gbsteve (gbsteve) wrote,

Reading - V and Voices from Punktown

I read Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49 last year and loved it. Prior to that, about 3 years ago, I'd had a go at Gravity's Rainbow and was enjoying it but got sidetracked and never went back. I had it by the bed and because it required much concentration, I didn't get far before falling asleep each time.

So I'm trying a different track with V by reading it on public transport to and from work. This means that because I never get a seat, at least not in the mornings, I don't dare snooze. And V is almost as much work as GR. The prose is so dense, the characters so many that you daren't look away, even for half a paragraph. It also doesn't help that there is no appreciable narrative arc. But it's a joyful thing, buzzing with inventiveness and writeriness, typical, as far as I can tell, Pynchon.

Ultimately it may prove disappointing in that it hard to identify any particular thing that you might remember, without taking notes of turns of phrase or strange situations such as Profane's alligator hunting or the Cairo thief encountering a bungling Englishman. But I think I will finish this one and perhaps I'll try his short stories, to see if they do contain any story.

I also read Jeffrey Thomas' Voice from Punktown, another anthology of shorts from his futuristic and grimy Earth colony. There were a couple of Mythos stories, "The Dance of Ugghiutu" and "Bones of the Old Ones" (which I've got in another collection) and these were probably my favourites.

You can read a longer review here.
Tags: reading

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