Wednesday, May 21, 2014

the last book I ever read (Thomas Pynchon's Vineland, excerpt one)

from Vineland by Thomas Pynchon:

What the federal computers this morning had not brought to Hector’s attention was that the alleys today were scheduled for junior regional semifinals. Kids were in town from all over the northern counties to compete on these intricately mortised masterpiece alleys, dating back to the high tide of the logging business in these parts, when the big houses framed all in redwood had gone up and legendary carpenters had appeared descending from rain-slick stagecoaches, geniuses with wood who could build you anything from a bowling alley to a Carpenter Gothic outhouse. Balls struck pins, pins struck wood, echoes of collision came thundering in from next door along with herds of kids in different bowling jackets, each carrying at least one ball in a bag plus precarious stacks of sodas and food, each squeaking open the screen door between lanes and restaurant, letting it squeak shut into the next kid, who’d squeak it open again. Didn’t take many of these repetitions to have an effect on Zoyd’s lunch companion, whose eyes were flicking back and forth as he hummed a tune that not till sixteen bars in did Zoyd recognize as “Meet the Flintstones,” from the well-known TV cartoon show. Hector finished the tune and looked sourly at Zoyd. “Any of these yours?”

Here it was. OK, “What are you sayin’, Hector?”

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