Book of the Year

Since I have not mentioned it here before, and most of my regular readers will know about it anyway, I will only mention it in passing: the book I am most looking forward this year is Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice. To prepare, I will reread all Pynchon novels (except for Crying of Lot 49, which I don’t really like) and you will have to suffer the consequences (i.e. the reviews). Here’s the blurb for Inherent Vice, which appears, as the last one, to have been written by the master himself.

It’s been awhile since Doc Sportello has seen his ex-girlfriend. Suddenly out of nowhere she shows up with a story about a plot to kidnap a billionaire land developer whom she just happens to be in love with. Easy for her to say. It’s the tail end of the psychedelic sixties in L.A., and Doc knows that “love” is another of those words going around at the moment, like “trip” or “groovy,” except that this one usually leads to trouble. Despite which he soon finds himself drawn into a bizarre tangle of motives and passions whose cast of characters includes surfers, hustlers, dopers and rockers, a murderous loan shark, a tenor sax player working undercover, an ex-con with a swastika tattoo and a fondness for Ethel Merman, and a mysterious entity known as the Golden Fang, which may only be a tax dodge set up by some dentists. In this lively yarn, Thomas Pynchon, working in an unaccustomed genre, provides a classic illustration of the principle that if you can remember the sixties, you weren’t there . . . or . . . if you were there, then you . . . or, wait, is it . . . Part noir, part psychedelic romp, all Thomas Pynchon—private eye Doc Sportello comes, occasionally, out of a marijuana haze to watch the end of an era as free love slips away and paranoia creeps in with the L.A. fog…

2 thoughts on “Book of the Year

  1. I’m waiting for the consequences of your rereading of all Pynchon novels. Sure it’ll be really interesting. And of course, I’m waiting for IV too.
    And champaign for your new blog !
    (it’s “la coutume, de pendre la crémaillère”)

  2. Hey! You are the bastard who enticed me into getting Ander Monson’s “Other Electricities”. Now I’m sitting here, puzzling over circuitry.

    Thx for commenting.

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