Orphans Against the Day

Two events, rare in my adult life, occurred yesterday: a new Tom Waits album (all 56 songs of it) was released and a new Thomas Pynchon novel (all 1,085 pages of it) was published. I had a very busy day at work, so I didn’t get a chance to listen to the album, but I did get a chance to read the first ten pages of the novel before going to sleep last night. It seems to be written in another new voice. Gone is the raw colonial voice of Mason & Dixon, replaced by a very accessible and playful narrator from the turn of the (twentieth) century. He begins in what seems to be the midst of an ongoing telling of the tales of the Chums of Chance, one of whom he describes as “picklesome.” I do hope that’s a real word, because I could really get some use out of it. I have almost all of the next two weeks (after today) off to explore further–I can’t wait.

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