Book Review: 'Gravity's Rainbow'

Special to the Herald-Guide

June 17, 2010 at 3:30 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Barbara Maikell
Barbara Maikell
Reviewed by Barbara Maikell

Thomas Pynchon's “Gravity's Rainbow” is a postmodern narrative novel mainly based in Europe at the end of World War II, focusing on the dispatch of German V-2 rockets and uncovering the top-secret device called the "Schwarzgerät."


The genre of “Gravity's Rainbow” is transgressive fiction in the sense that its dysfunctional protagonists rebel against the boundaries of Western culture in unusual ways, dealing a lot with taboo subjects of sex and masochism. Pynchon breaks the book into episodes of varying lengths, each focusing on a situation of a particular character.  These 400 unique characters range from banana-craving Pirate Prentice to top-secret military personnel Roger Mexico, all interweaving with each other to narrate a story of conspiracy, tarot and promiscuity.


Although I find that “Gravity's Rainbow” is a hilarious book for my taste, I do not believe novice readers can handle the complexity and mature content that Thomas Pynchon includes.  I give the book five of five stars.


Barbara Maikell is a graduating senior in the academically gifted program at Hahnville High. She enjoys reading, AFJROTC, exercising, learning and talented theatre. She plans to major in Public Affairs at the United States Air Force Academy.

 

Editor’s note: Book reviews are published weekly in agreement with Hahnville High School gifted English teacher Deborah Unger in conjunction with the Brown Foundation Service Learning Program.




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