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Staff Reviews

We all want to say that we've actually read a Thomas Pynchon book. THE CRYING OF LOT 49 is Pynchon's debut-- a slim, strange story of corporate mysticism and individual perplexity. It's by far Pynchon's most accessible work, and it opens the door to the author's more abstract stories. You'll read it in a weekend and think about it for months.

— From THE CRYING OF LOT 49 (Thomas Pynchon)


One of The Atlantic’s Great American Novels

“A puzzle, an intrigue, a literary and historical tour de force.” — San Francisco Examiner

The Crying of Lot 49 is Thomas Pynchon's highly original classic satire of modern America, about Oedipa Maas, a woman who finds herself enmeshed in what would appear to be an international conspiracy.

When her ex-lover, wealthy real-estate tycoon Pierce Inverarity, dies and designates her the coexecutor of his estate, California housewife Oedipa Maas 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.

About the Author

Thomas Pynchon was born in 1937. His books include V, Gravity's Rainbow, Vineland, Mason & Dixon, Against the Day, Inherent Vice, and Bleeding Edge.

Praise For…

“A puzzle, an intrigue, a literary and historical tour de force.” — San Francisco Examiner

“The comedy crackles, the puns pop, the satire explodes.” — New York Times

"Mr. Pynchon's satirical eye doesn't miss a thing, including rock n' roll singers right wing extremists, and the general subculture of Southern California." — Library Journal

“[A] spectacular tale. . . . The work of a virtuoso with prose. . . . His intricate symbolic order is akin to that of Joyce's Ulysses."  — Chicago Tribune

Pynchon is again whispering something in our ear about the meaning of coincidence, the possibility of recurrence in history, and the circularity of time. . . . . The Crying of Lot 49 is one of those mystery novels that can’t be solved.”  — New York Review of Books

“Remarkable. . . . The Crying of Lot 49 resembles metaphysical poetry in the range of its allusions and the curiosity of its creator. Consequently, the book is always surprising.”  — Washington Post

Product Details
ISBN: 9780060913076
ISBN-10: 006091307X
Publisher: Harper Perennial Modern Classics
Publication Date: October 17th, 2006
Pages: 160
Language: English
Series: Perennial Fiction Library