Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon

Thomas Pynchon's latest novel is a bit of a departure for him. For one thing, it's only 384 pages--practically a short story. Set in California in the early 70s--the seedy, LSD-laced, post-Manson era--it's written as a noir detective novel, starring a hippie P.I. named Doc Sportello. The writing is recognizably Pynchon's, with its countless subplots and counterplots, though it is on the whole much more casually readable than most of his work. Parts of it reminded me a lot of The Crying of Lot 49, stylistically.

Overall, it's not one of my favorites of his. I think I might have overhyped it in my mind. I wanted to love it--the premise sounded so good--but while I found it enjoyable it was also somewhat forgettable.

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