Inherent Vice: Book summary and reviews of Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon

Inherent Vice

By Thomas Pynchon

Inherent Vice

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Book Summary

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 . . .

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. A bit of a mystery himself, master writer Pynchon has created a bawdy, hilarious, and compassionate electric-acid-noir satire spiked with passages of startling beauty." - Booklist

"Groovier than much of this erratic author's fiction, but a bummer compared with his best." - Kirkus Reviews

"Starred Review. With whip-smart, psychedelic-bright language, Pynchon manages to convey the Sixties—except the Sixties were never really like this. This is Pynchon's world, and it's brilliant. The resolution is as crisp as Doc is laid-back. Highly recommended." - Library Journal

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Author Information

Thomas Pynchon Author Biography

Thomas Pynchon was born in 1937. He is the author of V.; The Crying of Lot 49; Gravity's Rainbow; Slow Learner, a collection of short stories; Vineland; Mason & Dixon; Against the Day; and, most recently, Inherent Vice and Bleeding Edge. He received the National Book Award for Gravity's Rainbow in 1974.

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