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What is most important, I think, about Lot 49 are the words that aren’t being said. The language is rich and layered, and yet you get a sense that you’re looking at the scenes of the book through a filmy window – seeing the gist of the action, but missing the more subtle parts. It is in the language Pynchon uses to guide the book and the feelings that is inspires that become most important – why he chooses certain words, why does Oedipa hear a certain sound, etc. Everything is rich with meaning. I really loved the first half of The Crying of Lot 49. It instantly draws you in and demands you keep your focus, otherwise you can quickly become lost in the words and tangental pages, having to skip back a bit because everything is so important to the story, and even the little things, easily missed, become plot points.

What goes well with the incredibly layered text is the sense of surrealism you get while reading. The young teenaged band who emulate the Beatles and are always somehow around, the unexplained reasoning of the characters that sometimes seem completely random, the oddly tragic and vivid ending to the 30’s era movie Oedipa and Metzger watch and the curious “play-within-a-play” that initially sparks Oedipa’s interest in the larger mystery.

One of the things I like the most is the extreme run-on sentences that the book is written in. It seems like it was meant to be read out loud, person-to-person to get the full impact of the inflection and meaning.

On a side note – It sort of reminded me, on a very basic level, of a web series turned television show “Drunk History.” Especially the play ‘The Courier’s Tragedy’ which felt like your drunk roommate was relating her night at the theatre to you once she got home. I almost feel like this mimics Pynchon quite well.

-Allison Gilvezan