Slow Learner : "The apprentice work of a major novelist makes better reading than the nature productions of a dozen minor ones. Thomas Pynchon wrote four of the five stories in this book around the age of twenty-one, the fifth at twenty-seven. For all their energy and invention, they would now be forgotten had he written nothing else. But he went on to write V. (1963), The Crying of Lot 49 (1966), and Gravity's Rainbow (1973), each in turn the most profound and accomplished American novel since the end of World War II. Readers who discovered Pynchon's stories in little magazines in the late 1950s would have seen in them an adroit young talent that might bear watching. Readers who discover them now will find an exhilarating spectacle of greatness discovering its powers." -Edward Mendelson The New Republic.