Dan Chaon a new story.
Just before I turn out the lights...

Against the Day a page a day


For no better reason than that it is there to be done and my customers keep asking me if I have read it yet, I have decided to read Against the Day by Thomas Pynchon - but I am going to do it at the rate of one page per day. It's 1085 pages long, so by my reckoning (which admittedly is probably not pentium strength) I should be turning the final page sometime around Nov 24th 2009.

I shall be reading a box-damaged copy of the UK Jonathan Cape edition, though were I buying a copy to keep on my own bookshelf I would go for the US Penguin edition - not a great deal of difference between the two except that Penguin have sprung for a laminated cover which is mush less likely to get marked.

My copy was lying on the kitchen table last night when first born came into the room.

Woah, Dad, biiiiig book. She said. Dad, you're not actually going to read this are you?

I'm thinking about it, I said.

Are you going to review it?

I might do, just for fun, I said.

For fun! You're going to read all of that for a joke, are you mad?!


The trouble with big books like that, is that they just drone on and on and on and on, she added, the eldest child of a bookseller.

She did then proceeded to give me a top myspace tutorial though.



I'll race you. So far I'm on p.3.


Woah! Game on...


Oh Christ, do we have to get a MySpace page too?


Yeah, with music an everythink.


I was just reading about this at the weekend... I think it was Bryan Appleyard who didn't seem keen on it, but then he did say that he hadn't read any of Pynchon's before having been put off all that sort of genre by Barth, in the 70s. Ho hum!

Kate Allan

I noticed how thick this book looked in a bookshop, and also how stark the cover was. Too much of the doorstopper for me, I decided. Having said that I did manage Michael Faber's Crimson Petal and the White which was 800-odd pages. But I think when a book is that thick it makes the purchase decision harder.

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