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Against the Day

af Thomas Pynchon

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MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
3,155624,198 (4.06)186
Spanning the period between the Chicago World's Fair of 1893 and the years just after World War I, this novel moves from the labor troubles in Colorado to turn-of-the-century New York, to London and Gottingen, Venice and Vienna, the Balkans, Central Asia, Siberia at the time of the mysterious Tunguska Event, Mexico during the Revolution, postwar Paris, silent-era Hollywood, and one or two places not strictly speaking on the map at all. With a worldwide disaster looming just a few years ahead, it is a time of unrestrained corporate greed, false religiosity, moronic fecklessness, and evil intent in high places. No reference to the present day is intended or should be inferred. The sizable cast of characters includes anarchists, balloonists, gamblers, corporate tycoons, drug enthusiasts, innocents and decadents, mathematicians, mad scientists, shamans, psychics, and stage magicians, spies, detectives, adventuresses, and hired guns. There are cameo appearances by Nikola Tesla, Bela Lugosi, and Groucho Marx. As an era of certainty comes crashing down around their ears and an unpredictable future commences, these folks are mostly just trying to pursue their lives. Sometimes they manage to catch up; sometimes it's their lives that pursue them. Meanwhile, the author is up to his usual business. Characters stop what they're doing to sing what are for the most part stupid songs. Strange sexual practices take place. Obscure languages are spoken, not always idiomatically. Contrary-to-the-fact occurrences occur. If it is not the world, it is what the world might be with a minor adjustment or two. According to some, this is one of the main purposes of fiction. Let the reader decide, let the reader beware. Good luck. -Thomas Pynchon… (mere)
  1. 04
    BioShock Infinite af Irrational Games (tootstorm)
    tootstorm: A video game that takes its nods where it wants to from Pynchon's latest monsterwork. An involving story with revolutionary AI and character development in another steampunk'd, quantum mechanix'd reimagining of the original Chicago World's Fair and all the tropes that came with the times.… (mere)
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» Se også 186 omtaler

Engelsk (57)  Spansk (2)  Italiensk (1)  Fransk (1)  Alle sprog (61)
Viser 1-5 af 61 (næste | vis alle)
Throughout the years I've heard so much about the genius of Pynchon so I was excited about finally reading one of his books. After 100 pages of this book, with almost a 1,000 more to go, I was really starting to wonder what all this talk of genius was all about. I was finding the novel to be incomprehensible gibberish. Part of the problem was that the characters weren't introduced. They were merely tossed into the plot as if the reader already knew all about them. Another problem was the long drawn out sentences and paragraphs. I made a conscious effort to slow down my reading pace and let the words sink in . This helped quite a bit and soon after this I started to get a feel for the characters and at about page 200 I finally started to feel myself getting engrossed in the novel.After spending a month in the world of the Traverse brothers and company I'm definitely going to miss them, but overall I'd say reading the book was more work than a piece of fiction should be. ( )
  kevinkevbo | Jul 14, 2023 |
Against the Day is a completely unique novel - both in its ambition and its ability to frustrate the reader. If you don't like Pynchon's tics (jokey character names, bantering inauthentic dialogue, narrative dead ends), then abandon hope all ye who enter. If you are willing to devote a slice of your remaining life to 1085 pages of this, you need to just buckle up and enjoy the ride.

I haven't read any other criticism of this novel yet. Personally, I don't have a clear sense of what Pynchon is on about here. At first I thought he was playing with genre - ATD includes steampunk, historical fiction, Western, adventure, noir, detective, etc. The large swath of the story that takes place in Europe during the lead up to World War 1 seems too baggy and incoherent, with whole sections (in Venice and Bulgaria, for example) that read like travelogue more than narrative fiction. My peak frustration came in the Bulgarian section, wherein Cyprian Latewood joins a nunnery. What is the relevance of Cyprian to the story? He is a secondary character that becomes central and then reverts to the background. There are many many characters like this, who pop out of the woodwork. I was tempted at some points to create a spreadsheet of characters, just to keep them straight.

ATD exemplifies the problem I have with a lot of postmodern fiction. In the end, the idea of a fragmented narrative that reflects the way life really unfolds, seems to make sense. In practice, it feels self indulgent. Pynchon's attitude seems to be that "life is long and confusing, so I will therefore write a long and confusing novel." It doesn't work as satire, because its narrative threads are so diffuse and meandering that any insight on human nature or society is lost. ( )
  jonbrammer | Jul 1, 2023 |
El mineral transparente conocido como espato de Islandia posee la curiosa propiedad óptica de la doble refracción: duplica en paralelo la imagen del objeto que se mira a través de él. Si se contemplara la Tierra por una lámina de ese espato, la imagen duplicada no sería exactamente la esperada.
  Natt90 | Mar 27, 2023 |
No me gusta mucho el título en español, algo se pierde en la traducción del original "Against the Day", pero éste es un libro monumental, en la acepción completa de la palabra. Decenas de tramas y personajes se cruzan de maneras imprevisibles, la trama salta y las escenas se quiebran pero a la vez mantiene un curso lineal y da una visión que intenta ser completa del mundo previo, durante y tras la I Guerra Mundial.

Es de lectura obligada para cualquier escritor que quiera apuntar a hacer unanovela total, un monstruo de muchas cabezas que se coma a los lectores menos preparados, pero que quienes disfrutan de la prosa, las técnicas de narración menos comunes, y la enorme colección de datos históricos (y chistes de cultura popular muy bien disimulados) que conforman este tapiz, no podrán dejar pasar.

