I got 500+ into this and had to start over because I put it down for a week and tried to pick it back up. Yeah, this book needs to be read continuously. Even then, the only way I could keep the whole cast of characters was to make a cheat sheet with the name of the character and the basic subset of characters that he was involved with. The female characters were largely memorable on their own and largely sexually involved with more than one male character.
So, I decided to read Thomas Pynchon because of his influence on David Foster Wallace. I ordered Gravity’s Rainbow and Infinite Jest from Amazon at the same time, the intention to be to read the former directly after the latter. But y’know, SO MANY BOOKS in the world, and a few found their way in between. I chose Gravity’s Rainbow as I’d read that the two books had largely the same parabolic structure. I would definitely agree with this assessment and furthermore found several stylistic elements and idiomatic phrases that DFW stole outright from Pynchon. This, of course, is awesome because as Picasso said: “Good artists copy. Great artists steal.” Both Pynchon and DFW are of course, great artists.
As for the book itself… the writing is brilliant. I’m not sure if I would necessarily recommend it in and of itself as it is quite an undertaking, but as a literary exercise for total biblioholics, yeah, it was totally worth it.