Friday, July 18, 2014

Six top books on surveillance

One title on the Barnes & Noble Review's list of six top books on surveillance:
The Crying of Lot 49
By Thomas Pynchon

Despite our potential entry into a devastating surveillance state, Big Brother wasn't watching hard enough to keep us from sneaking a sixth book onto this list. A major influence on everyone from David Foster Wallace to William Gibson to fake fact-finding comedian John Hodgman, this uncharacteristically slim volume from legendary postmodernist Thomas Pynchon finds heroine Oedipa Mass uncovering a worldwide conspiracy between two secret American postal services, each striving to control information and the means of its distribution. Pynchon's darkly comic, savagely witty fable foresaw Big Data before there ever was such a thing, and carries a savvy satirical critique that reads today as prescient and disturbingly conceivable.
Read about the other books on the list.

The Crying of Lot 49 is on John Mullan's list of ten of the best secret societies in literature.

Also see Seth Rosenfeld's five top books on the surveillance state.

--Marshal Zeringue