29 June 2005
PYNCHON, Thomas. Gravity's Rainbow. New York: Viking Press, 1973.
Thick 8o. Original orange embossed cloth; pictorial dust jacket (price clipped, few short tears at ends of spine); quarter morocco folding case with cloth and morocco onlays.
"A SCREAMING COMES ACROSS THE SKY..."
FIRST EDITION. A SUPERLATIVELY RARE PRESENTATION COPY, INSCRIBED BY PYNCHON TO KEN TAUB on the front free endpaper: "For Ken Taub Thomas Pynchon." Taub was the friend of Pynchon's sister, who organized this copy's inscription. 4,000 copies of the first edition were issued in cloth, with an issue in wrappers issued simultaneously. This copy reads "0273" on the inner front flap and "SBN 670-34832-5" on the rear panel, presumably first issue.
"One of the few truly great novels of the century, and at the same time one of the most disappointing, disturbing, maddening. One of the most original fictive styles to have been developed since Joyce: a melange of scientific jargon, Gothic lyricism, and comic-book pop dialect whose range of tone and fundamental irreverence perfectly catches--with almost Swiftean efficiency--its creator's horror of, and fascination with, the contemporary nightmare" (Contemporary Novelists, 1136). Pynchon's masterpiece won the Willian Dean Howell Medal (for the best work of fiction published in the U.S. over a 5-year period) and the National Book Award, and is a Burgess 99 title. The novel was also nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, but the committee refused to grant the award to Pynchon, and thus none was given that year.
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