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, a small-time rock band consisting of marijuana-smoking American teenagers who sing with British accents and have haircuts inspired by The Beatles.
  • Dr. Hilarius – Oedipa's psychiatrist, who tries to prescribe LSD to Oedipa as well as other housewives. Toward the end of the book, he goes crazy and admits to being a former Nazi medical intern at Buchenwald concentration camp, where he worked in a program on experimentally-induced insanity, which he supposed was a more "humane" way of dealing with Jewish prisoners than outright execution.
  • 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; however, the visit is unproductive and she runs out the door after he propositions her.
  • Randolph "Randy" Driblette – Director of The Courier's Tragedy by Jacobean playwright Richard Wharfinger and a leading Wharfinger scholar; he deflects Oedipa's questions and dismisses her theories when she approaches him taking a shower after the show; later, he commits suicide by walking into the Pacific before Oedipa can follow up with him, but the initial meeting with 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, a right-wing, anti-government organization that he belongs to.
  • 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, and he discovers the horn symbol watermark on Inverarity's stamps.
  • 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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