Librarian, father, fantasy fool and tech enthusiasts.
Was expecting this to be a lot harder. But this was a good fun crime story that I'we enjoyed greatly.
If you're a Pynchon fan you don't need a review as you have doubtless already read the book. Mr. Pynchon is the finest writer of the last half century. If you lived in one of the Los Angeles beach communities in the 70s you will recognize the beat, or the loss of tune, or whatever. Before disco and coke flattened sensibilities there was a groove. Or maybe I tend, like most people not lost in the greed narcotic, to romanticize. Doesn't make a difference. You can catch some vibes here. Groovy. Do English departments still suck the life out of literature. Is deconstruction still the heartbeat of the unimaginative? Well then someone else can write an essay on all of that. Meanwhile, in my third read if this I am still finding note that impressed me about this. I haven't seen the movie so I don't know how that worked out. I don't know how it could. Anyway, great read.
The story was like Ernest Hemingway meets Tom Wolfe. By that, I do not mean wistful prose. Just imagine if Hemingway substituted drinking wine for smoking pot. Boom. Inherent vice. It kept me going for most of it, but had a fairly disappointing close.
Ghost writer of over 100 unpublished works...;).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.
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.
I adore really well-written fiction, mystery series, and historical fiction, and delight in finding well-narrated translations.
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.
I went into this expecting the Pynchon of V or at least Vineland, but it's really something different. I still see some Postmodern echoes -- and for me, with Pynchon, that means a sense that there is a way to make sense of everything but it's ever-changing -- but they aren't central. Instead, think of this book as Stoner Hard-Boiled. It's an almost conventional noir novel except that our protagonist is often stoned and always trying to be mellow. It may not be Pynchon at his best, but it takes enormous skill to pull this off. There are some loose ends, but that's part of the genre and it makes room for some of the classic Pynchon questions to seep in.
McLarty is great almost all of the time. His voices lend real color to the book, especially the contrast between the "Flatlander" types like BIgfoot and the stoners like Doc. There are a few places where he loses the difference, though. Doc will start to sound straight when he's conversing with someone who's an even bigger stoner. It's still great work, but McLarty does falter in some of those spots.