Q, Conspiracy, and the Novel; or, Why Portraits and Ashes Should Be Your Summer Read

Readers who perceive an esoteric subtext to my writing and who therefore keep a paranoiac tally of my cryptic allusions will recall that I have mentioned the "Q" or "Qanon" conspiracy theory twice. Both references occurred in the context of paranoiac fictions: Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49 and Grant Morrison's The Invisibles. But … Continue reading Q, Conspiracy, and the Novel; or, Why Portraits and Ashes Should Be Your Summer Read

Grant Morrison, The Invisibles

The Invisibles by Grant Morrison My rating: 4 of 5 stars This will be a pitch. You should read The Invisibles. Certainly those of you who have been reading some of the other things I write about here: not only Alan Moore, but also Herman Melville, James Joyce, Thomas Pynchon, Don DeLillo, and Grant's alt-universe … Continue reading Grant Morrison, The Invisibles

Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49

The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon My rating: 5 of 5 stars A summary of this classic 1965 short novel's unsummarizable plot: California housewife Oedipa Maas becomes executor ("or she supposed executrix") of the will of her late lover, real-estate magnate Pierce Inverarity. She travels from her domestic normality in Kinneret-among-Pines to a … Continue reading Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49

Don DeLillo, Libra

Libra by Don DeLillo My rating: 5 of 5 stars In earlier times, the bullet had been other things, because Pythagorean metempsychosis is not reserved for humankind alone. —Borges, "In Memoriam, J.F.K." (trans. Andrew Hurley) Literature is the attempt to interpret, in an ingenious way, the myths we no longer understand, at the moment we … Continue reading Don DeLillo, Libra

David Mitchell, The Bone Clocks

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell My rating: 2 of 5 stars It was about a decade ago that John Banville rightly called Ian McEwan's Saturday "a dismayingly bad book," and I am sorry to say that I would make the same judgment about this new novel by another maven of mainstream British fiction. I … Continue reading David Mitchell, The Bone Clocks