Sunday, October 11, 2009

Week 5 Picks

Right now I'm rooting for one 4-0 NFL team (the Broncos) and one 0-4 (the Bucs), and I suspect that after this week it's gonna be 4-1 and 0-5. Denver's win last week was stirring enough, though (I ran around a pool table, whooping in celebration), that I'm at least a believer that they really are a pretty good team.

I've been fighting off a cold all week -- it's kind of like the Battle of Verdun, in that I give a little ground, then the cold gives a little ground, then I give a little ground. Right now the French forces (me) are kind of on their heels so I doubt there will be much energy regardless of outcomes, but perhaps the healing powers of bloody marys will perk me up.

No longer awful, now just mediocre picks:

14 - Minnesota over St. Louis
13 - NY Giants over Oakland
12 - Pittsburgh over Detroit
11 - Buffalo over Cleveland
10 - NY Jets over Miami
9 - Dallas over Kansas City
8 - Baltimore over Cincinnati
7 - Indianapolis over Tennessee
6 - Jacksonville over Seattle
5 - Arizona over Houston
4 - Atlanta over San Francisco
3 - Carolina over Washington
2 - Philadelphia over Tampa Bay
1 - New England over Denver

* * *

#69 -- "Inherent Vice" by Thomas Pynchon

I almost feel like I'm cheating: a Pynchon novel that's almost completely linear, where I don't lose the whole thread for chapters at a time? A Pynchon novel that's (gulp) easy to understand?? What's going on?

The more I heard about "Inherent Vice" being far simpler than his other books, the more reluctant I was to read it, but thankfully it's the usual blast. I'm a sucker for the PI theme anyway, and just because the book's more straightforward doesn't mean it's lacking at all in big/crazy ideas, bizarre/hilarious references, and loads of weird shit. It reminded me a lot of "Vineland," probably his least popular novel but one I like a lot, and I think they share a few characters. And I'd also say there's more emotion and loss than in any of his other books (except, again, possibly "Vineland"), which gives it a bit more resonance for us real world folk.

Hell, I should never have doubted -- it's brilliant and fun. Sadly, I'm all caught up on Pynchon now after this and reading "Mason & Dixon" earlier in the year. I guess it's time to read "Infinite Jest," or go back to the TP starting point and read "V." or "Gravity's Rainbow" again.


Timothy said...

"Inherent Vice" = easy Christmas gift for your brother.

Timothy said...

Now finally reading it. It's nice that Gravity's Rainbow was the book that more or less ruined fiction for me, and this is drawing me back in.