By Thomas Pynchon
(Penguin Books, Paperback, 9780143117568, 384pp.)
Publication Date: July 27, 2010
Enter your zip code below to find indies closest to you.
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.
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.
Thomas Pynchon's latest novel, Inherent Vice, is a detective romp set at the end of the 1960s psychedelic era. Critic-at-large John Powers has a review. More at NPR.org
NPR Audio Player Requires Flash Upgrade: Please upgrade your plug-in to view this content.
Much of Thomas Pynchon's recent work has drawn criticism for overindulging in pop-culture references and outright silliness, and those who agree with this assessment will probably find much to dislike about the new novel, too.
In his zany new novel, Thomas Pynchon goes back to the Golden State to paint a nostalgic portrait of a fictional beach town near LA in the '70s -- when the counterculture finally lost the battle to the forces of control, governmental power and sobriety.
Unlike any previous Pynchon work, Vice fully embraces genre. And in doing so it's difficult to tell if the genre is merely pliable enough to accommodate all of Pynchon's literary whims or if the now 72-year-old author has basically been riffing on this form his entire career.