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7 Beaverton Literature- A to Z
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Inherent Vice

by

Inherent Vice Cover

ISBN13: 9780143117568
ISBN10: 0143117564
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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 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...

Review:

"[Pynchon] applies language to what we know and all we've missed — giving new shape to both....The book is exuberant, delightfully evocative of its era, and very funny." O Magazine

Review:

"[M]aster writer Pynchon has created a bawdy, hilarious, and compassionate electric-acid-noir satire spiked with passages of startling beauty." Booklist

Review:

"[A] slightly spoofy take on hardboiled crime fiction, a story in which the characters smoke dope and watch Gilligan's Island instead of sitting around a night club knocking back J&Bs." New Yorker

Review:

"With whip-smart, psychedelic-bright language, Pynchon manages to convey the Sixties — except the Sixties were never really like this. This is Pynchon's world, and it's brilliant." Library Journal

Review:

"Inherent Vice feels fizzily spontaneous — like a series of jazz solos, scenes, and conversations built around little riffs of language." Newsweek

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About the Author

Thomas Pynchon is the author of V, The Crying of Lot 49, Gravity's Rainbow, Slow Learner (a collection of short stories), Vineland, Mason and Dixon and, most recently, Against the Day. He received the National Book Award for Gravity's Rainbow in 1974.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 9 comments:

2bikefarm, October 22, 2014 (view all comments by 2bikefarm)
This is like the Platonic ideal of The Big Lebowski. Pynchon's absurdist, skewed style is perfect for this vintage of 1970's burnt out hippie beach bum detective amble. The prose is dense at times but always worth savoring. Often I found my self laughing out loud only after the third reading of a line, which somehow suddenly made all the subtle humor absolutely radiant... and that's Pynchon all the way for you, the trip is the destination.
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novacop923, January 10, 2012 (view all comments by novacop923)
This book is -- dare I say -- the single greatest bit of sleight-of-hand in the 'Literature with a Capital L' section!

Personally, I think he's been waiting his whole life just to write that book (y'know: "PLOP! Here ya go!").

It's simplicity is elusive & pleasurable & manages to not "shy away" from any of the darker elements of the '60s w/o being a bummer (hence the quote used on the paperback ed., calling it a "throwaway masterwork").

It certainly has some of that "marijuana humor" he & his Cornell pal were so "tickled by, in inverse proportion to the availability of that useful substance" (to quote from his "Introduction" in "Slow Learner").

The three consecutive paragraphs where the reader follows Doc in his "spacing" what had just recently happened ("No, we just ATE the food, Doc!" "No, it's o.k. to leave .. we DID pay!") just killed me! [Not verbatim quotes there, but ... so SUE me! I guess I must have SPACED them, too!]

ALSO: A great introduction to Pynchon for the neophyte, since "The Crying of Lot 49" does, admittedly, end rather abruptly!
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Ian Elrick, September 1, 2011 (view all comments by Ian Elrick)
Halfway through this one and loving it. This is a much more straight forward read than any of his other works, but very much a Pynchon book. Great for summer.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780143117568
Author:
Pynchon, Thomas
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
20100731
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
8.38x5.52x.82 in. .71 lbs.
Age Level:
17-17

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Inherent Vice New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$17.00 In Stock
Product details 384 pages Penguin Books - English 9780143117568 Reviews:
"Review" by , "[Pynchon] applies language to what we know and all we've missed — giving new shape to both....The book is exuberant, delightfully evocative of its era, and very funny."
"Review" by , "[M]aster writer Pynchon has created a bawdy, hilarious, and compassionate electric-acid-noir satire spiked with passages of startling beauty."
"Review" by , "[A] slightly spoofy take on hardboiled crime fiction, a story in which the characters smoke dope and watch Gilligan's Island instead of sitting around a night club knocking back J&Bs."
"Review" by , "With whip-smart, psychedelic-bright language, Pynchon manages to convey the Sixties — except the Sixties were never really like this. This is Pynchon's world, and it's brilliant."
"Review" by , "Inherent Vice feels fizzily spontaneous — like a series of jazz solos, scenes, and conversations built around little riffs of language."
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