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."
An excellant recreation of a time that's hard to believe unless you lived through it. A good story is told with a great sense of humour!
So, us average readers looking for an entree into Pynchon think we finally have one. And yet, upon entering, we find that old Tom has decades of cliches and cleverness built up that he just has to get out. Not a waste of time, but hardly worth the download.
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.
Ghost writer of over 100 unpublished works...;).
Ok, ok, I get the negative reviews. There's lots of stuff about the '60s. There's lots of talk about drugs and talking by people on drugs. If it's going to turn you off, skip this one. Comparisons with The Big Lebowski are justified, but IV’s got a lot more going on than just a spaced out protagonist.
Doc, the main character, is a Private Investigator who works a lot of free cases but manages to get by. But he's more than a cliché PI who’s a sucker for a pair of legs and a pouty lip. Pynchon neither subscribes to nor ignores cliché. He plays with it. He uses it, from blonde jokes to stoner metaphysics, as postmodern documentation of a society that would have such clichés.
It’s America and the end of an era. The Civil Rights movement has become a caricature of itself, as increasing government power and surveillance methods begin to attack Civil Rights in new ways. Is this the paranoid delusion of washed out surfer hippies, or something more? Will this ARPAnet someday grow into something all-pervasive, all-knowing?
This is no Cheech and Chong meets Bogart. It’s more Mark Twain meets Umberto Eco.
Lost worlds, secret organizations, zombies, crooked cops, biker gangs, and (of course) dentists are packaged in with the sex, drugs, and Rock ’n’ Roll.
It’s a fantastic, wonderful ride.
Actually, I would give it three and a half stars if I could here. Good interesting well-defined characters in this story, somewhat interesting story. However, there is lots of druggies, drug use here which ramble too much, ruminating on their thoughts, feelings, and that gets old half-way through, for me. The theme is the late 1960's, a private eye, his friends, the cops who hound them, a mystery about the whereabouts of an ex-girlfriend of the private eye. It was an interesting change of pace for me but not sure I could recommend it to others. I think it will probably make a better movie than book as the music, visuals and sixties sets will most-likely help.
The narrator was okay, really didn't add or detract from the story. His performance was not notable. I felt there was no advantage in listening to the audiobook over reading the book in print myself.
Typical Pynchon. Complex, darkly funny, intelligent, wonderful prose... Can't say how happy I am that this book WASN'T read by Dick Hill.
I see that he reads "Against The Day", and for that reason I will not buy that one.
For me, Hill's irritating voice and inability to keep his own interpretation of the books he reads out of his narrations is reason enough not to buy.
I loved the narrator'sability to speak in character. It was funny, dramatic wonderful. He even does a great job of singing.
The main character, Doc, was colorful, smart, funny.
I liked Doc, the gumshoe main character. What a cool guy. Knows how to fool people into thinking he's stupid while he's actually doggedly pursuing his goal.
Surprising that the pothead PI is so timely. Very enjoyable character, who at bottom is a straight arrow while accepting of every kind of person, crook or cop, in his inimitable laid-back weed-softened way.