V

V

Book - 1999
Average Rating:
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Having just been released from the Navy, Benny Profane is content to lead a slothful existence with his friends, where the only real ambition is to perfect the art of "schlemihlhood," or being a dupe, and where "responsibility" is a dirty word. Among his pals--called the Whole Sick Crew--is Slab, an artist who can't seem to paint anything other than cheese danishes. But Profane's life changes dramatically when he befriends Stencil, an active ambitious young man with an intriguing mission--to find out the identity of a woman named V., who knew Stencil's father during the war, but who suddenly and mysteriously disappeared
Publisher: New York : Perennial Classics, 1999
ISBN: 9780060930219
0060930217
Characteristics: vii, 533 p. ; 21 cm

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t
traceofbase
Jun 15, 2015

!!!Spoiler Warning!!! (of sorts)
--Imagine trying to figure out several extreme dot-to-dot pictures that have all been superimposed on one another, and imagine that as you decipher the patterns you realize they are grotesque and disturbing images, that's what reading this book is like. Follow a group of cheerless, uprooted, neér do wells and the females that bring them down. Voyeuristically experience the victim blaming, brutalization, dehumanization, and victimization of women while pedarests and pedophiles are normalized, humanized, and/or rationalized. Besides being overwhelmingly needy and weak, women are disposable and despised in this book, and while the author inserted some racism on purpose, casual racially monolithic and antiblack thinking underscores a big portion of Pynchon's writing.
--I kept asking myself, 'When does a book cross the line from being considered technically great or revolutionary writing, into the zone of this never should have recieved any awards because of its sick, hateful story elements?' Because wherever that line is, this book crossed it. Despite enjoying his voluminous vocabulary and the mental challenge of following the labrythine story lines and characters, I found his descriptive writing limp and lackluster, quite like his main character Profane. Combine that with the racism and incessant contempt for females and I can only keep wishing someone else had won the 1964 William Faulkner Foundation Award.

l
local_joco_patron
Jun 14, 2011

one of the best books of the 20th century. consolidation of joycean and beat-generation approaches tothe novel... in fact a perfection of them. it is a sprawling, complex, and allusive tour through the cacophonic mind of the 20th century itself. -not an easy read, very difficult. and don't xpect clear narrative or psychologically complex characters. instead it is full of brilliant metaphors and illustrations.. not for lite reading though.

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