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.
Pynchon's deceptively lighthearted stab at detective fiction is a lazy jog through the brambles of stoned late '60s Southern California, with a half-cocked private eye named Doc Sportello, who specializes more in meandering than actual investigating. Freaks and straights talk past each other, their meanings eluding all attempts at mutual comprehension, and Ron McLarty channels Doc's slurred mumble expertly and vividly brings to life the novel's sun-soaked, druggy ambience. A Penguin Press hardcover (Reviews, July 22).
Riding goofyfoot in search of the True Board
My mind is like sieve so it's a good thing that ebooks have a search function which allows the reader to reference the names of the multitude of characters that come in and out of Larry "Doc" Sportello's private investigations. Pynchon forces the reader to size up even the most minor character as the possible lynchpin to the adventure, and Doc is the chameleon that moves through the multi-facited landscape who must decide how much of himself he is willing to compromise. The novel offers us an opportunity to question the motives of every person Doc encounters and presents and answers the dilemma of the 1960s: Who can you trust?
Inherent Vice review
Inherent Vice is a very well written book by Pynchon because of its detailed orientated plot, it's characters and their descriptions and its message. It's too bad a lot of that was left out of the film by Paul Thomas Anderson, which I felt was the opposite.
Weird and confusing
I tried a bunch of times to read this book. There is some great writing that makes you want to keep reading, but ultimately the plot is too confusing and strange to make it worth the effort. I never got to the end of the book and figured I'd watch the movie to figure out what happened. But I feel asleep half way through the movie so never did find out what happened.