This is a great book; would love to read it now that I have listened to it. A word of warning, however: the beginning is slow and it takes a little while to get into it. But have patience! It is well worth it.
Yeah, the book may have had too many trippy characters to keep straight, and the storyline was kinda allover the place, but, whatever...what's not to like about a post-60s hippie PI hanging out all over 70s LA, the Valley and up 'n down PCH? It was a most excellent - if not heavy - trip. And, don't believe the reviewers who dissed the narrator's singing...that was the best part of the trip, I really liked. Here's to more adventures with "Doc."
Ears picking up the slack so my eyes can work.
Maybe I’m lazy. I admit I have a problem being still. My attention wanders. That’s one of the great things about Audible. I love story, but damn it if I can’t sit still for long. So it takes forever for me to read a book (in the physical form). Maybe two weeks for 300 pages. I don’t think I ever would have gotten through this book without having it read by Audible. It’s a frustrating novel. But it’s not bad. It’s rich. But not really satisfying.
The biggest problem is you know it’s going to take some effort and you kind of realize at some point that it’s not going to be rewarded except in maybe the most esoteric ways -- and that’s assuming you have the point of reference for a lot of the cultural references to mean anything to you at all. In other words, you get what you put into this thing. The thing is that I don’t think a lot of people would have much to put into it. Which I don’t mean as an insult. Just that the story is very specific in its time and place and I feel like I was born maybe ten years too late for this book to have really landed. I felt left out more than anything. As a detective story, it’s sort of like Altman’s Long Goodbye. Post modern and self aware and weird for its own sake in many instances. I’m sure others might disagree. It’s not like Big Lebowski at all. People will say that and you might be allured by that, but they’re wrong. (I didn’t really ever like Big Lebowski, haha.) This book has more going for it than that movie, but. BUT.
I would say this sucker is for the initiated only. I would have rather read several other things. If you experienced California in the sixties and seventies, this might be your thing. I mean....I like California in those periods. The films, the culture and the music. That’s partly what drew me -- the myth of that era. Still it just didn’t land for me. I’m curious how the Paul Thomas Anderson film develops the story. IF it does. I admit it was PTA who drew me to reading this novel more than Pynchon. This is my first experience with him. Frankly....it might be my last.
This was really bad "Dude". I mean far out bad, "Dude". You have to be on some mean stuff to appreciate this "Dude". I wanted to shoot myself after the first chapter. Thank God the hippy generation is behind us. It is isn't it? How did this ever get the write up in Newsweek that it got? Must have been a payoff on some heavy smack to the author of the article.
The story works through all the wry plot twists that Pynchon does so well, so the book won't be a disappointment to any fan. But, one, the idea of a doper out-sleuthing the architects of a grand conspiracy is a little too reminiscent of the Cohen Bros' "The Big Lebowski" to be completely novel; and, two, when the title is bluntly glossed toward the end of the book, it seems an odd "get it?" moment from the master of subtle allusions. But of course it's Pynchon; I'm probably the one who's missing something.
Snotty, elitist lawyer who reads too much and is kind too little.
Mr. McLarty's many voices and unique expressions for each character.
No, but then again, if you were expecting it to, you don't know Pynchon. The plot plods along at a doper's pace, flip-flops patting against the boardwalk, but with a steady and unflappable drive toward a toothy conclusion.
It got some wry chuckles from me, in particular the dialogue between Doc and Bigfoot.
Pynchon is wonderful, and I suppose I see what people mean when they call this "Pynchon-lite." It's more accessible than "Gravity's Rainbow" or "Vineland," sure, but we shouldn't confuse "inaccessibility" with "quality."
I watched the movie first (the opposite of what I typically do). The book explains a lot more and includes lots of side plots omitted from the movie, but it’s soured by ridiculously cheesy jokes that keep coming every chapter. Despite omitting all of this (save one or two lame jokes), the movie retains the “groovy,” goofy vibe the author meant to set. The single narrator does a great job at capturing the different voices of all the characters (and there are a lot), but of course the movie is better at that. So even though the movie will leave you scratching your head even more than the book will, I think I liked it better. Bottom line: go see the movie, then check out the book if you want more. I'm glad I did both.
After seeing the movie I knew that I needed to read/listen to the book to know what it was all about. Now I have to go back and watch the movie. The audio version was like reliving the California dream for someone who is not from California.