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Mason & Dixon: A Novel

Pynchon, Thomas

Published by Henry Holt and Co., U.S.A., 1997
ISBN 10: 0805037586 / ISBN 13: 9780805037586
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About the Book

Bibliographic Details

Title: Mason & Dixon: A Novel

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co., U.S.A.

Publication Date: 1997

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Edition: 1st Edition


BOOK, TOP EDGE GREEN MARKER 3" WIDE, DOT ON BOTTOM EDGE. Bookseller Inventory # 007593

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Synopsis: The New York Times Best Book of the Year, 1997
Time Magazine Best Book of the Year 1997

Charles Mason (1728-1786) and Jeremiah Dixon (1733-1779) were the British surveyors best remembered for running the boundary between Pennsylvania and Maryland that we know today as the Mason-Dixon Line. Here is their story as re-imagined by Thomas Pynchon, featuring Native Americans and frontier folk, ripped bodices, naval warfare, conspiracies erotic and political, major caffeine abuse. We follow the mismatch'd pair--one rollicking, the other depressive; one Gothic, the other pre-Romantic--from their first journey together to the Cape of Good Hope, to pre-Revolutionary America and back, through the strange yet redemptive turns of fortune in their later lives, on a grand tour of the Enlightenment's dark hemisphere, as they observe and participate in the many opportunities for insanity presented them by the Age of Reason.

Review: A sprawling, complex, and comic work from one of the country's most celebrated and idiosyncratic authors, Mason & Dixon is Thomas Pynchon's Most Magickal reinvention of the 18th-century novel. It follows the lifelong partnership and adventures of the English surveyors Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon (of Mason-Dixon Line fame) as they travel the world mapping and measuring through an uncharted pre-Revolutionary America of Native Americans, white settlers, taverns, and bawdy establishments of ill-repute. Fans of the postmodern master of paranoia will recognize Pynchon's personality in the novel's first phrase: "Snow-Balls have flown their Arcs," a brief echo of the rockets that curve across the skies in the writer's masterpiece Gravity's Rainbow.

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