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Inherent Vice: A Novel by Thomas Pynchon
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Inherent Vice: A Novel (original 2009; edition 2010)

by Thomas Pynchon

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,148764,583 (3.6)111
Member:tomcatMurr
Title:Inherent Vice: A Novel
Authors:Thomas Pynchon
Info:Penguin (Non-Classics) (2010), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Lit Fic

Work details

Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon (2009)

  1. 30
    The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon (johnxlibris)
    johnxlibris: Similar feel and locale. Conspiracies abound.
  2. 20
    The Illuminatus! Trilogy by Robert Shea (Bigrider7)
    Bigrider7: A pair of whimsical books where reality is never quite what it appears, and is much more indiscrete and lacking in continuity than many of us can handle. Secrets about how life operates lurking just beyond the views of perceptions
  3. 20
    The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler (LamontCranston)
  4. 00
    Epitaph for a Tramp and Epitaph for a Dead Beat: The Harry Fannin Detective Novels by David Markson (bertilak)
  5. 12
    Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson (smichaelwilson)
    smichaelwilson: Both books take a dark yet whimsical journey through the 60s/70s counterculture, and the decay of America's cultural enlightenment.
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» See also 111 mentions

English (69)  Dutch (3)  Italian (2)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (76)
Showing 1-5 of 69 (next | show all)
A pesar de las críticas que ha recibido esta novela por parte de críticos medio snobs, Inherent vice me pareció un libro genial. Divertido, complejo, coloquial, laberíntico. ( )
  LeoOrozco | Feb 26, 2019 |
It is no great surprise when this pothead noir changes location from coastal southern California to Las Vegas, Correct, think [b:Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas|7745|Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas|Hunter S. Thompson|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1333056001s/7745.jpg|1309111]. Inherant Vice is not bound by similar streams of endless paraphernalia but rather takes the vantage point that Thompson employed, looking back from the dark hues of Nixonia across the ruins of Altamont to the legacy of Great Promise. Pynchon layers the atmosphere with puns, free love and a high tide of chemical paranoia. Doc, his protagonist, is on the cusp of a sinister conspiracy but unfortunately falls asleep or burns one at moments of elucidation. The birth of the internet assists, but requires an enormous cost. The bliss of free radio is trumpeted. Pop music does tend to dominate the narrative. Surf rock reigns here. This is a rollicking good time but one which warns in our own age of Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning.
( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
This was my first Pynchon novel, and it will probably be my last. He's a fine writer, but as another reviewer put it, his stuff is "dick lit". Maybe if I had tried reading him when I was younger I would have been more impressed.... ( )
  jtdancer | Jun 30, 2018 |
I am sad to say I found myself completely annoyed by this one. I made it to the end and remember next to nothing because I guess I didn't care at all. ( )
  DFratini | Apr 23, 2018 |
“. . . yet there is no avoiding time, the sea of time, the sea of memory and forgetfulness, the years of promise, gone and unrecoverable, of the land almost allowed to claim its better destiny, only to have the claim jumped by evildoers known all too well, and taken instead and held hostage to the future we must live in now forever. May we trust that this blessed ship is bound for some better shore, some undrowned Lemuria, risen and redeemed, where the American fate, mercifully, failed to transpire . . .” ( )
  grebmops | Apr 9, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 69 (next | show all)
Both shorter and easier to read than any of Pynchon’s previous novels apart from The Crying of Lot 49, Inherent Vice gives the impression of having been easier to write, too. It’s less than three years since Against the Day was published, compared to the 17 that passed between Gravity’s Rainbow and Vineland. That may be one reason why, characteristically hilarious and thought-provoking though it is, Inherent Vice lacks much of the menace and the passion of its predecessors.
 
Inherent Vice once again delivers the trademark rollicking with-it-ness of an author who doesn’t create fantasy worlds so much as show us our own world at its most fantastic. This time, however, it’s mostly for fun, a high-five for those who were there then, a glimpse into the groove of it all for those who otherwise can only daydream while sampling what Burbank hath bequeathed, whether Adam-12 re-runs, or those Warners/Reprise samplers on used vinyl.
 
