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Against the Day

Against the Day By Thomas Pynchon Against the Day Spanning the period between the Chicago World s Fair of 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 G

  • Title: Against the Day
  • Author: Thomas Pynchon
  • ISBN: 9781594201202
  • Page: 470
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Against the Day By Thomas Pynchon 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 HollywoodSpanning 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
    Against the Day By Thomas Pynchon

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    One thought on “Against the Day

    1. Manny on said:

      It had been some time since the Chums of Chance had last visited Candlewood University, and as soon as they were on terra firma they made their way directly to Professor Vanderjuice s office The Professor, who was in the process of calibrating what looked like a complex optical instrument, welcomed them effusively Randolph Miles Lindsay Darby Chick How wonderful to see you He gave Pugnax s head a pat, receiving a friendly growl of recognition from the canine savant, and exchanged manly handshake [...]

    2. Michael Finocchiaro on said:

      I loved traveling along the four parallel storylines of this, the longest of Pynchon s books I think I fell in love with Dahlia Rideout sorry Kit I wanted to be one of the Chums of Chance or at least read their books to my kid with the Hardy Boys I wanted to have a whiskey with Lew Basnight although I may have been terrified I loved the bad guys and the good guys and really all the characters here There was so much to enjoy, so much to think about, never a dull moment Of all of Pynchon s books, [...]

    3. Geoff on said:

      Like all great things, Against The Day refuses summary By its length and complexity, the sheer amount of Time it takes to get through, the concentration it requires to keep track of its multitude of characters, its encyclopedia of settings and events, its fascination with emerging ideas, scientific advances, political movements, technologies, its exploration of a wide variety of metaphysics and religious ideas, its globe spanning survey of world events at the turn of the last century, by its ver [...]

    4. Oriana on said:

      Update the second, March 08Well, well, well she says, much subdued, pensive not at all her normal, boistrous, effusive self.Here we are, March 1, 2008, and I have just closed the cover of Against the Day.I suppose it s hard to even talk about a tome like this, a thing of this range and scope and breadth I d really like to use all the superlatives I can, and then invent new words to describe Pynchon and what he does, because he really is like nothing else ever In fact, I ve been saying that to al [...]

    5. Nikos Tsentemeidis on said:

      , , , 150 , , , , 1 10 , 7 3 , , , , o , , , 20 , Tesla, Thomas Pynchon , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Pynchon , , , , , 100 , , , , , , , 2006 1963 , , , , Pynchon , , 10,20 50 100 , , , , , , , , , 1000 , , , .

    6. Warwick on said:

      written 2008 The early reviews I read of Against the Day were all a little bewildered, and gave me the distinct impression that a lot of reviewers had tried to skim read this huge novel so they could get their articles written in time It s not an easy one to write up at all It s very long, very busy, and you come to it with all kinds of preconceptions, just because it s Pynchon and although he s only written a few novels they all seem to be masterpieces.For people who have been following him ove [...]

    7. Sue on said:

      An amazing book, describing a time of turmoil and discovery, showing the best and worst of mankind and individual men and women This multifaceted story begins at the Chicago World s Fair in 1893 and ends after the world altering events of World War I The world is moving into new areas armies on horseback are giving way to men with machine guns The wide open West of the United States is being increasingly hemmed in by wealthy industrialists who hire goons with guns to break strikes In Europe, the [...]

    8. Ian "Marvin" Graye on said:

      PYNCHON IS THE UTOPIUM OF THE MATH CLASSES A Rhapsody of Exquisitely Mindful Pleasures Nobody ever said a day has to be juggled into any kind of sense at day s end Thomas Pynchon, Gravity s Rainbow Most authors inadvertently encourage us to be lazy readers They make it too easy to read their fiction We expect authors to comply with conventions of story telling, a manageable number of characters, a narrative arc, a sense of relevance and progress towards a conclusion, a climax, a goal, a realisat [...]

    9. K.D. Absolutely on said:

      A bewildering book Reading this is like standing on a sideline watching the turn of the century Pynchon is right there beside you and flipping through the scenes showing you how the common people in that era behaved through his eyes This is definitely not a history book yet there are real life characters, e.g Tesla, Kovaleskaya, and even himself Pynchon , or real world events, e.g 1893 Chicago World s Fair, World War I, etc Still, the bulk of the story is fictional and only uses history as a bac [...]

