Saturday, October 07, 2023

Book Report: 'Gravity's Rainbow'


Gravity's RainbowGravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

"Gravity's Rainbow" is not something you read, it's something you survive.

The divisive Pulitzer Prize-winning stream-of-consciousness brain dump from Thomas Pinchon is an intentionally abrasive, incoherent screed that reads like the mutterings of a fever dream-addled, drug-addled person shouting at the sky.

Sift through the wild, unkempt brambles and you can no doubt dig out poignant observations on the human condition, satirical digs against the military-industrial complex and guilt-ridden confessions of a life well wasted. But what you won't find is any lifeline for those longing for a sense of logic, or common sense or decency.

There were a few times where the book managed to cross its own squiggly lines of self-governance and outright angered me. I could barely withstand its onslaught of nonsensical limericks and sailor's shanties. Oftentimes, I was sure the book would never truly end, but just regenerate in a Pac-Man-like loop of punishing eternity.

Yet "Gravity's Rainbow" does finally end. This is no rainbow connection I'd recommend, but should you tread its murky waters and reach the other side like me, we will share the grudging mutual respect of having endured the impossible.

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