Inherent Vice

Inherent Vice

eBook - 2012
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A Best Book of the Year for the Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, and Los Angeles TimesPart noir, part psychedelic romp, all Thomas Pynchon -- private eye Doc Sportello surfaces, occasionally, out of a marijuana haze to watch the end of an era.It's been awhile since Doc Sportello has seen his ex-girlfriend. Suddenly out of nowhere she shows up with a story about a plot to kidnap a billionaire land developer whom she just happens to be in love with. It's the tail end of the psychedelic sixties in L.A., and Doc knows that "love" is another one of those words going around at the moment, like "trip" or "groovy," except this one usually leads to trouble.In this lively yarn, Thomas Pynchon, working in an unaccustomed genre, provides a classic illustration of the principle that if you can remember the sixties, you weren't there . . . or . . . if you were there, then you . . . or, wait, is it . .
Publisher: New York : The Penguin Press, 2012
ISBN: 9781101594674
Branch Call Number: EBOOK
Notes: Title from eBook information screen

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jackseney Dec 19, 2015

This might not be the book to start Pynchon with, since it's impossible to see what all the worship of him is for based on it. It's sometimes interesting in an absurd way and has periods of amusement, but "genius?" No. I found Pynchon's earlier "Vineland" better, though that seemed based on the Kerouac back to Pound-Joyce-Firbank-Wyndham Lewis stream-of-consciousness style continuum and so wasn't exactly "brilliant" either. But even that level of "originality" is not to be found here, where we have nothing more than a story about a pothead detective at "the end of the 60s" which inadvertently makes a case for total sobriety. Along the way, there are way too many characters with annoyingly cutesy hippy-like names. Sporadically funny for the uninitiated, but it's mostly only for those who think they'll be initiated.

l
lukasevansherman
Dec 17, 2015

This is one of the worst books I've ever read by a major writer. And I say this as someone who liked "The Crying of Lot 49" and "V." A shaggy, druggy dog detective story set in 1970s California, it's an unlikely and unsuccessful mash of "The Big Lebowski," Raymond Chandler, Cheech & Chong and just about every TV Show about P.I.s. Though it's nice to see him in a lighter mood, the book is strained, unfunny, irritating and crappy. Yeah, it's really bad. Paul Thomas Anderson's recent adaptation was a vast improvement on the source material. And would it kill Pynchon to put be photographed for the book jacket? The whole reclusive genius shtick is pretty old.

m
MarkMatsuzaki
Aug 17, 2015

I really enjoyed this novel even though I couldn't follow every part of the plot

a
alacombe3
Jul 06, 2015

Could not get into it.....

d
dtaylz
Mar 13, 2015

This book is beautiful. It somehow manages to be fully as wacky-psychedelic as the comic books I was reading when Ripoff Press and Zap were in their glory days while at the same time distinguishing itself as a first-rate private-eye story that evokes LA more vividly than anyone I've read since Raymond Chandler, also treating the English language with the skill and affection that Chandler did. And it's funny as hell even in the midst of the despair and disillusion that characterize noir fiction.

l
lukasevansherman
Feb 20, 2015

I don't often say this, but the film is much better.

b
benstone08
Jan 13, 2015

far out. where its at. tubular

j
jameswouter
Apr 20, 2010

unreadable and a waste of time I'll have to watch the movie.

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