Slow Learner: Early Stories

Slow Learner: Early Stories

by Thomas Pynchon


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Thomas Pynchon's literary career was launched not with the release of his widely acclaimed first novel, V., but with the publication in literary magazines of the five stories collected here. In his introduction to Slow Learner the author reviews his early work with disarming candor and recalls the American cultural landscape of the early post-Beat era in which the stories were written. Time magazine described this introductory essay as "Pynchon's first public gesture toward autobiography."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316724432
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 04/30/1985
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 320,284
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.62(d)

About the Author

The famously reclusive novelist Thomas Pynchon is a recipient of the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship. Gravity's Rainbow, perhaps the most dense and complex of all his novels, won the National Book Award for Fiction in 1974. Christopher Lehmann-Haupt said of it: "... if I were banished to the moon tomorrow and could take any five books along, this has to be one of them." Pynchon's other books include V., The Crying of Lot 49, Mason and Dixon, and Inherent Vice.


New York, New York

Date of Birth:

May 8, 1937

Place of Birth:

Glen Cove, Long Island, New York


B. A., Cornell University, 1958

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Slow Learner: Early Stories 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
TeeMcp on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
After reading The Crying of Lot 49, this was a relief. Vivid characters and interesting stories with a lot less commas and run on sentences. The story selection cuts a wide swath through society, embracing soldiers, garbage men & gypsies, college partying, spies, and the best of childrens make believe games.A keen eye for detail, both in specificity and volume, keeps the stories from getting lost in their own words. If you've never read Pynchon, I would recommend this as good book to start with,
sesquiped on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Worth reading for any Pynchon fan, these stories are more approachable than his larger novels. The introduction is interesting for its autobiographical elements, since there's so little information about him available.The five stories clearly improve in quality from the first to the last, although I have to admit a personal preference for "Under the Rose" (the fourth) over "The Secret Integration" (the fifth). The latter is probably a better piece of writing, but I like the dark humor and the notion of one person and his doomed fight against the advancing of the world around him.
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