Inherent Vice

Inherent Vice

Book - 2009
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Part noir, part psychedelic romp, all Thomas Pynchon. Private eye Doc Sportello comes, occasionally, out of a marijuana haze to watch the end of an era as free love slips away and paranoia creeps in with the L.A. fog. It's been a while 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. Easy for her to say. It's the tail end of the psychedelic sixties in L.A., and Doc knows that 'love' is another of those words going around at the moment, like 'trip' or 'groovy', except that this one usually leads to trouble. Despite which he soon finds himself drawn into a bizarre tangle of motives and passions whose cast of characters includes surfers, hustlers, dopers and rockers, a murderous loan shark, a tenor sax player working undercover, an ex-con with a swastika tattoo and a fondness for Ethel Merman, and a mysterious entity known as the Golden Fang, which may only be a tax dodge set up by some dentists. 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 : Penguin Press, 2009.
Branch Call Number: FICTION
Characteristics: 369 p. ;,25 cm.


From Library Staff

List - Best intentions
StaffPickles Aug 25, 2015

Malcolm's pick(?). Third time's the charm? Nope! Yet another Pynchon novel I've started and given up on well before the end.

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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.

Aug 17, 2015

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

Jul 06, 2015

Could not get into it.....

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.

Jan 13, 2015

far out. where its at. tubular

Apr 20, 2010

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

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