Cryptonomicon! Comedy! Codes!

Book number four!

Firstly, I find this book hilarious. I've read aloud multiple passages to my friends/roommate (eventually they got annoyed I was reading so much) My favorite was the first paragraphs of the first chapter (Barrens, p. 5)
"After about three billion years of this sometimes zany, frequently tedious fugue of carnality and carnage, Godfrey Waterhouse IV was boring in Murdo, South Dakota...Like every other creature on the face of the earth, Godfrey was, by birthright, a stupendous badass"
excellent. that means the rest of us are stupendous badasses as well =)

I also found the passage starting on page 58 very funny.



In looking up what to expect when encountering Cryptonomicon, I discovered the Cryptonomicon ecard. Pretty awesome, guys.

E-Cards, yay!

The Great Concavity/Convexity?


So this blog is about to come in a great deal of handy (...?) right now for me. Here's the deal:
I'm writing for my portfolio for the English major right now, and that includes a dystopian future type story. Basically, in the story, Africa has become similar to what the Great Concavity/Convexity is in IJ. I actually had the idea for the story and the landscape before reading IJ, but this is so perfect it will only help inform my writing.
I would love to reread the sections describing it and its formation to further inspire my description of the landscape in my story, but I'm having the hardest time finding all the parts. I KNOW there are more.

Pamela Hoffman-Jeep


After all the discussion about being forced out into the world and forced to abandon infant-like innocence I though Pamela Hoffman-Jeep's character, the girl that "spent most of her life passed out and sleeping" was an interesting example of someone that is managing to retain that infant-like innocence. Only such a character is perpetually taken advantage of, and the "single passivest person" Gately's ever met (924). So staying "beyond" the corruption of the world isn't really that attractive either. As "Death's Poster-Child," is she an illustration of how someone that resists the world is just waiting for death?

I think it's time for...Your favorite, thus far

Infinite Jest
46% (6 votes)
31% (4 votes)
Gravity's Rainbow
23% (3 votes)
I'm lame and hate all of the books.
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 13

Gately's dreams

Gately keeps having these dreams, or rather, nightmares, about Orientals (begins on page 809) while he's lying in the hospital bed. In his dream he is robbing an Oriental man and he tries to blindfold him using twine (which is clearly too thin) and so the Oriental keeps looking back at him, "blink inscrutably." When I read this I kept thinking, "Why is he using twine?" but that maybe it was supposed to be because Gately had the idea that Asian eyes were so small that they could be covered with twine. He also mentions that the Oriental was wearing "a silk robe and scary sandals, and had no hair on its legs." First of all, why is the Oriental sexless? Why does Gately use the word "it" to describe the Oriental? I guess the biggest question I have is why is Gately apparently so afraid of Asians? I thought maybe it was supposed to represent the pervasive ethnocentricity that Americans believe in.

Drugs and Capitalism

Okay so this was going to be in response to GrumpyMutt's post from below, but it got too long. Although they are indeed not for the faint of heart, the commercials from that post are fascinating (, especially in the context of Infinite Jest, and I would recommend everyone watch them. Okay so here's my reaction: first of all, these advertisements reminded me immediately of Requiem For a Dream. Like the film, they were effective not so much in staving off drug use (I didn't plan to start using meth or heroin anyway) but rather in burning an incredibly disturbing imprint into my mind.

what the...

Okay, can someone please explain the last scene with Orin and Luria P--- that starts on 971?

As for the ending, as someone has already mentioned in their blog, it is definitely not a very cheery scene. I'm not very surprised that the ending wasn't anything more conclusive or uplifting, because, quite frankly, this book was just depressing. It had its moments of ludicrous hilarity, but overall, I just felt really bad for a lot of, if not all of, the characters. Everyone is so emotionally messed up that they deserve a hug...or maybe not (if you remember that scene with Ken Erdedy and Poor Tony that starts on 503). It's fitting that the ending matches the criticism what people expect out of entertainment. We want something that is wrapped up neatly at the end and leaves us with warm, fuzzy feelings; instead, we get relapse and a feeling that nothing changed for the better.


Hal and Gately converged in some ways near the end. Both end up attending Ennet house meetings, and are connected to Joelle, and have a dangerous addiction to drugs, but there's more....

I feel like we a got a lot of horizontal or reposed imagery near the end, especially with the two of them. There was the scene where Hal was lying in his room and can't get up (902), and the scene with Gately falling onto the floor when he's really drugged up (938), Gately being stuck in the hospital bed, and of course the end, with Gately lying on the cold sand at the beach. All of these reposed positions kept evoking a death/corpse image for me.

Last words


The last word of Underworld was "Peace", which obviously had some deeper meaning.
Here, however, the last words are "And when he came back to, he was flat on his back on the beach in the freezing sand, and it was raining out of a low sky, and the tide was out."
Not a very cheery scene really. At first, I found it interesting that Wallace decided to end with Gately and not one of the Incandenza's. But then I decided I knew most about Gately anyway- he was the most transparent character in the end. Or the character tha we know the most about. Most of the questions about Gately were resolved (unlike Hal and Orin, I thought, but maybe I missed something. always a possibility)

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