Gravity's Rainbow - Thomas Pynchon

Gravity's Rainbow - Thomas Pynchon Ulysses - Cedric Watts, James Joyce


I'm not sure quite what I can say about Gravity's Rainbow. I'm not sure I can even write a coherent plot synopsis. It's set in the Second World War - I did manage to work that much out. It follows a whole range of different characters as they cross the various blasted landscapes of WWII, all of them paranoid to some extent, all of them seeing a great conspiracy that may or may not exist, all of which is bound up somehow with the V2 rocket, replacement of the "doodlebugs" dropped on London during the Blitz.

A description of Gravity's Rainbow as a novel probably goes something like "Ulysses but weirder". Everything is connected, somehow, and sometimes you'll recognise a name but not remember where it came from because you read it four hundred pages ago, when you weren't really concentrating because it was nearly lunchtime and now you feel like you've missed something...

That's what reading Gravity's Rainbow is like. Constant paranoia that you've missed something, constant disorientation because you're not sure which character you're reading about now and what the hell is the story of a sentient lightbulb doing here? I think actually trying to work it all out could drive you mad; you just have to go with it and hope you pick something up along the way. Three stars, because I didn't quite understand it but enjoyed it thoroughly at times.