    10. Mattia Ravasi on said:

      Video review youtube watch v APsR1Featured in my Top 20 Books I Read in 2016 youtube watch v 4X6OQThe most epic, heart warming, heart breaking, majestic, hilarious, dreadful and inspiring piece of fiction I have ever read If you took Once Upon a Time in the West, a couple of Final Fantasies the good ones , the whole of HP Lovecraft s production, Verga and Hardy and Zola and such topnotch realists, and at least three or four secret ingredients and then gave it all to the world s greatest fiction [...]

    11. tim on said:

      Against the Day, for me, is pure reading bliss Pynchon effortlessly conjures up magic and grace, stretching them through a full spectrum of absurdly strange situations His characters often lack depth, but he than makes up for that in many other ways, not least of all with the shear beauty of his prose.Of the thousand and one topics within this book, my favorite themes dwell on light, time, parallel universes, and dimensional transcendence Anarchy may be the most prevalent thread found throughou [...]

    12. nostalgebraist on said:

      Update, 3 23 13 finally plodded my way to the end of this thing Review still stands First things first I haven t finished Against The Day yet I m on page 752, which is than 300 pages from the end But 752 of this book s pages, with their tiny print and their relatively homogeneous content, are enough to solidify one s judgment several times over It s possible that the ending will cause me to reconsider some of what I m about to say, but given what I ve seen so far, I doubt it.I want to like Pync [...]

    13. Jonathan on said:

      Go read Geoff s review here review showThen go read Theroux s great review in the WSJ onlinej articles SB1164 If there is an inevitability to arrival by water, he reflected, as we watch the possibilities on the shore being progressively narrowed at last to the destined quay or slip, there is no doubt a mirror symmetry about departure, a denial of inevitability, an opening out from the point of embarkation, beginning the moment all lines are singled up, an unloosening of fate as the unknown and p [...]

    14. Michael on said:

      This is a very difficult book to assail and digest but worth it for me to see how the pomo master keeps up with the scene of post postmodern he has spawned The wonderful new weird I can t get enough of such as the three M s of Mitchell, Murakami, Mieville , and others I keep trying like DeLillo and Lethem I bring these others up to convey that if you like them, this may be worth the ascent There is something in it for most readers mystery, espionage, fantasy, historical fiction, family saga, cam [...]

    15. Bradley on said:

      I m not sure that I can review this Honestly I m overwhelmed with the sheer sprawling immensity and lack of cohesion except for just a few special points the big ones happening to be light and light s refraction, and anarchismY WHAT Yeah That s kinda my view, too It s set up with seemingly hundreds of little scenes and build ups starting all the way back to Chicago s World s Fair and ending after WWI and never staying in any place for very long Want to globe trot around the world Hop from charac [...]

    16. Nate D on said:

      Some works are so densely, elaborately planned and plotted that any map to their intricacies would necessarily be longer than the work itself This, I think, is the justification and promise of post modern literature, with works reaching further in all directions and via as many tools as possible Against the Day is one such work almost any given line or action may upon study be split, like light through a prism, into a full spectrum of significant motifs.And so Against the Day serves as a refract [...]

    17. Eddie Watkins on said:

      This might very well end up being my favorite Pynchon novel But I don t know, since if I were to become a one author reading hermit all of Pynchon s novels would be there with me, as they are the hands down most rereadable novels I ve ever read with Nabokov a close second.I would place this next to Gravity s Rainbow as his two most ambitious novels, but there s something about Against the Day that I like better In many ways it s like reading a massive young adult novel, there s just such a sense [...]

    18. Ellie on said:

      I can t even begin to write a review of this massive, impressive work I found it extremely difficult but hypnotic Although there were times I thought I d never finish it, I couldn t put it down Hopefully, I ll write a review in the future.Just a few words, on reflection The theme of day night, light dark was never clear to me no pun intended although the references to these topics are profuse and obviously have meaning It seems, writing as a first guess, that the light is dangerous and that life [...]

    19. Stian on said:

      maybe in some other world things would ve been different, but here and now, in this one, Reef huddled down into his chair by the fire, the noise from the saloon downstairs where he d been playing cards all night reaching his ears but hardly bothering him, though he did for a second think of the scum sitting down there playing on, never giving in, because why give in why be cautious you miss all the shots you never take anyhow Maybe there s a point to it Reef took up his book and looked at it Big [...]

    20. Nathan "N.R." Gaddis on said:

      Alexander Theroux s review of Against the Day in the Wall Street Journal, November 2006 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 Against the Day is Mr Pynchon s fifth [...]

