Saturday, September 7, 2013

Five notable--and ambitious--debut novels

At The Barnes & Noble Book Blog Melissa Albert tagged five notable--and ambitious--debut novels, including:
V., by Thomas Pynchon.

This time- and country-hopping novel, bristling with disparate narratives and eccentrically named characters, loosely coalesces around the search for a constantly morphing creature/concept that goes by the name of V. It opens on grade-A schlemiel Benny Profane, fresh out of the Navy and slumming around New York, and ends on the shores of Malta; what comes in between is impossible to synopsize. Prior to V.’s release in 1963, Pynchon was an unknown. What happened after (sudden fame, National Book Award nomination, pathological publicity shyness) has been mythologized to the point that for years I believed he once vaulted out a window and jumped onto a conveniently passing bus to Mexico rather than talk to reporters (I still like to think this happened).
Read about the other debuts on the list.

V. also made John Mullan's list of ten of the best erotic dreams in literature.

--Marshal Zeringue