Gravity's Rainbow

Infected with the prevailing fondness out here for mindless pleasures

Gravity’s Rainbow
This section serves as a repository for information about Gravity’s Rainbow. Although some of this information may be duplicated elsewhere in Spermatikos Logos, you will also find some original works which may be of great help to both the neophyte and the expert reader of the novel.

Spermatikos Logos Resources

GR Summary – This summary by Dr Larry Daw breaks the book down chapter by chapter, providing a witty synopsis for each one.

GR Introduction – The Quail’s introduction for the First Time Reader gives an overview of the novel, providing notes on structure, themes, and potential pitfalls.

GR Structural Analysis – The Quail’s analysis highlights the structure of the novel and provides some thought on liturgical dates, occult symbolism, and elements of heroic mythology.

The Illustrated Complete Summary of Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow – This sister site holds Dr Larry Daw’s summary, illustrated with a wealth of original images lovingly created with Adbobe Photoshop.

Zak Smith's Illustrations for Each Page of Gravity's Rainbow – A staggering 755 illustrations by artist Zak Smith, depicting the events and imagery of GR.

Offsite Resources Gravity's Rainbow this wiki, created by Tim Ware and a legion of wiki contributors, offers page-by-page and alphabetical guides to Pynchon's magnum opus. Also see Tim's original content at

Gravity's Rainbow at Google Books – the full text of the novel, with text search function.

Pomona College Gravity’s Rainbow Page – This site has some interesting articles about V-2 rockets, Werner von Braun, and other elements from the book.

Wikipedia: Gravity's Rainbow Also includes a list of episodes in GR.

A Companion’s Companion – Donald Larson’s “Illustrated Additions and Corrections to Steven Weisenburger’s A Gravity’s Rainbow Companion.” (Mr. Larson's content was folded in to the Pynchonwiki project.)

Hyperbola: A Digital Companion to Gravity’s Rainbow – Created by Stuart Moulthrop – as if a name like that wasn’t a nudge from destiny – this page contains a hypercard stack that may be freely downloaded. A digital companion to GR, it is compatible only with the Macintosh platform. (apparently no longer online)


Some Things That “Happen” (More or Less) in Gravity’s Rainbow
Bell, Michael Davitt
A chapter by chapter summary of Gravity’s Rainbow, considered by some to be the single best resource for reading GR the first time through. No longer online at its original web address, but available via

Male Pro-Feminism and the Masculine Giganticism of Gravity’s Rainbow
Chapman, Wes
From the May 1996 issue of Postmodern Culture, this paper discusses sex and politics in Pynchon’s masterpiece. and the New Democracy of Opinion
Ketzan, Erik
Using Gravity’s Rainbow as a case study, Ketzan discusses the merits and flaws of’s user-review forum.

Paperware to Vaporware, The Nativity of Tyrone Slothrop
Lannark, Douglas Kløvedal
A detailed astrological account of Tyrone Slothrop. Online at Otto Sell’s Die sauberen Schweine.

Modernist Reading; Postmodernist Text: the Case of Gravity’s Rainbow
McHale, Brian
As the title suggests, this is a modernist reading of Pynchon’s masterpiece by postmodern scholar Brian McHale.

“The Feathery Rilke Mustaches and Porky Pig Tattoo on Stomach”: High and Low Pressures in Gravity’s Rainbow
Raudaskoski, Heikki
A discussion of the many aspecrts of the Zone by a professor from the University of Oulu in Finland. Kept at the Pomona College page.

“Look! Up in the Sky! It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s...Rocketman!” : Pynchon’s Comic Book Mythology in Gravity’s Rainbow
Stevens, H. Brenton
Gravity’s Rainbow, Pynchon, and comic books. Online at Middle Tennessee State University. No longer online at its original web address, but available via


One of the Longest, Most Difficult, Most Ambitious Novels in Years
Locke, Richard
From the March 11, 1973 New York Times, this is a famous review by the editor of the NYRB, and does a great job of pinpointing the major themes of Gravity’s Rainbow, even if Locke found parts of it cold and dull.


Gravity's Rainbow (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)
[Frank Miller cover]
Thomas Pynchon / Paperback / Published 2006

Gravity’s Rainbow (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics, New Edition) [Orange cover, rough-cut pages]
Thomas Pynchon / Paperback / Published 2000

Gravity’s Rainbow (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics, Old Edition) [Blue diagram cover]
Thomas Pynchon / Paperback / Published 1995

Gravity’s Rainbow
Thomas Pynchon / Paperback / Published 2000

A ’Gravity’s Rainbow’ Companion : Sources and Contexts for Pynchon’s Novel
Steven C. Weisenburger / Paperback / Published 1988

Pictures Showing What Happens on Each Page of Thomas Pynchon's Novel Gravity's Rainbow
Zak Smith / Hardcover and Paperback / Published 2006

Pynchon’s Mythography: An Approach to Gravity’s Rainbow (Crosscurrents/Modern Critiques, Third Series)
Kathryn Hume / Hardcover / Published 1987

The Style of Connectedness: Gravity’s Rainbow and Thomas Pynchon
Thomas Moore / Hardcover / Published 1987

Alice’s adventures in wonderland and Gravity’s rainbow: a study in duplex fiction
Danuta Zadworna-Fjellestad (Out Of Print)

Approaches to Gravity’s Rainbow
Charles Clerc(Editor). (Out Of Print)

Pynchon: Creative Paranoia in ’Gravity’s Rainbow’
Mark Richard Siegel. (Out Of Print)

A Reader’s Guide to Gravity’s Rainbow
Douglas Fowler. (Out Of Print)

Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow (Modern Critical Interpretations)
Harold Bloom(Editor). (Out Of Print)

Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity Rainbow : A Study of Its Conceptual Structure and of Rilke’s Influence (American University Studies : Series Iv, English Lan)
Charles Hohmann. (Out Of Print)

–Allen B. Ruch &
Dr Larry Daw &
Erik Ketzan
May 2009

“Welcome to Dr. Larry’s World of Discomfort,” he would whisper, going through the paperwork.
Contact Dr Larry Daw if you have any questions or comments about Pynchon.

Goodo,” said Picnic, blinking. “Man, look at the quail.”
Contact the Great Quail if you have any suggestions, submissions, or criticisms about this site.

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