    21. Jonfaith on said:

      During those simpler, happy times the Democrats assumed control of the House and matters appeared to be changing I pre ordered the novel with my happy local bookseller It arrived really early, well before its publication date and I was four thousand miles away from home.The bulky block of lore was scooped upon return My friends had selected Against The Day for our winter read and I read the novel in two lengthy slogs, finding it necessary to reread several sections Some of my friends weren t as [...]

    22. Rayroy on said:

      One day I ll get around to writing a review for this, my favorite book I ve read, I m part of small group of people, a group of readers that have read all off Thomas Pynchon s novels, I should be happy that I reached this accomplishment, and I am, but also depressed about the whole thing, Against The Day and all of Thomas Pynchon s work were the ultimate escape from the soul sucking, bleak, horribly lost, greed filled , over sensationalized media era of time we call now, it s why I read so much [...]

    23. Kyle on said:

      As unfortunate as it is, Against the Day may be the last tome we see from Pynchon It also just might be his best It seemed to me, while reading it, that this was Pynchon trying to cover all of the themes, questions, and philosophical ideas he explored over the course of his career and wrap them up in one final doorstopper I feel, personally, that he succeeded.I was blown away by how refined the language seemed in this book It was just as beautifully written and just as complex as Gravity s Rainb [...]

    24. Darwin8u on said:

      AtD blasted me away with its scale and swath e The fact that he was able to keep that giant mega ball rolling, doubling, wrapping it all up at the end still amazes me I ve said this other places, but GR is Pynchon s most important novel to date , MD is my favorite oh, the ending Sir, the ending , but AtD is his BEST Pynchon absolutely doubles down on his paranoia, his doubling, his funk and sizzle He circumnavigates the globe detailing, explaining, entertaining, and just riffing on whatever he w [...]

    25. Leonard Gaya on said:

      This is a rather long read, but I, for my part, will be brief It takes than a thousand pages for the Chums of Chance to fly over the Chicago World Fair, Colorado s railroad and mining facilities, London and Venice and Vienna and Shambhala and the North Pole, anarchists and dynamite freedom fighters, gunslinger in Nochecita, a sexy aristocrat named Chirpingden Groin, photography and conjuring, electromagnetism and alchemy, vectorial and quaternionist mathematicians, Professors Renfrew and Werfne [...]

    26. Adam on said:

      Pynchon at his most accessible yet lengthy so long I kept thinking I was being reminded of another novel and realizing it was an earlier section A million intersecting ideas, characters, and plots wrapped in ribald humor and paranoid speculation, reading sometimes like H.G Wells meets Cormac McCarthy tied all together with a flair of Dante, Conrad, and Borges One of Pynchon s best, up there with MD, G.R and V all initialsI win Pynchon parodies and pastiches L.A noir, gothic western, steampunkery [...]

    27. Drew on said:

      Not much to say about this one, despite its classic status and gargantuan size It s typical Pynchon, with a little less paranoia and a little anti industrialism The side effect of this is clarity in the writing critics apparently caught onto this and called it Pynchon s most accessible book I wouldn t say that, necessarily, but I would say that when you write about paranoia, your writing is automatically going to be a bit murkier than it might otherwise be, since you can never know precisely w [...]

    28. Nicole on said:

      This was excellent, so much so that I was tempted to add it to my ever growing list of favorites query if your list of favorite books exceeds a certain number, say, 100 or so, are they still your favorites, or does it at some point just become a list of books you really like Like have 18 best friends or something surely best implies a very small number But I digress In the end I didn t add it, though I think it is definitely in the running for best Pynchon novel, because it started to bag for me [...]

    29. Michael William West on said:

      In the process of absorption, a melancholy drop in literary RPM as I put Against The Day away for now, it s enormous physical presence returned to form a symbolic shape, a load bearing stone on a bookshelf somewhere The last stand of ATD was Pynchon throwing a crazed orchestra of new and weird characters, jokes The Burgher King and exposed tracts of pseudo narrative even a love and sex story All following the Tunguska Event, the colour shift, the settling down into the safest and most familiar p [...]

    30. Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly on said:

      One thousand two hundred twenty 1,220 pages in fine print, a high 4.04 average rating in Let s see first the metaphors and what nots it provoked among the brave souls who had read and reviewed it 1 Mikey Stewart 3 stars his first sentence Good lord, where to start 2 Oriana 5 stars It s like, instead of reading a book, you re like reading a chunk of a riveris one is like a million rivulets, each slipping overunderthrough one another, that you follow for a second, or a couple of pages, until they [...]

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