Mason & Dixon, Paperback Book
5 out of 5 (1 rating)


Charles Mason (1728 -1786) and Jeremiah Dixon (1733-1779) were the British Surveyors best remembered for running the boundary between Pennsylvania and Maryland that we know today as the Mason-Dixon Line.

Here is their story as re-imagined by Thomas Pynchon, in an updated eighteenth-century novel featuring Native Americans and frontier folk, ripped bodices, naval warfare, conspiracies erotic and political and major caffeine abuse.

We follow the mismatch'd pair - one rollicking, the other depressive; one Gothic, the other pre-Romantic - from their first journey together to the Cape of Good Hope, to pre-Revoluntionary America and back, through the stange yet redemptive turns of fortune in their later lives, on a grand tour of the Enlightenment's dark hemisphere, as they observe and participate in the many opportunities for insanity presented them by the Age of Reason.




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The only book by Pynchon I've read so far, and I'm too scared to read another in case it doesn't live up to this one!It's a fantastical trip into the lives of Mason and Dixon, as told by one Revd Cherrycoke; with the occasional excursion away from the story and into the lives of those listening to it.It is certainly not a book to read if you are after a piece of serious historical fiction based arounf the lives of the surveryors of the Mason-Dixon line. However, as a piece of intelligent, at times funny, escapism to curl up by the fire with and lose yourself in, it really fits the bill.

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