Reviews of The Crying of Lot 49
May 24, 1966 - Jonathan Rosenbaum - Bard Observer - "Considering Pynchon’s gifts, there are some unfortunate lapses in the book. His style, which is generally fluid and colloquial in a natural way, occasionally becomes muddy and inadequately polished: after a host of characters with names like Genghis Cohen, Randolph Driblette, and Manny DiPresso, one sometimes suspects that Pynchon wants to trivialize his own satire by giving it a harmless edge of Mad Magazine humor. But lapses notwithstanding, The Crying of Lot 49 gives us a delineation of America too funny not to be taken seriously, and too serious not to make one profoundly uneasy."
May 6, 1966 - Time Magazine - "THE CRYING OF LOT 49, by Thomas Pynchon (Lippincott; 183 pages; $3.95), the author of V., is a metaphysical thriller in the form of a pornographic comic strip. The heroine, a girl named Oedipa Maas, one day finds her "Chevy parked at the center of an odd, religious instant. A revelation trembled just past the threshold of her understanding, a hieroglyphic sense of concealed meanings, of an intent to communicate." She pursues the revelation, and finds herself involved with a mysterious organization named Tristero."
May 1, 1966 - The New York Times - Richard Poirier: "Thomas Pynchon's second novel, "The Crying of Lot 49," reads like an episode withheld from his first, the much-acclaimed "V.," published three years ago. Pynchon's technical virtuosity, his adaptations of the apocalyptic-satiric modes of Melville, Conrad, and Joyce, of Faulkner, Nathanael West, and Nabokov, the saturnalian inventiveness he shares with contemporaries like John Barth and Joseph Heller, his security with philosophical and psychological concepts, his anthropological intimacy with the off-beat these evidences of extraordinary talent in the first novel continue to display themselves in the second. And the uses to which he puts them are very much the same."