I hesitate to make any recommendations with Pynchon. I did not enjoy Mason & Dixon much, although the ending was very touching (which is rare in Pynchon's work). Against the Day is clearly for the already converted and invested. I personally like Vineland a lot, but no one else seems to respond to it. It probably rings some personal bells of my own. I thought Inherent Vice was a lot of fun, but if you dislike his outlandish grotesque characters, you won't like this one.
Did we read Wolf Hall here? I think we did. I like Wolf Hall a lot. I was bothered by Mantel's central trick of taking an historical monster, Thomas Cromwell, and making him the hero, while simultaneously taking a very great man, Sir Thomas More, and making him a jerk. This is delicious irony if you're already familiar with Henry VIII's court. Sort of like Jean Renoir's famous "Everyone has his reasons." What bothered me is that thousands, maybe millions, of readers would look no further and have no other reference point. They would come away thinking that Mantel's topsy-turvy take is historically sound. Anyway, it's a fine novel.
: I've read The New York Trilogy. It was okay.
: Which Ballard would you recommend? I have
: only read Crash which didn't impress me
: I agree it might not always be best to start
: with the masterpiece. Light in August might
: be another good entry to Faulkner. With
: Joyce, you almost need to read in order.
: Characters from Dubliners appear in Ulysses.
: Of course, it's not necessary to know that.
: Even with Jane Austen, P&P is a better
: starting place than Emma.
: I started Pynchon with The Crying of Lot 49.
: After GR, it seems to be the one you hear of
: most often. I like it well enough. I just
: couldn't get into GR at all. Maybe it was
: the wrong time in my life. It was definitely
: a bad time in my life. Probably I'll try it
: again someday.
: My project of familiarizing myself with 21st
: century fiction is nearly over. I still have
: Wolf Hall unread on Kindle, and I will
: probably read Gilead on your recommendation.
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