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Against the Day by Thomas Pynchon
Against the Day begins at the Chicago World's Fair in 1893. A group of balloonists named the Chums of Chance float above the city, ostensibly spying on anarchists below. In Colorado, an anarchist and pro-union engineer named Webb Traverse is murdered by henchman of mine owner Scarsdale Vibe, casting his sons into the world in search of vengeance and more. Vibe wants to control technology for tyranny and profit. There's the search for the Iceland Spar, a stunningly clear crystal that allows interdimensional travel, split personalities, and creation of a weapon of awesome power. For the next thirty years, the Chums of Chance and Webb Traverse's sons intermingle with world history and intrigue, caught up in the perpetual battle between the haves and the have nots, and are joined by characters both fictional and historical. This is but a small section of plot of Thomas Pynchon's mammoth novel. Against the Day has received mostly positive reviews with the Philadelphia Inquirer saying, "Simple choice: You want goofy names, kooky groups, multi-claused, roller-coaster, Nabokovian sentences, pop-culture sarcasm, abstruse intellectual arabesques, 10-dollar words, inside jokes, fey attributions, self-parodying guides to interpretation - buy Against the Day."