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4.0 von 5 Sternen A Trip Into the Past
In Vineland, Thomas Pynchon takes us back to the Reagan era of 1984 California.
The book begins with Zoyd Wheeler waking up on a fine summer's morning to some Froot Loops with a little Nestle's Quik on top. Zoyd lives in Vineland County, California, a fictional, forest-filled refuge for ageing flower children. And Zoyd play the part of ageing flower child to the...
Am 18. Juli 2000 veröffentlicht

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3.0 von 5 Sternen Pynchon loses his way
Pynchon has written much better novels than this bit of cream puffery, which leaves behind no taste. An easily read tale of aging baby boomer and his society. Seems superficial, especially when compared to the eternally readable Gravity's Rainbow. Vineland appears to have been written solely to produce money, and/or fulfill a contract with his publishers. Maybe could have...
Veröffentlicht am 5. Mai 1998 von Seth Anderson


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3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen A Trip Into the Past, 18. Juli 2000
In Vineland, Thomas Pynchon takes us back to the Reagan era of 1984 California.
The book begins with Zoyd Wheeler waking up on a fine summer's morning to some Froot Loops with a little Nestle's Quik on top. Zoyd lives in Vineland County, California, a fictional, forest-filled refuge for ageing flower children. And Zoyd play the part of ageing flower child to the hilt. He is a parttime keyboard player, handyman and fulltime marijuana grower who retains his disability benefits by jumping through glass windows once each year on television.
Zoyd has become a single parent to his teenage daughter Prairie since the mysterious disappearance of his wife, Prairie's mother, Frenesi Gates. A radical filmmaker during the 60s, Frenesi allowed herself to be seduced by Brock Vond, a federal prosecutor who was responsible for Frenesi's transformation from hippie radical to FBI informant.
Two decades after Frenesi's "disappearance," Zoyd is still looking for her, as is Vond, as is Prairie. The plot then becomes dense and tangled with flashbacks and flash forwards. Much of the book is simply gross exaggeration that is fairly preposterous and, at times, very funny.
Pynchon has a penchant for working symbolic meaning into his titles. Vineland is no exception. Vineland is, of course, the name of the mythical California setting of the book, but it is also the name Leif Ericsson gave to North America. As such, it was the name for a land untouched by human hands.
The exact opposite happens to be true of 1984 California, as anyone who's ever visited the area knows full well. Vineland exhibits none of the experimental prose that made Gravity's Rainbow so famous. In fact, the language employed in this book is flat and simple.
For some reason, this flatness seems to work. Essentially, Vineland tells the story of an aftermath that seems inevitable when viewed in retrospect and, as such, it is Pynchon's darkest book.
Pynchon celebrates the sixties but goes on to lament their aftermath. He celebrates America while condemning the way its inhabitants have been destroying themselves.
With Vineland, Pynchon took one step closer to hell than he did with even Gravity's Rainbow, becoming ninety-nine percent suicide and one percent nostalgia.
Vineland's one ray of hope shines in the character of Prairie, yet even Prairie shines none too brightly. During one of the book's most pivotal moments the only thing she can think of to do is to sing the Gilligan's Island theme song.
Vineland is Pynchon's only book dealing with the present. While the ludicrousness of Home Shopping, MTV and malls have not passed unnoticed, Pynchon does see more humor than unrelieved bleakness in the present state of America. But he is worried, that is plain to see.
While more bleak and barren than Gravity's Rainbow, Vineland at least holds out a few rays of hope.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Amazing..., 10. Oktober 1999
Von Ein Kunde
In this, his first novel in 17 years, Pynchon tells the story of what happened to those who fought the government in the 1960's. "Vineland" is a well written critique of American society in the 1980's, the decade in which the American government could finally claim control and ownership of its citizens. The story takes place in the year 1984 creating a wonderful parallel to Orwell's legendary novel.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Not as awful as everyone said..., 11. April 2000
...or perhaps all those years of amyl nitrate poppers have compromised my sense of smell. But I don't think so. The 70s and 80s were in many ways defined by their ambiguities, their polylayered deceits which hid still more deceits, and the pertinent sense that a sort of cultural rubicon had been crossed -- people were supersaturated, viewing the ten million options for What To Do Next from the rictus of a rec-room sofa -- the cultural lines had begun the Great Homogenesis process of blurring each role into every other role, making us all merely facets of the many-faceted moment (not such a bad thing, but then again, neither is the BORG, if you look at it in the right light) -- anyway, my point or hypothesis is that the various Zeitgeists Pynchon was tapping into in "V." and "Gravity's Rainbow" and to a lesser (i.e. more contemporary) extent "The Crying of Lot 59" reflected a world wherein language had not reached the level of decay it would come to in our era -- a thing and its name were much closer to each other then (even in the case of the elusive V., scattering the selective alphabet soup of her name in her wake for anyone to follow) -- and this of course must be reflected in the hows and wherefores of the telling. "Vineland" wouldn't work if TP had written it like he wrote V. Or "Gravity's Rainbow." Or even "Mason & Dixon," for that matter.
That said, one gets the feeling Pynchon probably WAS hitting the ganj as early in the day as Faulkner used to like to hit the bottle, and that mildly-but-definitely-a-bit-removed, intrinsically stoned tone to much of the book both adds immeasurably to its more paranoid and/or hallucinatory passages, and detracts from its readability -- even for Pynchon, there are lengthy swathes of prose here which seem impossible NOT to get lost in, and leave one with the feeling of having just swum through a pot of two-week-old stew: glad to have made it through alive, sure, but did I have room in my belly for Seconds? No, Ma'am, thanks all the same, but I'm watching my figure.
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen an accessible book comes screamimg across the sky, 30. Dezember 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Scared by Gravity's Rainbow ? Then give Vineland a try. Its TP at his most mainstream. Ever wonder what the elusive one thinks about everyday subjects like modern movies or even (my personal favorite) the lakers-celtics rivalaries of the 80s. No ? Oh, then go get a scholar's guide and tackle the doorstop books. If yes, then chill with Vineland.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Pynchon puts on the kid gloves, 22. Januar 1998
Von Ein Kunde
After an eternal wait between _Gravity's Rainbow_ and _Vineland_, one would expect (from Pynchon, at least) either a masterpiece to top all, or a _Finnegan's Wake_-style obscure chunk of brilliance. _Vineland_ is neither. _Vineland_ is almost a nightmare: It is cute, catchy, and borderline mediocre.
Pynchon choses, to the love of some, to abandon his unique style and focus on writing a bestseller. Hence, the book has aged about as well as sour cream, and feels undeniably 80's.

