I don’t remember when I started Thomas Pynchon’s Vineland. It must’ve been back in March, right? Regardless, I finally finished it during the European trip. This brings my Pynchon reading list up to The Crying of Lot 49, Gravity’s Rainbow, Inherent Vice, and now Vineland.
The book itself relative to the others I’ve read isn’t all that impressive. I’m actually a little disappointed in it. It’s the most cinematic of the Pynchon books I’ve read, and the ending is just terrible. It really reads like Pynchon just gave up and squirted out the last 50 pages in a day. Brock Vond’s final fate is just so underwhelming. For a character who has moved the entire Nixon and Reagan administrations to get his hands on Frenesi, his petering out at the end is so out of whack with the rest of the book.
I do not recommend this book. It’s probably put me off reading any other Pynchon stuff for a while. In fact, I’ve already jumped 150 pages into Capital in the Twenty-First Century. After that, probably Virgil’s The Aeneid, Ovid’s Metamorphoses, or Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus. Or The Brothers Karamazov. I’ll consult with Canelli about the latter when he gets down here in about a week or so.
If you choose to read Vineland, then use Babes in Wackiness as a guide.