The last great Pynchon novel. A massively dense quilt of turn-of-the-century literary and pulp fiction styled vignettes; a hilarious and heartbreaking deconstruction of the American dream in the age of Robber Barons and World Fairs. Against the Day seems unusual for his work in that instead of being obviously rich with vertically organized layers of subtext, this one seems more horizontally crushed with narrative; short story after short story with multiple recurring characters done in diverse writing styles that invoke Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, and any number of dime store novels and penny dreadfuls. Also, for fans who’ve always suspected Pynchon of anarchist leanings, AtD seems to be a much more openly political and sometimes angry novel; more along the lines of Vineland’s bitter critique than the more oblique criticisms of Gravity’s Rainbow. A must read for the initiated.
“Rich and sweeping, wild and thrilling.” —The Boston Globe
Spanning the era between the Chicago World's Fair of 1893 and the years just after World War I, and constantly moving between locations across the globe (and to a few places not strictly speaking on the map at all), Against the Day unfolds with a phantasmagoria of characters that includes anarchists, balloonists, drug enthusiasts, mathematicians, mad scientists, shamans, spies, and hired guns. As an era of uncertainty 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.
About the Author
Thomas Pynchon is the author of V., The Crying of Lot 49, Gravity’s Rainbow, Slow Learner, Vineland, Mason & Dixon, Against the Day, Inherent Vice, and Bleeding Edge. He received the National Book Award for Gravity’s Rainbow in 1974.
“[Pynchon's] funniest and arguably his most accessible novel.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Those who climb aboard Pynchon's airship will have the ride of their lives. History lesson, mystical quest, utopian dream, experimental metafiction, Marxist melodrama, Marxian comedy—Against the Day is all of these things and more.” —The Washington Post Book World