The Crying of Lot 49Book - 2006
Thomas Pynchon's classic post-modern satire, which tells the wonderfully unusual story of Oedipa Maas, first published in 1965.
When her ex-lover, wealthy real-estate tycoon Pierce Inverarity dies and designates her the co-executor of his estate, California housewife Oedipa Mass is thrust into a paranoid mystery of metaphors, symbols, and the United States Postal Service. Traveling across Southern California, she meets some extremely interesting characters, and attains a not-inconsiderable amount of self-knowledge.
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Published in 1966, The Crying of Lot 49 recounts the adventures of California housewife and Young Republican Oedipa Maas as she settles the estate of deceased ex-boyfriend Pierce Inverarity. Oedipa believes she may have discovered an underworld of misfits and political subversives who communicate via a centuries-old shadow postal system known as the Trystero. Alternatively, the Trystero may only be the projection of her increasingly—she worries—unhinged mind. Yet another possibility is that she is the victim of an elaborate joke perpetrated by Inverarity from beyond the grave. Real, imagined, or merely a cruel put-on, the Trystero comes to represent for Oedipa an "alternative to the exitlessness, to the absence of surprise to life, that harrows the head of everybody American” she knows. Short but capturing the essence of the author’s loopy lyricism, The Crying of Lot 49 is an ideal entry point into the Pynchon canon.
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