The good news is: He's still Brilliant! A man has a job jumping through plate glass windows and looking insane. A hord of ghosts live around a TV. EVERYBODY lives around a TV. A Lab is crushed, presumably, by Godzilla, and a convent of ninja women can do all except cook. Sound intriguing? Well, it is... And it does pick up speed in the last third. But it feels rushed (odd, after more than a decade...) and Pynchon's recent comeback in _Mason & Dixon_ seems to show that he knew it. Read for leisure, if you like, but turn elsewhere, first, to get REAL Pynchon.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Lurid, 23. Juli 1998
Von Ein Kunde
It's no secret Pynchon is one of only a handful of American authors writing actual literature, not merely pandering to mass-market sensibilities. As such, Vineland -- ostensibly a critique of Reagan-era snitch-destruction of the sons and daughters of the idealistic 60s -- avoids a lot of the harpy, pedantic ranting you'd expect and instead weaves together a lurid, transglobal set of normal and paranormal events, bizarre characters (good and evil) and inventive dialogue, all linked with breathtakingly clear, page-long sentences that have the effect of a bomb going off.
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3.0 von 5 Sternen Pynchon loses his way, 5. Mai 1998
Von 
Seth Anderson (Chicago, IL USA) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
(REAL NAME)   
Pynchon has written much better novels than this bit of cream puffery, which leaves behind no taste. An easily read tale of aging baby boomer and his society. Seems superficial, especially when compared to the eternally readable Gravity's Rainbow. Vineland appears to have been written solely to produce money, and/or fulfill a contract with his publishers. Maybe could have been a decent 50 page novella, but at the length that it is, only wastes paper.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Why end yr war on commies when you can frame them for drugs?, 8. September 1999
Von Ein Kunde
When I noticed the unmarked car with "US Government" plates parked outside my home in a central coast beach town, I instantly began to wonder whether the officer who had ordered our surveillance was none other than a Brock Vond-wannabe. For anyone who has questioned whether the "War on Drugs" is a new enemy for an old war, this is a must-read. All others should just re-read "The Crying of Lot 49".
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5.0 von 5 Sternen revelatory glimpse into the modern police state, 6. Juli 1999
Von Ein Kunde
history and analysis along with dark humour and permutations of skewed motivation from an author new to me. takes phillip k. dick's "a scanner darkly" and "flow my tears, the policeman said" one dimension further, perhaps adding the z axis. the three almost attain trinity status in my flat little world.
p.s. ignore the one star counterprogramming below.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen gets better all the time, 2. Juni 1998
Von Ein Kunde
When I have read Vineland I realized the good book on Sixties must be (excuse me for film terminlogy) done as a costume drama, not as an low budget feminist collective movie. Pynchon is mixing both styles and that's bad news. But this book makes you think and rethink a long after you read it and that's the distinction of a very fine pieces.
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