The ten best adventure novels of 1966

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i’ve been procrastinating getting started with Pynchon, but i guess now i know where to start!


I started reading V but realized I was not going to get through it before it needed to go back to the library.
Gravity’s Rainbow and Lot 49 owe a lot to his experience working at Boeing which makes me both curious and afraid to read them. (guess where I work)


Lot 49 is really accessible, and fun. Some of his longer books defeated me.


Lot 49 is my favorite Pynchon too. And without it we wouldn’t probably have Umberto Eco’s “Foucault’s Pendulum”, which I like even better.


(reads link)

Ah, Been Down So Long Looks Like Up to Me. i read it as a teen and liked it, though i probably missed a lot due to my youth, i expect. i wouldn’t say i remember it well, but i don’t really remember it being an “adventure.”

Fariña was an interesting cat. i have my mom’s copy of the folky LP he and his wife put out, pretty great. great liner notes, naturally. in hunting for a download of it a few years ago, i found out that he and Pynchon were at Cornell together and that Pynchon dedicated V. Gravity’s Rainbow to him, i believe this was after his death in a car crash.
title track:

I recommend starting with Pynchon’s V. It’s much better than The Crying of Lot 49, and should really be on this list. However, you should probably read Lot 49 before moving on to Gravity’s Rainbow, which is a trip.


Foucault’s Pendulum is even more indebted to “Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius” by Borges.

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the list is restricted to 1966, but thanks!

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Oh, that explains a lot.


“inherent vice” is also very approachable. i have yet to read “bleeding edge” so i can’t speak to it. in my opinion he has three really great books: “gravity’s rainbow,” “the crying of lot 49,” and “mason & dixon” in that order. then there are two magnificent failures: “v” and “against the day.” to me the others are minor works which can be entertaining but never really seemed to be as ambitious as the 5 i list.

i feel like “v” was a failure because he just wasn’t ready for a really long novel but i think his efforts and practice on it gave him the chops to be able to pull off “gravity’s rainbow.”

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No “Ensign Flandry”? No “Witches of Karres”? No “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress”?!! Tsk. All very much 1966, all very much adventure.

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