Critics have read the book as both an "exemplary postmodern text" and an outright parody of postmodernism. "Mike Fallopian cannot be a real character's name," protests one reviewer. Pynchon disparaged this book, writing in the prologue to his 1984 collection Slow Learner, "As is clear from the up-and-down shape of my learning curve, however, it was too much to expect that I'd keep on for long in this positive or professional direction. The next story I wrote was The Crying of Lot 49, which was marketed as a 'novel', and in which I seem to have forgotten most of what I thought I'd learned up until then."
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