Okay. I read this because my partner adores Pynchon, and for that reason I'm really glad I did - it hammered home in so many ways how our reading tastes diverge. He favors complex prose and a sense of unease while I prefer well crafted characters and an emotional center. (Which is not to say I don't also enjoy good prose or complex books - I loved Cloud Atlas, for instance.) This is a book more about concepts and a feeling of paranoia than it is about telling a story or fleshing out its characters. That sort of story appeals to a great many people, but unfortunately I am not one of them. I found the book stunningly bloated, overwritten, and rambling. I was continually surprised a book this short managed to meander as much as it does. This isn't a bad book, I can see what Pynchon is doing, but I was not a fan. Pynchon (and this book) will no doubt have many enthusiastic readers for many years to come, but alas, I will not be among them.