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Thomas Pynchon - Where to start?

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Initial post: 31 Jul 2009 15:31:00 BDT
Pynchon seems to be one of those writers people love or hate. I've never read him at all, but things I've heard lately make me curious. I must say that I'm not good with longer novels by whoever.
So where should I start with Pynchon? Short stories? Lot 49? Gravity's Rainbow? Are there other authors that I might usefully read first to become accustomed to Pynchon's heady heights?
All opinions and thoughts are welcomed.
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Initial post:  31 Jul 2009
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The Crying of Lot 49 (Perennial Fiction Library)
The Crying of Lot 49 (Perennial Fiction Library) by Thomas Pynchon (Paperback - 31 Jan. 1986)
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