Inherent Vice

Inherent Vice

Book - 2009
Average Rating:
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Part 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

In this lively yarn, Thomas Pynchon, working in an unaccustomed genre that is at once exciting and accessible, provides a classic illustration of the principle that if you can remember the sixties, you weren't there.

It's been a while since Doc Sportello has seen his ex- girlfriend. Suddenly 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 of those words going around at the moment, like "trip" or "groovy," except that this one usually leads to trouble. Undeniably one of the most influential writers at work today, Pynchon has penned another unforgettable book.
Publisher: New York : Penguin Press, 2009
ISBN: 9780143117568
9781594202247
1594202249
Branch Call Number: FICTION Pyn
Characteristics: 369 pages ; 25 cm

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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 awhile since Doc Sportello has seen his ex-girlfriend. Suddenly out of... Read More »


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j
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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