The Crying of Lot 49 is a book that has been on my radar for a while, but I’ve discovered short books intimidate me. Passing it in Powell’s managed to be the catalyst that pushed me to read it. Good ol’ serendipity at work again.
Briefly, the book is about Oedipa Maas, who discovers she has been named the executor of the estate of a wealthy ex-boyfriend. In the course of sorting out his estate, Oedipa uncovers clues that piece together into a massive conspiracy. Maybe.
There’s something charming about Oedipa’s growing paranoia, with her drive to piece everything together and just be done with the whole ordeal overcoming her mounting ennui. It’s a great, quick read and would probably make an excellent Wes Anderson film. Might be a good plane book, if you’re in the market for that sort of thing.
Side note: The name for Radiohead’s online store, W.A.S.T.E., comes from a slogan of the conspirators in the Crying of Lot 49: We Await Silent Tristero’s Empire.