19 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
hhmm..., 5 Sept. 2003
This is one of the strangest yet most haunting novels I’ve ever read. It seems to stand apart from many other novels just by its seemingly obscure subject matter and the way in which it draws you into it. The novel is written in quite free flowing, dense text. This, whilst not making it indecipherable can be quite a challenge at times. It is by this method Pynchon draws the reader themselves into the story. The fact that Pynchon can create so much atmosphere in such a short novel is a testament to his craftsmanship.
The Novel (for me) was mainly about the notion of possibility. Nothing much is resolved in the story but so much is suggested. Is WASTE just an isolated cult in that part of California or is there a sector in every town in America? Oedipa goes through the novel with all these possibilities running through her mind. The more she finds out the more possibilities appear to her. It’s like staring at a dark wall and then suddenly realizing is crawling with ants. Her discoveries could change everything, even the ground beneath her feet or it could just be a joke set up by a dead guy with a sense of humour.
The crux of the novel is quite a frightening prospect. If such a massive network, like this can exist beneath Oedipa’s nose and she has never even considered the existence of it, what else could be there that Oedipa and all of us are not aware of?
Pychon draws the reader into this world which resembles an old fashioned X-Files tale. The detail of the historical information in the novel even makes the reader question whether WASTE exists in the real world. Thus putting us on a par with Oedipa and making the experience of the novel all the more vivid. WASTE could just be a small benign thing that is kept running by a few devoted anti-establishment types or maybe, just maybe...
This novel will certainly stay with me for a long time to come.