A good answer would mention that the book certainly has many elements of a mystery novel, including clues and a detective figure. However, most mystery novels move toward a particular conclusion--the revelation of whodunit. In
A great answer would have to mention the fact that letters in this novel are good examples of failed communication. In the beginning of chapter three, for example, Oedipa gets a meaningless letter from Mucho that presumably contains only dull, pointless comments. She does not write him anything substantial either, for that matter; she will not tell him about her affair with Metzger. We also see that the people using the W.A.S.T.E. system are required to deliver mail once a week even if they have nothing to say. As a result, the system is based on the delivery of empty, pointless letters. Moreover, a letter is what sets Oedipa upon the whole mystery journey in the first place. By the end of the novel, because we have sufficient reason to believe that everything in the book may have been simply a prank on Oedipa, we must suspect that the initial letter on page one may be the beginning of falsehood.
Undoubtedly, the world of