In the second half of the book, Oedipa really takes this mail conspiracy to a new extreme. At first, she thinks she has a lead with a group of people bar hopping, but then discovers that they have nothing to do with W.A.S.T.E., or at least not really. After she discovers this, she wanders around the city, seeing the muted horn everywhere, and discovering all sorts of different underground groups that use the sing for their group. then she happens to wander across an old man with the tattoo of the horn on his hand, and he gives her a letter to take to the make-shift underground mail box under the freeway. She does this, and then follows the mailman before randomly being intercepted by a deaf-mute convention’s dance. She goes and finds a friend of hers that has found out all sorts of interesting things about the history of the group, but then she starts having her doubts about the whole situation. She then starts to think that maybe this is all in her head, so she goes to her shrink, who is in the process of going postal because he thinks that people are after him. After that episode, she realizes that all the men in her life are leaving her, and that she is probably just losing her mind. towards the very end, her friend lets her know that the stamp collection has gone to auction, and that he has heard about a very interested buyer that may be someone from W.A.S.T.E. that just wants to cover up any evidence of the organization that may get in to the wrong hands. She goes to the auction to confront him, and the book ends.
This entire book was… confusing, to put it mildly. So many backwards ideas and concepts going on, lots of different ideas and plots and problems intertwined through out the story. And at the very end, the main plot, the base conspiracy that the entire book is basically based on, is left with a cliff hanger. Dun dun dun….
I beleive the author did this in an ironic move to poke fun at all the cliff hangers that classic literature has. But, he took it to the next level and made it a real cliff hanger that will never be solved by ending the book right before what could have been a very interesting, possibly satisfying climax to this otherwise wildly mixed up story.
Why do you think he did this? Is there an end to this story? Would there have ever been an end to this story even if the author had written it into the story? Or is that the point, that there is no end? Is the lack of end the end as it was meant to be? Or does the author just have a sick sense of humor?