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.
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies…The man who never reads lives only one.” (George R. R. Martin)
It depends...they're probably equal.
The main character, Larry "Doc" Sportello. He's similar to Lebowski if played by Matthew McConaughey.
He really got the whole vibe of the book and did a good job differentiating between the characters in the novel.
Same as the favorite character question.
The audiobooks is a fun ride. It is similar to most detective novels but with the twist being the time period in which the story takes place.
I was so distracted by the hippie hype and the rambling back and forth, I had no idea what was going on. Before the end of the first half, I gave up. Maybe I'm not such a great listener. Maybe if I listen to the rest of the book I will hear how the melange of hype and ramble result in a great listen. Please let me know if the listen is worth the time.
I thought it was brilliant and pitch-perfect. But I guess I'm in the minority. Think Martin Cruz Smith's parade of Muscovites, not on vodka, but blue cheer.
By far the most accessible of Pynchon's books and really funny. The author has a great ear for the hippy dippy speech of the 70's and the narrator nails it perfectly.
I loved this book: it kept me really engaged the whole time, it made me think, and it made me laugh out loud a few times. The narrator's voices fit the characters exactly.
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.
I was lost for most of this book. I suppose if you are into the whole drug scene this may be of interest you. However, I couldn't follow along with the wacked out trips and paranoid delusions of the characters.
I was looking forward to listening to this book, but by a third of the way through McLarty lost me. The characters voices blurred, the surf songs are awful - McLarty has a decent voice, but these things are a mess - and the reader can't decide to make this serious or put his toungue in his cheek. So he does neither. After reading all the good reviews of the actual book, I think something got missed in the translation. Take a pass on this.
I tried several times to get into this book but it was hard to keep up with I gave up after 8 chapters. I might give it one more try....