Freakin’ Weekend: 08.06-08.08

Iowa City is a literary city, by reputation and definition, so with this unique post-moving Freakin’ Weekend, we salute Thomas Pynchon, one of America’s most reclusive, mysterious, and brilliant authors of the 20th (and now 21st!) century. Pynchon’s first novel, V. came out in 1963, but it is perhaps his next two novels that he is most famous for. The Crying of Lot 49 (1966) is a brief and hilarious work that’s become a staple of high school and college literature classes. Gravity’s Rainbow (1973), meanwhile, is a notoriously impenetrable tome that is often lauded as the greatest piece of post-war American literature. The work won the 1974 National Book Award and was also unanimously selected by a jury for the Pulitzer Prize, which was then vetoed by the Pulitzer board. This week he released Inherent Vice, his 7th published novel and first since 2006, which is a remarkably prolific streak for him. Inherent Vice seems to return to the style of Crying, and Rolling Stone calls it “the funniest book Pynchon has ever written,” describing it as “a shaggy-dog stoner noir in the style of The Big Lebowski.” I haven’t read it yet, naturally, as it has only been out for 48 hours, but this weekend is dedicated to one of the most universal pleasures of summer: leisure reading.

Thursday
Thomas Pynchon & You / Prairie Lights, Barnes & Noble, Java House, Sanctuary, College Green Park, etc / All Day / $27.95 (Amazon List Price)
Grab your copy where you can - we prefer to support locally, but if Prairie Lights is sold out (I have no idea how many copies they’re stocking), then you just may have to head out to the mall to pick yours up. Then pass the day hitting up your favorite readings spots and dig your teeth in.

Friday
Everyone / Everywhere / All night / That depends
Stay tuned tomorrow for a big monster post from John C, complete with mp3s, detailing all the Friday night craziness, with great shows coming to the Picador (metal!), the Yacht Club (dance rock!), the Mill (indie rock!), PS1 (gallery opening!), and some house (noise/out rock!). Damn!

Saturday
You & Thomas Pynchon / The Farmer’s Market, Your Couch, Hickory Hill, The Mill / All Day / That depends
Who says you have to read in one spot all day? Your eyes and brain will probably be exhausted after this reading binge, so finish up with a pint of Dead Guy and a meal at the Mill and then take in the Paul Cary show with Liberty Leg at the Mill, which happens to cost $6.

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