Reading: Vineland in the Mainstream Press: A Reception Study

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Vineland in the Mainstream Press: A Reception Study

Author:

Douglas Keesey

Cal Poly
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Abstract

More than any other Pynchon novel, Vineland was a phenomenal popular success, holding its own on the New York Times Bestseller List for a surprising total of thirteen weeks (January 21–April 15, 1990). Not all book reviewers, however, were as enthusiastic as the book-buying public. A March 1990 letter to the London Review of Books claimed to have spotted a trend, noting the "general critical denunciation of the new book" and calculating the "current ratio" as about "three-to-one against" (Walker). While this negative press may characterize Vineland's reception in Britain (London Times, London Observer, London Review of Books), my informal estimate of the American reviews is three-to-two in favor. Many of this country's major publications gave Vineland positive notices (Time, Newsweek) and, in some important cases, glowing reviews (New York Times Book Review, New Yorker, Los Angeles Times Book Review).
How to Cite: Keesey, D., (1990). Vineland in the Mainstream Press: A Reception Study. Pynchon Notes. (26-27), pp.107–113. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/pn.277
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Published on 22 Sep 1990.
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