For some reason, I decided to pick up Gravity's Rainbow again. It's been in the queue for a long time, I don't even remember why I bought it originally. Maybe because I'd heard how important it was or how notoriously difficult it was to read. Nonetheless, once I bought it, I made the commitment to read it. I am now 375 pages into it. It has been such a slog. I thought dhalgren by Samuel R Delany (review with spoilers) was tough to read. Ha ha.
I think I've figured out partially why this is such a hassle to read. I found myself just blindly reading through without even trying to understand what's going on because otherwise I'd get upset and throw it out the window. Now that I'm nearly half done, I think I can point out some of what bothers me so. It's one thing to have a lot of characters. It's another thing to have a lot of characters that seemingly have no relevance or will never appear again. But it's a whole other thing to introduce these characters, have 20 pages of backstory that goes completely off into the ozone and then lose of track of whatever plot thread we're supposed to be on, or for it to suddenly change time and locale without transition. Not to mention it seems our main character (and possibly the entire population) is under the influence of hallucinogens.
I have spent the time and mental effort to plow through the first half, so I will finish it in one go but it's been slow going. I get through about 20 pages a day during the week, so you can do the math. That is assuming that it doesn't literally put me to sleep on the train. I've come close to nodding off more times than I'd like to admit, that should also say something, I'd say.
I would not recommend this book to anyone so far. We will see how I feel by the end. Wish me luck.