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The Crying of Lot 49 | Study Guide

Thomas Pynchon

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The Crying of Lot 49 | Chapter Summaries

See Chapter Summaries Chart

Timeline of Events

  • A summer day in the 1960s

    Oedipa Maas receives a letter naming her executor of Pierce Inverarity's estate.

    Chapter 1
  • The next day

    Oedipa goes to San Narciso to research Pierce's assets and engages in an affair with Metzger.

    Chapter 2
  • Sometime later

    Oedipa and Metzger see The Courier's Tragedy, and Oedipa first hears the word Tristero.

    Chapter 3
  • Sometime later

    Oedipa follows leads about the Tristero and ends up scrutinizing Pierce's stamp collection.

    Chapter 4
  • Shortly after

    Oedipa spends a hallucinogenic day and night following the muted post horn through San Francisco.

    Chapter 5
  • The next day

    One by one, Oedipa loses all the important men in her life.

    Chapter 5
  • Several days later

    Oedipa attends the auction of Pierce's estate.

    Chapter 6

Chapter Summaries Chart

Chapter Summary
Chapter 1 Arriving at her Southern California home, Oedipa Maas learns she has been chosen as the executor of her ex-boyfriend's w... Read More
Chapter 2 Oedipa drives down to San Narciso, a place "less an identifiable city than a grouping of concepts," to look into Pierce'... Read More
Chapter 3 The narrator mentions the "Tristero" for the first time, saying Oedipa's "infidelity with Metzger" was the "starting poi... Read More
Chapter 4 Oedipa becomes so enmeshed in following her leads that "everything she saw, smelled, dreamed, remembered, would somehow ... Read More
Chapter 5 Oedipa leaves Metzger behind and drives north to Berkeley. She stays at a hotel hosting a deaf-mute conference. She has ... Read More
Chapter 6 Back at her hotel in San Narciso, Oedipa finds out Metzger has run off to elope with the girlfriend of Paranoids band me... Read More
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