Gravity's Rainbow

Gravity's Rainbow

Book - 2006
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Winner of the 1973 National Book Award, Gravity's Rainbow is a postmodern epic, a work as exhaustively significant to the second half of the twentieth century as Joyce's Ulysses was to the first. Its sprawling, encyclopedic narrative and penetrating analysis of the impact of technology on society make it an intellectual tour de force.
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Penguin Books, 2006.
ISBN: 9780143039945
Branch Call Number: Fic Pync
Characteristics: 776 p. ; 22 cm.


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Jan 12, 2019

A sprawling, all-encompassing novel embodying the spirit of America's counterculture, though set entirely in Europe during late World War II and the early postwar period. Difficult to follow on its twisting, turning path through the tortured Western psyche, taking on such complex and varied topics as synthetic chemistry, the history of genocide, and the theology of predestination. Extremely disturbing also, and completely uncensored, with almost every imaginable form of the grotesque thrown at the reader in the course of its four parts, whether physical, psychological, or spiritual. Definitely worth it once you start to read all the way through to the end, as it's only in the final short segment that the novel's characters, themes, and setting come full-circle to produce a reading experience that pays off profoundly for those willing to invest the time and energy to get there.

A masterpiece, probably the ultimate novel of science and technology.

Aug 23, 2018

Not what I thought, very hard to start and keep going, did not even get to pg 15. Checked it out because of a review that compared it to "Catch 22". Very far from "Catch 22"

Feb 13, 2017

So after I realize it's been a whole five years since I read any sort of novel cover to cover, what book do I decide to read but this dense, absurd, obscene, and somehow engaging work? While Gravity's Rainbow is indeed a difficult book - one that requires you understand the internal logic to its structure and grammar in order to make heads or tails of the matter - but I believe anybody with enough determination and willingness to go along for the ride can admit that there is tremendous literary work to this.

Admittedly, this review comes half way through reading the thing, and I'll be sure to update as I go.

Dec 19, 2016

A wild, almost random book: every second page has a lightning flash of linguistic wizardry, often of preternatural insight, for example, "down the corridor, fuzzy patches of afternoon sun stagger along, full of mortar dust" (p. 466), "partygoers stagger fore and aft, evening clothes decorated with sunbursts of vomit" (p. 498), "...breathing the closing smell of grey weather" (p. 536), "It will be possible, after all, to die in obscurity, without ever having helped a soul: without love, despised, never trusted, never vindicated - to stay down among the Preterite, his poor honour lost, impossible to locate or redeem." (p. 553), "But every true God must be both organizer and destroyer." (p. 101), "I should ... should have ... there are in his history, so many of these unmade moves, so many 'should haves' [...]" (p. 143), and "weeds of paranoia begin to bloom, army-green, among the garden and midday tranquilities." (p. 579).
There are also lots of big ideas addressed: cause and effect (31), history and war (107, 529-30), colonies (321-2), psychology and addiction (354), language (358-9), the German language (397), life and human mutability (548-9), anomie (600-1), and death (736-7).
It also includes the words fuck, shit, cock, cunt, nigger, faggot, and asshole.
It includes scenes of coprophagia (238), sex (199, 453 (an anal rape), 474), bestiality (454), and castration (620).
There is an extraordinary amount of obscenity, both words and scenes. If one can bear the nonsense to get those flashes, its worth reading, but it requires much patience and determination to finish reading it.

Oct 18, 2016

I just checked this book out and Im scared

Sep 08, 2015

I strongly recommend NOT reading this book. Gratuitous, offensive scenarios that changed the way I look at the world for the worse, I won't go into describing here. After about 500 pages the story starts to read like he just gave up any literary structural guidelines he began with. the story finale seems lazy, disorganized, and forced (the first portions are a cakewalk comparatively). What began as a potential Picasso became a garbage dump of words. If you do decide to read, I recommend brushing up on your German. There is a distinct recurrent theme in his books that really seems to indicate he should be in prison or at least flagged for his neighborhood's watch list. I truly feel sorry for his editor and his therapist.

timforker Jan 19, 2012

Just made it past the bananas and going strong!!

Dec 11, 2010

1974 National Book Award - Fiction

daymakerdave Nov 22, 2010

Just started reading this one. So far it's complicated and wierd. A little hard to follow so far.

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Mar 13, 2014

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