziolkowski
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 9781421409580
Release Date: 2013-08-15
Genre: History

Fascination with the arcane is a driving force in this comprehensive survey of conspiracy fiction. Theodore Ziolkowski traces the evolution of cults, orders, lodges, secret societies, and conspiracies through various literary manifestations—drama, romance, epic, novel, opera—down to the thrillers of the twenty-first century. Lure of the Arcane considers Euripides’s Bacchae, Andreae’s Chymical Wedding, Mozart’s The Magic Flute, and Eco’s Foucault’s Pendulum, among other seminal works. Mimicking the genre’s quest-driven narrative arc, the reader searches for the significance of conspiracy fiction and is rewarded with the author’s cogent reflections in the final chapter. After much investigation, Ziolkowski reinforces Umberto Eco’s notion that the most powerful secret, the magnetic center of conspiracy fiction, is in fact "a secret without content."