The Crying of Lot 49

Characters

  • Oedipa Maas – The protagonist. After her ex-boyfriend, Pierce Inverarity, dies and she becomes co-executor of his estate, she discovers and begins to unravel what may or may not be a world conspiracy.
  • Wendell "Mucho" Maas – Oedipa's husband, Mucho once worked in a used-car lot but recently became a disc jockey for KCUF radio in Kinneret, California.
  • Metzger – A lawyer who works for Warpe, Wistfull, Kubitschek and McMingus. He has been assigned to help Oedipa execute Pierce's estate. He and Oedipa have an affair.
  • Miles, Dean, Serge and Leonard – The four members of the band The Paranoids, American teenagers who sing with British accents.
  • Dr. Hilarius – Oedipa's psychiatrist, who prescribes LSD to Oedipa as well as other housewives. He goes crazy and admits to being a former Nazi doctor at Buchenwald concentration camp, where he worked in a program on experimentally induced insanity.
  • Stanley Koteks – An employee of Yoyodyne Corporation who knows something about the Trystero. Oedipa meets him when she wanders into his office while touring the plant.
  • John Nefastis – A scientist obsessed with perpetual motion. He has tried to invent a type of Maxwell's demon to create a perpetual motion machine. Oedipa visits him to see the machine after learning about him from Stanley Koteks.
  • Randolph Driblette – A leading Wharfinger scholar and the director of The Courier's Tragedy, he commits suicide before Oedipa can get information from him, but meeting him spurs her to go on a quest to find the meaning behind Trystero.
  • Mike Fallopian – Oedipa and Metzger meet Fallopian in The Scope, a bar frequented by Yoyodyne employees. He tells them about The Peter Pinguid Society.
  • Genghis Cohen – The most eminent philatelist in the Los Angeles area, Cohen was hired to inventory and appraise the deceased's stamp collection. Oedipa and he discuss stamps and forgeries.
  • Professor Emory Bortz – Formerly of UC Berkeley, now teaching at San Narciso, Bortz wrote the editor's preface in a version of Wharfinger's works. Oedipa tracks him down to learn more about Trystero.

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