Inherent Vice is by far the least puzzling Pynchon book to enter our airspace: a goof on the Los Angeles noir, starring a chronically stoned PI with a psychedelic wardrobe and a hankering for pizza. At fewer than four hundred pages, it’s also the shortest Pynchon novel to appear since Vineland (1990); you could almost recommend it to your book club, or to your kids, if they still read books.
added by Shortride | editBookforum, Paul La Farge (Sep 1, 2009)
 
Ultimately – perhaps regrettably – Inherent Vice is a wash. Depending on your angle, it’s either a breezy Something that looks like an airy Nothing, or vice versa.
 
In his zany new novel, Inherent Vice, Pynchon goes to the Golden State again, tunneling back to the early 1970s, to paint a nostalgic portrait of a fictional beach town north of LA. Here, the counterculture has lost out to the forces of control, governmental power and, well, sobriety.
added by Shortride | editThe Dallas Morning News, John Freeman (Aug 23, 2009)
 
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Epigraph
Under the paving-stones, the beach! Graffito, Paris, May 1968
Dedication
First words
She came along the alley and up the back steps the way she always used to.
Quotations
The clock up on the wall, which reminded Doc of elementary school back in San Joaquin, read some hour that it could not possibly be. Doc waited for the hands to move, but they didn't, from which he deduced that the clock ws broken and maybe had been for years. Which was groovy however because long ago Sortilège had taught him the esoteric skill of telling time from a broken clock. The first thing you had to do was light a joint, which in the Hall of Justice might seem odd, but surely not way back here--who knew, maybe even outside the jurisdiction of local drug enforcement--though just to be on the safe side he also lit a De Nobili cigar and filled the room with a precautionary cloud of smoke from the classic Mafia favorite. After inhaling posmoke for a while, he glanced up at the clock, and sure enough, it showed a different time now, though this could also be from Doc having forgotten where the hands were to begin with. (p.282-283)
The bars hadn't closed yet, and Denis didn't seem to be home. Keeping an ear out for funseekers in the vicinity, Doc brought the carton with the heroin inside it down into the remains of Denis's living room and hid it behind a section of collapsed ciling, draping the giant plastic rag of what had been Chico's water bed over it. Only then did he happen to notice that the carton he'd pulled out of that dumpster in the dark had once helf a twenty-five-inch color TV set, a detail he had no cause to think about till next day when he dropped in on Denis about luchtime and found him sitting, to all appearances serious and attentive, in front of the professionally packaged heroin, now out of its box, and staring at it, as it turned out he'd been doing for some time.

"It said on the box it was a television set," Denis explained.

"And you couldn't resist. Didn't you check first to see if there was something you could plug in?"

"Well I couldn't find any power cord, man, but I figured it could be some new type of set you didn't need one?"

"Uh huh and what . . ." why was he pursuing this? "were you watching, when I came in?"

"See, my theory is, is it's one of those educational channels? A little slow maybe, but no worse than high school . . ."

"Yes Denis thanks, I will just have a hit off of that if you don't mind. . . ."

"And dig it, Doc, if you watch long enough . . . see how it begins to sort of . . . change?"

Alarmingly, Doc after a minute or two did find minute modulations of color and light intensity beginning to appear among the tightly taped layers of plastic. He sat down next to Denis, and they passed the roach back and forth, eyes glued to the package. Jade/Ashley showed up with a giant Thermos full of Orange Julius and paper cups and a bag of Cheetos.

"Lunch," she greeted them, "and color-coordinated, too, and-- Whoa, what the fuck is that, it looks like smack."

"Nah," said Denis, "I think it's like a . . . documentary?"

They all sat there in a row, sipping, crunching, and gazing. Finally Doc tore himself away. "I hate to be the bad guy, but I've got to do a repo on this?"

"Just till this part's over?"

"Till we see what happens," added Jade.

(p.339-340)
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original title: Inherent Vice
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Reluctantly investigating a kidnapping threat against his ex-girlfriend's billionaire beau, Doc Sportello tackles a bizarre tangle of nefarious characters before stumbling on a mysterious entity that may actually be a tax shelter for a dental group.

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