This is super awesome. I think he nailed the claustrophobic, constant sense of WTF I remember that book giving me. (Especially the bits with the coprophilia. I have no idea how those related to the plot at all, but I think the guy was a general?)
I love looking at the Library of Congress listing for ‘Gravity’s Rainbow’ because it is just the most confused thing ever. It’s in like a trillion different sections.
Okay, it’s been a while since college—and I think I read this like second or third year, too, when I was caught in a haze of omfgexamsfutureblahwhydidn’tIgotoBerkeley—but still, I remember reading the bit that mentioned it was under ‘science fiction’ and being hella confused until I got to the end of the book.
One of my friends said, and I have no idea if this is a quote from somewhere, “there’s two kinds of people—those who can finish ‘Gravity’s Rainbow’ and those who can’t.” He went on to lose his copy in the wilderness, and so I spent a couple of years thinking he was in that other category of people until his girlfriend was like, “oh they found his backpack and he ended up reading it all.”
It’s probably a funnier story if you know the guy and all the dramatic details.
Originally I wanted to read the book because it came up in ‘American Gods,’ but it turned out to be not even vaguely close to what I pictured when Gaiman mentioned ‘London during the blitz’ or something like that.