It comes as some relief, therefore, that the Crying of Lot 49 is only 150 pages long, and what is more, even appears to have a plot of sorts. Oedipa Maas (Pynchon's love of implausibly named characters is evident here...Ms Mass is joined by her husband, Mucho Maas and her shrink, Dr Hilarius, amongst others) wakes one morning to discover that she is to be the executrix of the estate of her dead former lover Pierce Inverarity.
What follows is that she gets drawn deeper and deeper into an apparent conspiracy going back to the founding of the USA over three hundred years ago. What with the drugs she is being prescribed, and her sleeplessness though, it becomes impossible to tell whether the conspiracy is genuine or exists only in her head.
Pynchon's strength was always his written style, the way he is able to describe the most mundane of events in a way that captivates the reader...his refusal to fall back on cliche or commonly abused metaphor. What makes this book worth reading is that here this talent is melded to a real story. Its a style and a plot which William Gibson shamelessly copied in his critically acclaimed, but infinitely inferior 'Neuromancer'.
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