by Thomas Pynchon
In BriefAs the Second World War draws to a close, a cast of bizarre and colourful characters race each other across Europe through a series of comical sideshows, diversions and misadventures, all in search of the secret behind the mysterious 00000 rocket. Peculiar forces, shadowy agencies, and individuals just out for a great time collide in this quintessentially postmodern rollercoaster of a novel.
Why you should read itTwo words: bragging rights. A well-thumbed copy of Gravity's Rainbow on your coffee table grants you automatic right to be snooty in front of your fellow literary buffs. When they express their admiration, simply roll your eyes and say 'Come on, it's not rocket science. Well, except for the parts that are rocket science.'