Literary Novels - The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon - YANAPOP by John Argo

Literary Stories: Film & Fiction

Site is in work. Just getting started. Lots more to come.

Purpose. My main goal in creating this website is to bring my own darkly comedic fantasy (novel) YANAPOP to the popular attention. A literary work speaks for itself—please give it a fair shake and read it. It's a quick read, and I think you'll have a great time.

Start here: YANAPOP is the name of a fictional media conglomerate in Los Angeles. Our hero, young writer Martin Brown, meets the angel of his dreams, Chloë Setreal at a job fair. No sooner has he returned to San Diego, than Chloë phones and says she needs him. Martin hops in his car, glad for an excuse to see her again. What should be a quiet two hour drive along the Pacific coast becomes an epic adventure that will leave you almost as terrified and breathless as Martin. This imaginative saga rivals any wild story written in human history—trust me.

My Favorites. As an English Major (B.A., University of Connecticut) and lifelong reader, I have read a great amount of literary work spanning thousands of years, from the ancient Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh through the Classical Hellenistic ages, and through the centuries right up until today. I've furthermore translated Ovid, Vergil, Catullus, Goethe, Verlaine, and Rilke among others. I could probably name easily over one hundred favorites.

For all of that, my personally most beloved novel is Thomas Pynchon's 1966 novel The Crying of Lot 49. I fell in love with it one dramatic night while marooned on the remote Storrs campus during winter break in my sophomore year. It's a love story that never ends.

Homages. I don't write imitations of other poets or novelists. I do, however (as I will explain here in due time) enter that shaman space and time created by a great artist like Ray Bradbury or F. Scott Fitzgerald and other greats, including the youthful Thomas Pynchon in his Odyssey of Oedipa Maas & Co. I don't strive to imitate, nor do I consciously retrace another author's creative steps. However, when I am caught up in the wonder of a novel like Pynchon's, or a movie like Ridley Scott's Alien or my all-time favorite movie Blade Runner (1980s version), I bring a bit of their magic with me into my own shaman journey. In the case of The Crying of Lot 49, the homage took nearly half a century to arrive, and I didn't realize what I had written until the dust settled around YANAPOP. I'll explain more soon.

Literary Film. I've already mentioned Ridley Scott, my top favorite director. Another favorite is Martin Scorsese, whose dark comedy After Hours has to rank as my all-time favorite comedic film. In reviewing YANAPOP, I often compare it (each for its differing reasons) with After Hours. Other films in this genre include The Out-of-Towners (1970 with Sandy Dennis and Jack Lemmon); Groundhog Day (1993 with Andie MacDowell and Bill Murray). There are others, but I'll mention just one more that piles on the absurd: John Dal's 1994 neo-noir erotic thriller The Last Seduction starring Linda Fiorentino.

Bookstore Metaphor: Read Half Free/try-buy. Best deal in town for everyone. Think about the economics of it: you walk into your favorite bookstore (free). You sit and read as long as you want (free). If you really like a book, and want to take it home so you can finish reading and find out how it ends, you buy the book. Similar deal here. By the time you read half a book, you'll know if you want to buy it and find out how it ends. No surprises except the ending, which is well worth it. For the price of a cup of coffee (how painful is that?) you can buy the e-book safe & secure at Amazon.com. The coffee is gone in minutes, but a book lasts you a lifetime. Great investment. The slogan is: Read-a-Latte. More on that at Galley City (dot com). For now, please stay here and read one of the most enjoyable novels you'll find in years: YANAPOP by John Argo, a San Diego author.