Books by Thomas Pynchon

Thomas Ruggles Pynchon, Jr. (born May 8, 1937) is an American writer based in New York City. He is noted for his dense and complex works of fiction. Hailing from Long Island, Pynchon spent two years in the United States Navy and earned an English degree f


BLEEDING EDGE by Thomas Pynchon
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 17, 2013

"Of a piece with Pynchon's recent work—not quite a classic à la V. but in a class of its own—more tightly woven but no less madcap than Inherent Vice, and sure to the last that we live in a world of very odd shadows."
Pynchon (Inherent Vice, 2009, etc.) makes a much-anticipated return, and it's trademark stuff: a blend of existential angst, goofy humor and broad-sweeping bad vibes. Read full book review >
INHERENT VICE by Thomas Pynchon
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 4, 2009

"Groovier than much of this erratic author's fiction, but a bummer compared with his best."
For better and worse, this is the closest Pynchon is likely to come to a beach book. Read full book review >
AGAINST THE DAY by Thomas Pynchon
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 21, 2006

"Master of the knowledge he has acquired and the worlds he surveys, he challenges us to envision with him an opaque and threatening future, while mourning perversions of humanity's accomplishments and aspirations, fearing the worst, and laughing all the way."
History and its discontents figure as prominently in Thomas Pynchon's formidably brainy novels as do most of the sciences and pseudo-sciences. Read full book review >
MASON & DIXON by Thomas Pynchon
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 30, 1997

"Reading Pynchon may be likened to what one of his characters says here about deciphering the 'equation' presented by the stars in their courses: 'A lonely, uncompensated, perhaps even impossible Task,—yet some of us must be ever seeking it, I suppose.'"
Ever since Gravity's Rainbow (1973), which shared a National Book Award and was given, then denied a Pulitzer Prize (on account of its "obscenity"), it's been obvious, even to much of the so-called literary establishment, that Thomas Pynchon is one of our contemporary classics: a true polymath, formidably learned and technically unparalleled, who understands as few of his readers can the essential symbiosis between C.P. Snow's "two cultures" of science and technology. Read full book review >
DEADLY SINS by Thomas Pynchon
RELIGION
Released: Oct. 20, 1994

"Richard Howard on Avarice (in a poem), A.S. Byatt on (and on and on and on) Envy, and William Trevor on Gluttony round out the list."
The last time we looked, there were only seven of them — at least, that's how many Aquinas enumerated in Summa Theologica, and Ian Fleming included the same number in a 1962 Sunday Times of London series that featured seven English writers discussing their preferred sins. Read full book review >
VINELAND by Thomas Pynchon
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 1, 1990

"Pynchon's latest should prove to the legions of contemporary scribbler-fakers that it isn't enough to reproduce pop-schlock on the page, it needs to be siphoned through the kind of imaginative genius on display everywhere here."
If the elusive Pynchon regularly cranked out novels, then this latest addition to his semi-classic oeuvre would be considered an excellent, if flawed, fiction, not as demanding and complex as Gravity's Rainbow, nor as neat and clever as The Crying of Lot 49 and V. As it is, coming 17 years since the last book, it's something of a disappointment. Read full book review >
SLOW LEARNER by Thomas Pynchon
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 16, 1984

"Intriguing material for Pynchon fans and critics."
Five stories, dating from 1959 through 1964, four of them written while Pynchon (Gravity's Rainbow) was still in college—plus an introduction that's fetchingly modest about this gathering of juvenilia. Read full book review >
GRAVITY'S RAINBOW by Thomas Pynchon
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 28, 1972

"But then however much the latter may have been strained, one must pay tribute to Pynchon's plastic imagination, his stunning creative energy, and here and there the transcendent prose: 'It was one of those great iron afternoons in London: the yellow sun being teased apart by a thousand chimneys breathing, fawning upward without shame' — all marvelously descriptive of the world in which we live and are sure to die."
Between V., Pynchon's maverick if disorderly first novel, and Gravity's Rainbow, which is still more unstrung and far denser while lacking the narrative encroachment of the earlier book, there is even a direct line of extension. Read full book review >
THE CRYING OF LOT 49 by Thomas Pynchon
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 27, 1966

"Hip, yes; hooray, no."
Whether you were with it or not, Pynchon's first novel V. had some prodigally exciting sequences to startle the most phlegmatic imagination. Read full book review >