[lit-ideas] book nausea

  • From: Eric Yost <eyost1132@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 27 Nov 2006 15:14:28 -0500

So I bought the new Thomas Pynchon book, _Against the Day_, and expected something bright and interesting. Read the first couple chapters -- sort of a late 19th century Hardy Boys in a magic dirigible at the Chicago Exposition, then on to the Tesla versus Edison stuff -- and felt disappointed. The Sunday NYT Book Review came out with extravagant praise for the novel, and I read the glowing review feeling that I must be missing something and persisted for a few more chapters.

Last night I threw the book aside. Same old, same old. Half digested history about Tesla (better covered in Paul Auster's _Moon Palace_ or Paul O'Neill's nonfiction bio _Prodigal Genius_) and loads of overly cutes Pynchonian tropes. Bad rich people, good poor people. Plots to control the direction of history. Tone-setting archaic words like "absquatulate" when "run away" would do.

Hak-patooey. Move over Irene. Curmudgeonland for me. It's enough to make one give up literature.

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