|1st ed. cover|
I wanted to spend part of the summer reading Thomas Pynchon's first novel, V. This is my first full-length Pynchon venture, so I figured I might as well start at the beginning. I cannot say that I loved it, but I will say that I plan to continue with the next novel--at least one of these days, not right away. It was interesting sometimes, and other times not so much. It's kind of more a guy novel, maybe.
It starts with Benny Profane, ex-Navy, who falls in with a crowd of oddballs called The Whole Sick Crew in New York, and there are random adventures. Then there is also a fellow called Stencil who is on a life-long quest to search for V., a mysterious woman with many different personae. Maybe. The episodes interchange and wander all over the place and in time as well. There are fictional countries and real places--Malta figures largely--and a lot about yo-yoing and Vs, and historical episodes. It's very strange and not the kind of thing I can describe well.
My copy is a first edition that looks like the image here. I got it from work and we seem to have a complete collection of Pynchon; whoever was buying back then was on the ball, I guess. The 50-year-old library jacket nearly drove me crazy, though.
For the music to match, I pick Procol Harum's Whiter Shade of Pale, which may not be entirely fair since V. was published in 1963 and this song is from 1967, and I have no idea if the two (Pynchon and Procol Harum) had any interest in each other whatsoever. They aren't even from the same country. BUT I always associate them in my head, because of college, and they do have the same weird surrealist thing going on.