Monday, November 20, 2006

Critics vs. Pynchon

Well, the first two major reviews of Thomas Pynchon's new novel are in (probably the most major, given the venues), and they're not kind.

First, Michiko in the Times:
Thomas Pynchon’s new novel, "Against the Day," reads like the sort of imitation of a Thomas Pynchon novel that a dogged but ungainly fan of this author’s might have written on quaaludes. It is a humongous, bloated jigsaw puzzle of a story, pretentious without being provocative, elliptical without being illuminating, complicated without being rewardingly complex.
And Mr. Menand in The New Yorker:
Thomas Pynchon is the apostle of imperfection, so it is arguably some sort of commendation to say that his new novel, "Against the Day," is a very imperfect book. Imperfect not in the sense of "Ambitious but flawed." Imperfect in the sense of "What was he thinking?" . . . Elaborately imagined characters and incidents, from a man who may or may not be transformed into a jelly doughnut to a city beneath the desert and a near-death experience in a mayonnaise factory, pop up and disappear after a few pages, so many raisins in the enormous loaf.


Anonymous Sarah said...

The New York Times Book Review 11/26/06 really dug it...still, I probably won't read it.

11:26 AM  

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