The Crying of Lot 49 is a novella by Thomas Pynchon. Here is a photograph of Thomas Pynchon:
This book is thin. Like most purchasers of this book, I bought it at the SFO bookstore because I wanted the person next to me on the plane to think I was literary and obscure but I didn't want to carry anything too heavy.
This book exists to be clever. It is a series of clever ideas loosely chained into the beginnings of a story. It basks in this cleverness for 120 unbearably slow pages until it ends with a terrible cliffhanger.