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by Thomas Pynchon
Larsen acknowledges the great authors who came before him, how their influence on him is undeniable, unavoidable, deep –– but that he is still his own writer, one with formidable gifts and looming ambition.
I didn't have a great need to write that story, but the quote would have fit it so perfectly I actually have an unfinished draft somewhere in my discarded Word documents.
At 9,000 words strong and encompassing 86 titles, this is the only second-half 2013 book preview you will ever need.
It's probably its hospitality to debate that makes the "Best Of" list so popular in the first place. One can agree - yes! great list! - or dissent - Where is x? Why no y? - or inveigh against list-making itself, but in any case, the list holds up a mirror to one's own preoccupations. As with any mirror, it is fearsomely hard to look away.
What is actually novel about Pynchon's new novel? For one thing, it gives us a protagonist who is even more apt than its author to digress, to space out, to lose the thread.