Definitivamente no decepciona. Si bien carece de un cierre argumental (son un conjunto de cierres temáticos/epocales) definitivo, el esfuerzo imaginativo y el periplo de sus múltiples personajes lo hacen de lectura indispensable, si bien algunos pueden hallarlo denso por momentos. Es un libro para disfrutar con tiempo, leyéndolo por las noches un par de páginas a la vez, disfrutándolo como un buen coñac (y si se lo acompaña con uno, mejor). ( )
  marsgeverson | Jan 12, 2023 |
«Questo romanzo è ambientato negli anni che vanno dal 1893 all'immediato primo dopoguerra. E si muove tra la Chicago dell'Esposizione Mondiale, Londra, Gottinga, Venezia, la Siberia, il Messico della rivoluzione, Hollywood e anche alcuni luoghi che non si trovano sulle mappe. I personaggi sono anarchici, aviatori, avventurieri, magnati, tossici, innocenti e decadenti, scienziati pazzi, sciamani, spie e killer. Fanno anche una fugace apparizione speciale Nikola Tesla, Bela Lugosi e Groucho Marx. Tutti abitano un'era in cui domina l'incertezza, e cercano in qualche modo di raccappezzarsi nelle proprie vite. A volte riuscendoci a volte no. L'autore del libro intanto si comporta come suo solito. Ogni tanto fa cantare loro all'improvviso canzoni stupide, li infila in situazioni promiscue e fa accadere eventi improbabili. Descrivendo il mondo non così com'è ma come potrebbe essere con appena qualche ritocco. Che secondo alcuni è uno degli scopi principali della letteratura. Ma lasciamo che siano i lettori, ormai avvisati, a giudicare. Buona fortuna». (Thomas Pynchon)
  Masnago69 | Aug 18, 2022 |
Viser 1-5 af 61 (næste | vis alle)
Thomas Pynchon's new behemoth of a book, "Against the Day," is likely to have readers responding in one of two ways; either they will think it is one of the greatest novels ever written, or they will see it as a vainglorious head trip from an author notorious for being difficult to read. The truth of the matter actually lies somewhere in between. "Against the Day" is probably the most brilliant book most people will never read. The reason it will probably fail to garner much of an audience is that at almost 1,100 pages it is, to put it bluntly, the novel as literary whirlwind, cryptically dense and unrelenting in its demands on the reader.
 
IN “Against the Day,” his sixth, his funniest and arguably his most accessible novel, Thomas Pynchon doles out plenty of vertigo, just as he has for more than 40 years. But this time his fevered reveries and brilliant streams of words, his fantastical plots and encrypted references, are bound together by a clear message that others can unscramble without mental meltdown.
 
On the American literary scene – that hodgepodge – a new book by Thomas Pynchon is unarguably a major event, and here he comes again. His sixth novel, “Against the Day,” runs to 1085 pages, but never creeps and assuredly never drags. Though he has a disciple here and there, most notably David Foster Wallace, no novelist has proven more sui generis than Pynchon since his debut with “V.” in 1963.
 
"Against the Day" -- the phrase seems to allude to the apocalyptic conditional: In the familiar scriptural locution, the day itself was the eventual one of "judgment and perdition of the ungodly men." But let's not make too much of it. There is simply too much going on in this wide-ranging, encyclopedic, nonpareil of a novel to reduce it all to something as small as the apocalypse.
 
There is a striking moment in Thomas Pynchon’s enormous new novel that threatens to get lost, like many of the striking moments in his novels, in all the other moments: of overly wrought prose, of names so memorable that you can’t remember them, and of quasi-historical accounts of science and politics that the diligent book reviewer and his fact checker would like to substantiate but that are mainly unsubstantiable.
tilføjet af stephmo | RedigerNew York Magazine, Keith Gessen (Nov 22, 2006)
 

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Spanning the period between the Chicago World's Fair of 1893 and the years just after World War I, this novel moves from the labor troubles in Colorado to turn-of-the-century New York, to London and Gottingen, Venice and Vienna, the Balkans, Central Asia, Siberia at the time of the mysterious Tunguska Event, Mexico during the Revolution, postwar Paris, silent-era Hollywood, and one or two places not strictly speaking on the map at all. With a worldwide disaster looming just a few years ahead, it is a time of unrestrained corporate greed, false religiosity, moronic fecklessness, and evil intent in high places. No reference to the present day is intended or should be inferred. The sizable cast of characters includes anarchists, balloonists, gamblers, corporate tycoons, drug enthusiasts, innocents and decadents, mathematicians, mad scientists, shamans, psychics, and stage magicians, spies, detectives, adventuresses, and hired guns. There are cameo appearances by Nikola Tesla, Bela Lugosi, and Groucho Marx. As an era of certainty comes crashing down around their ears and an unpredictable future commences, these folks are mostly just trying to pursue their lives. Sometimes they manage to catch up; sometimes it's their lives that pursue them. Meanwhile, the author is up to his usual business. Characters stop what they're doing to sing what are for the most part stupid songs. Strange sexual practices take place. Obscure languages are spoken, not always idiomatically. Contrary-to-the-fact occurrences occur. If it is not the world, it is what the world might be with a minor adjustment or two. According to some, this is one of the main purposes of fiction. Let the reader decide, let the reader beware. Good luck. -Thomas Pynchon

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