Synopses & Reviews
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...
"[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
"[M]aster writer Pynchon has created a bawdy, hilarious, and compassionate electric-acid-noir satire spiked with passages of startling beauty." Booklist
"[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
"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
"Inherent Vice feels fizzily spontaneous — like a series of jazz solos, scenes, and conversations built around little riffs of language." Newsweek
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.