Thursday, February 1, 2007

Pynchon Done, On to Powers

Finished Against the Day on Jan. 31, and it's on to Richard Powers' Echo Maker. I honestly thought AtD was the equal to Gravity's Rainbow, perhaps almost better. It's certainly complementary. Where GR is cold, sterile steel with a plot following a hyperbolic curve, AtD is warm, human, with plots reaching multiple crescendos in the last hundred pages. AtD might almost give one a greater reason for hope - where Blicero's death star on the GR final page is no joy to anyone, the Chums of Chance "fly toward grace" at the end of AtD, and many characters live through diversity and begin hopeful lives together. Sure the paranoia is there, involving WWI and Ludlow and Palmer Raids this time instead of WWII, but there's something almost sweet about AtD. Incidentally, picked up Zak Smith's Gravity's Rainbow Illustrated, too, and it adds a whole new dimension to Pynchon's classic.

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