Stock Image

Gravity's Rainbow

Pynchon, Thomas

29,761 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0670348325 / ISBN 13: 9780670348329
Published by The Viking Press, 1973
Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
From Recycle Bookstore (San Jose, CA, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since October 23, 2001

Quantity Available: 1

Buy Used
Price: US$ 399.00 Convert Currency
Shipping: US$ 4.50 Within U.S.A. Destination, Rates & Speeds
Add to basket

30 Day Return Policy

About this Item

Red cloth. First edition. Pages 318 to 338 are dogeared and creased, one corner slightly bumped. otherwise a very nice copy, very clean, with a solid binding. Dust jacket has a long crease to front flap, frayed tear to upper right of front, modest edgewear, some small tears and chips to top of jacket spine, faint hint of sunfade. otherwise a clean and presentable jacket now protected in a mylar cover. First Edition. Bookseller Inventory # 918796

Ask Seller a Question

Bibliographic Details

Title: Gravity's Rainbow

Publisher: The Viking Press

Publication Date: 1973

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Good

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


Winner of the 1973 National Book Award, Gravity's Rainbow is a postmodern epic, a work as exhaustively significant to the second half of the twentieth century as Joyce's Ulysses was to the first. Its sprawling, encyclopedic narrative and penetrating analysis of the impact of technology on society make it an intellectual tour de force.

This Penguin Classics deluxe edition features a specially designed cover by Frank Miller along with french claps and deckle-edged paper.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.


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 sinister, insinuatingly sibilant opening sentence), "a screaming comes across the sky," heralding an angel of death, a V-2 rocket. The novel's title, Gravity's Rainbow, refers to the rocket's vapor arc, a cruel dark parody of what God sent Noah to symbolize his promise never to destroy humanity again. History has been a big trick: the plan is to switch from floods to obliterating fire from the sky.

Slothrop's father was an unwitting part of the cosmic doublecross. To provide for the boy's future Harvard education, he took cash from the mad German scientist Laszlo Jamf, who performed Pavlovian experiments on the infant Tyrone. Laszlo invented Imipolex G, a new plastic useful in rocket insulation, and conditioned Tyrone's privates to respond to its presence. Now the grown-up Tyrone helplessly senses the Imipolex G in incoming V-2s, and his military superiors are investigating him. Soon he is on the run from legions of bizarre enemies through the phantasmagoric horrors of Germany.

That's just the Imipolex G tip of the shrieking vehicle that is Pynchon's book. It's pretty much impossible to follow a standard plot; one must have faith that each manic episode is connected with the great plot to blow up the world with the ultimate rocket. There is not one 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. You will enjoy Pynchon's cartoon inferno far more if you consult Steven Weisenburger's brief companion to the novel, which sorts out Pynchon's blizzard of references to science, history, high culture, and the lowest of jokes. Rest easy: there really is a simple reason why Kekulé von Stradonitz's dream about a serpent biting its tail (which solved the structure of the benzene molecule) belongs in the same novel as the comic-book-hero Plastic Man.

Pynchon doesn't want you to rest easy with solved mysteries, though. Gravity's Rainbow uses beautiful prose to induce an altered state of consciousness, a buzz. It's a trip, and it will last. --Tim Appelo

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Store Description

As part of San Jose's reading community since 1970, we have provided the city with a great general reading bookstore designed for those who love to browse. Our location (with nearly 4,000 square feet of books) is 1066 The Alameda in San Jose, California, just a few blocks from downtown. Our regular store hours are Mon-Thurs, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Fri-Sat, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sun, 12 to 7 p.m.

Visit Seller's Storefront

Terms of Sale:

In business since 1962.

Shipping Terms:

Buy with confidence! We package your order professionally. In business since 1962.

Shipping costs are based on books weighing 2.2 LB, or 1 KG. If your book order is heavy or oversized, we may contact you to let you know extra shipping is required.

Most books are shipped within 48 hours of receipt of payment. California residents add the sales tax applicable in their county.

List this Seller's Books

Payment Methods
accepted by seller

Visa Mastercard American Express