Thomas Pynchon Bookclub

Pynchon is one of my favorite authors. Gravity’s Rainbow, & The Crying of Lot 49 are particular favorites. Does anyone have any interest in reading through Mason & Dixon or Against the Day with me? I’ve been meaning to go through these this summer before I’m back teaching.

I too am a big fan of Thomas Pynchon. What the heck, I’m in.

I’m a big Pynchon fan. But I got, maybe, halfway through Mason & Dixon and gave up. I would try again but I can’t find it since we moved.

Haven’t read Against the Day. Once I finish what I’m reading now… Maybe? :) Sorry.

Oh yeah, some of his stuff is tough. I started Gravity’s Rainbow three different times before it really stuck and I was able to get through the whole thing. Glad I did, but it was definitely not light reading.

Against the Day sounds very much like Gravity’s Rainbow. I’m sure I’ll like it. Suppose I can do $14.99 on Kindle.

Excellent! This is the one that I wanted to do. I had a fellow Ph.D. in Lit tell me that Against the Day is a “miracle”. I trust him but have been reluctant due to its length (>1000 pages).

@divedivedive you ok with Against the Day?

I don’t think I own it currently, but what the heck, I’ll find a copy. I’m saying what the heck a lot today.

I’m up for this. Against the Day is one of my favorite novels, but haven’t read it in years.

Are we to read through the references we find? (Masón and Dixon was fun to read just after Poe’s complete works :P).

Edit: ordering a physical English copy right now.

Yes! I wanted to talk about references and some of the more esoteric stuff that might be problematic, what our research has found, etc.

Up for consideration, but I suggest setting a reasonably low page/chapter count per week. So everybody reads at the same time and there’s room for discussion.

I generally read about 30-50 pages a night, but I realize that can be a bit much. Can we shoot for 100 pages a week (more or less) or would we prefer to do chapters? Looking through my copy, it appears that the chapters are relatively short and not numbered, so that could be problematic.

That would be a solid 10 weeks or reading

I’ve read Mason & Dixon! I liked it. Also, Crying of Lot 49 is awesome. I’ve bounced off Gravity’s Rainbow twice. Someday.

I just put a hold on Against the Day at the local library. So I can try to catch up with you when it comes in, but… I give myself a 50/50 chance :)

Oh I love Against the Day! I’m absolutely in.

Communal reading is the way to go with hard stuff like this. I think you’ll do it!


For as long and complicated as Against the Day is, it’s actually well-suited to this sort of approach, and broken up into relatively small and digestible chunks. It’s just when you try to piece it together as a whole that things get… well… yeah.

Pynchon is like that. Heh. This is the opposite of my experience. But I can totally understand. Ordering Against the Day now.

This is definitely my preferred approach.