Gravity's Rainbow, Paperback Book
3.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Tyrone Slothrop, a GI in London in 1944, has a big problem.

Whenever he gets an erection, a Blitz bomb hits. Slothrop gets excited, and then, as Thomas Pynchon puts it in his sibilant opening sentence, 'a screaming comes across the sky', heralding an angel of death, a V-2 rocket.

Soon Tyrone is on the run from legions of bizarre enemies through the phantasmagoric horrors of Germany.

Gravity's Rainbow is never a single story, but a proliferation of characters - Pirate Prentice, Teddy Bloat, Tantivy Mucker-Maffick, Saure Bummer, and more - and events that tantalize the reader with suggestions of vast patterns only just past our comprehension.

It is a blizzard of references to science, history, high culture, and the lowest of jokes and among the most important novels of our time. Winner of the National Book Award.


Other Formats



Free Home Delivery

on all orders

Pick up orders

from local bookshops


Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

This is one of only two books I have ever stopped reading part-way through. The other is Joyce's Ulysses; the stylistic similarities of the two may have put me off of Gravity's Rainbow on my first attempt, but it was worth another try. Having now completed it, I have to admit that all the vociferous fans of Thomas Pynchon really do have a point: this is a great book. Spectacular. A rich, holographic exploration of tangled themes, scatology (and a little eschatology). Also rockets.In some ways reading the book is like watching literary parkour in rush-hour traffic - you are never sure whether a theme will be developed, or whether it will be hit by another explosive juggernaut of whimsy. Horrid, beautiful, disturbing - Gravity's Rainbow is all these things, with a hallucinatory quality which rewards careless reading. Try to parse too closely, and the work jams up like a balky escapement; relax into it, read with the flow and the lyricism becomes apparent.Worth the persistence!

Review by

Infinite Jest's cranky uncle - the hardest book I've ever read. There are 900 pages and 400 characters, and far more casual paedophilia than I'm used to, but despite my difficulties, it's obviously a work of (mad) genius. I even managed to enjoy some passages - the Anubis orgy, Ilse's impostors - but am mainly relieved to be finished.

Also by Thomas Pynchon   |  View all