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Ranking Author Thomas Pynchon’s Best Books (A Bibliography Countdown)

“What are Thomas Pynchon’s Best Books?” We looked at all of Pynchon’s authored bibliography and ranked them against one another to answer that very question!

We took all of the books written by Thomas Pynchon and looked at his Goodreads, Amazon, and LibraryThing scores, ranking them against one another to see which books came out on top. The books are ranked in our list below based on which titles have the highest overall score between all 3 review sites in comparison with all of the other books by the same author. The process isn’t super scientific and in reality, most books aren’t “better” than other books as much as they are just different. That being said, we do enjoy seeing where our favorites landed, and if you aren’t familiar with the author at all, the rankings can help you see what books might be best to start with.

The full ranking chart is also included below the countdown on the bottom of the page.

Happy Scrolling!



The Top Book’s Of Thomas Pynchon



8 ) Slow Learner: Early Stories

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 9
  • Amazon: 5
  • LibraryThing: 9

A collection of five stories written by the author between 1958 and 1964, four during the author’s time in college, providing a glimpse into American life during the late fifties and early sixties.



8 ) Bleeding Edge

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 8
  • Amazon: 9
  • LibraryThing: 6

It is 2001 in New York City, in the lull between the collapse of the dotcom boom and the terrible events of September 11th. Silicon Alley is a ghost town, Web 1.0 is having adolescent angst, Google has yet to IPO, Microsoft is still considered the Evil Empire. There may not be quite as much money around as there was at the height of the tech bubble, but there’s no shortage of swindlers looking to grab a piece of what’s left. Maxine Tarnow is running a nice little fraud investigation business on the Upper West Side, chasing down different kinds of small-scale con artists.



7 ) The Crying of Lot 49

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 6
  • Amazon: 8
  • LibraryThing: 5

The highly original satire about Oedipa Maas, a woman who finds herself enmeshed in a worldwide conspiracy, meets some extremely interesting characters, and attains a not inconsiderable amount of self knowledge.



6 ) Inherent Vice

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 5
  • Amazon: 6
  • LibraryThing: 7

Reluctantly investigating a kidnapping threat against his ex-girlfriend’s billionaire beau, Doc Sportello tackles a bizarre tangle of nefarious characters before stumbling on a mysterious entity that may actually be a tax shelter for a dental group.



5 ) Vineland

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 7
  • Amazon: 2
  • LibraryThing: 7

Follows the orbits of old acquaintances headed for a less than harmonic convergence in Northern California in 1984.



3 ) V.

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 4
  • Amazon: 3
  • LibraryThing: 3

Follows the orbits of old acquaintances headed for a less than harmonic convergence in Northern California in 1984.



3 ) Gravity’s Rainbow

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 3
  • Amazon: 6
  • LibraryThing: 1

Winner of the 1973 National Book Award, Gravity’s Rainbow is a postmodern epic, a work as exhaustively significant to the second half of the twentieth century as Joyce’s Ulysses was to the first. Its sprawling, encyclopedic narrative and penetrating analysis of the impact of technology on society make it an intellectual tour de force.



2 ) Mason & Dixon

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 2
  • Amazon: 3
  • LibraryThing: 4

The lives of two 18th century British astronomers who surveyed the boundary which settled a dispute between Maryland and Pennsylvania, and was later extended to become the boundary between free and slave states, the Mason-Dixon line. The novel describes their work in Africa and America, and traces their relationship.



1 ) Against the Day

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 1
  • Amazon: 1
  • LibraryThing: 2

A tale spanning the years between the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893 and the end of World War I features characters who are caught up in such events as the labor troubles of Colorado, the Mexican revolution, and the heyday of silent-movie Hollywood.



Thomas Pynchon’s Best Books



Thomas Pynchon Review Website Bibliography Rankings

Book Goodreads Amazon LibraryThing Overal Rank
Against the Day 1 1 2 1
Mason & Dixon 2 3 4 2
V. 4 3 3 3
Gravity’s Rainbow 3 6 1 3
Vineland 7 2 7 5
Inherent Vice 5 6 7 6
The Crying of Lot 49 6 8 5 7
Slow Learner: Early Stories 9 5 9 8
Bleeding Edge 8 9 6 8
A.M. Anderson

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