'Exhilarating and wretchedly funny. The most important and mysterious writer of his generation' - Time
Thomas Pynchon is the author of V., The Crying of Lot 49, Gravity's Rainbow, Slow Learner, a collection of short stories, Mason and Dixon, Against the Day and Inherent Vice. He received the National Book Award for Gravity's Rainbow in 1974.
Set in Northern California in 1984 and peopled with quirky characters, Pynchon's latest is a series of brilliant set pieces eventually overwhelmed by its own frenzied exuberance. 200,000 first printing. (Feb.)
Pynchon's first novel since the formidable Gravity's Rainbow (1973) more closely resembles his earlier work, especially The Crying of Lot 49 (1966). (In fact Mucho Maas, the ex-husband of Lot 49 's heroine, reappears in the new book.) Vineland, a zone of blessed anarchy in northern California, is the last refuge of hippiedom, a culture devastated by the sobriety epidemic, Reaganomics, and the Tube. Here, in an Orwellian 1984, Zoyd Wheeler and his daughter Prairie search for Prairie's long-lost mother, a Sixties radical who ran off with a narc. Vineland is vintage Pynchon, full of quasi-allegorical characters, elaborate unresolved subplots, corny songs (``Floozy with an Uzi''), movie spoofs (Pee-wee Herman in The Robert Musil Story ), and illicit sex (including a macho variation on the infamous sportscar scene in V. ). Pynchon fans have waited 17 years for this novel, and they won't be disappointed. An essential purchase.-- Edward B. St. John, Loyola Law Sch . Lib., Los Angeles
"A major political novel about what America has been doing to itself, to its children, all these many years...One of America's great writers has, after long wanderings down his uncharted roads, come triumphantly home" -- Salman Rushdie New York Times Book Review "Vintage stuff - funny, fantastically inventive, packed with improbable erudition" Times Literary Supplement "A essential novel of our fin de siecle, a finger pointing the way out of the 1980s" USA Today "His descriptive powers are breathtaking...Pynchon proves once again to be the master of what might be called the highbrow conspiracy thriller" Wall Street Journal "One of the funniest, most cleverly written, superbly characterised and beautifully structured books that I have read by a living author" Time Out