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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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.
Gregorio Roth, August 26, 2011 (view all comments by Gregorio Roth)
Thomas Pynchon is a writer who compels the reader to work hard through his books to find a gem at the end of his rainbow. If you want something easy Mr. Pynchon probably is not your cup of tea. But if you are willing to be submerged in a new experience Pynchon is your guide.
Here Pynchon, our rough guide, takes us to the Los Angeles neighborhood that surrounds LAX. The time is 1969, and the mood is hazy. Our government has us involved in a never ending war with a place called Vietnam. The economy is good not great. The beginning of the internet is here but it will not be released to the public till 1991. Charlie Manson has gotten every suburbanite scared of long haired freaks. There seems to be a quite buzz about that feels like it could blow up into a Technicolor Riot at any moment. This is where we find Doc, a private gum shoe, investigating the disappearance of his girlfriend.
Doc is more of a surfer than anything produced by Raymond Chandler. Pynchon does an incredible job of lifting up what subterranean currants made Los Angeles glow dim in the 1980’s. I really enjoyed this book and think that anyone who likes Elmore Leonard or Raymond Chandler would find this book a blast. It also could be the book for all of you interested in social history; with a need to find out what caused something that once was a dream into now a nightmare (stand for bankruptcy, and viral infections). All people who love Shelley Winters will love this book.
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Stephen Gerritson, January 26, 2011 (view all comments by Stephen Gerritson)
In his latest book, Pynchon returns to the wacky world of California in the late 60s that he first described in "The Crying of Lot 49." The plot is also similar: a vague mystery being investigated by an ex-surfer turned private eye who doesn't really know who is pulling the strings. Unlike his last book ("Seize the Day"), this one moves at a good pace and has a coherent story line. Its greatest strength is its humor, as Pynchon skewers the drug culture, southern California lifestyles, the police, and just about everyone and everything else. If you like Pynchon, you'll love this.
by O Magazine,
"[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."
"[M]aster writer Pynchon has created a bawdy, hilarious, and compassionate electric-acid-noir satire spiked with passages of startling beauty."
by New Yorker,
"[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."
by Library Journal,
"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."
"Inherent Vice feels fizzily spontaneous — like a series of jazz solos, scenes, and conversations built around little riffs of language."
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