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PSIPOOK | books | against the day, thomas pynchon

Hardback of beyond
Title: Against the Day
Author: Thomas Pynchon
Publisher: Penguin
Price: ¥4,179 (hardback)
ISBN: 1-59420-120-X

Fans of long, difficult novels rejoice! Thomas Pynchon, who defines long and difficult, has given us his longest yet. The work is titled Against the Day, is 1, 089 pages and is his sixth novel in 43 years. It is also everything you would hope and expect from the man who wrote Gravity’s Rainbow.
The novel is set between the 1893 Chicago World's Fair and the time immediately following World War I — in Pynchon’s own words, “With a worldwide disaster looming just a few years ahead, it is a time of unrestrained corporate greed, false religiosity, moronic fecklessness, and evil intent in high places. No reference to the present day is intended or should be inferred.”
To attempt a synopsis in a short review like this would be folly of, well, Pynchon-esque proportions. In Pynchonland anything can happen and probably already has.
We meet: the Chums of Chance who float in and out of the story in the airship Inconvenience; the True Worshippers of the Ineffable Tertactys (TWIT), a London-based gang of anarchists fighting power; and diverse capitalist greedheads, misfits, motleys and fools.
Against the Day is fairly comprehensive parody, not just in its vision but in the writing style, which flips between genres, including the Boy’s Own adventure, cowboy fiction, the spy novel, porn, and on and on.
Long and difficult, yes, but also unrelentingly humorous, ironic, anarchic, and fun — the work of a huge imagination and an enormous intellect.

Kansai Scene, January 2007

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By the way, have you read Chris Page's novel Weed? It really is rather fantastic.

Words of praise for Weed from a publisher in London.

"... it’s really witty and very strong ... I would compare the writing to Robert Rankin, or a really satirically biting Tom Sharpe, and will say again that I’m really impressed by it"



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