Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Books of The Times
'Inherent Vice'
Reviewed by MICHIKO KAKUTANI - New York Times, August 4, 2009
INHERENT VICE By Thomas Pynchon 369 pages.
The Penguin Press. $27.95.
Inherent Vice” not only reminds us how rooted Mr. Pynchon’s authorial vision is in the ’60s and ’70s, but it also demystifies his work.
Thomas Pynchon’s “Inherent Vice” is a big, clunky time machine of a novel that transports us back to the early 1970s, back to a California of surfers and surf bunnies, bikers and biker chicks, hippies, freaks and righteous potheads. It was a time when people lived for Acapulco gold and Panama red and lived on pizza and Hostess Twinkies, a time when girls wore their hair long and their skirts short, guys wore paisley and velour and suede, and people were constantly monitoring their paranoia levels and worrying about narcs and cops and the feds.

Compared with “Gravity’s Rainbow” or “V.” or “Mason & Dixon,” this novel is Pynchon Lite. Those earlier books featured intricate, mazelike narratives and enigmatic confrontations between what he has called “average poor bastards” and emissaries of “an emerging technopolitical order that might or might not know what it was doing.”
In contrast, “Inherent Vice” is a simple shaggy-dog detective story that pits likable dopers against the Los Angeles Police Department and its “countersubversive” agents, a novel in which paranoia is less a political or metaphysical state than a byproduct of smoking too much weed.
The full review - NYT.
Penguin US released a book trailer for Thomas Pynchon's "Inherent Vice" today, a Los Angeles joyride narrated by a gruff private detective character. All his fans are asking -Did author Pynchon narrate the video?

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