James Murphy's Reviews > Inherent Vice

Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon
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Feb 25, 2010

really liked it
Read in February, 2010

Based on the novels Against the Day and Gravity's Rainbow, for some time I've thought of Pynchon as genius, as big and vague as that word can be. Inherent Vice isn't a work of genius. But because it's Pynchon it's a given it's well-written and fun and worth the read. An example of L. A. private detective noir, it pretty well captures the genre and adds to it with Pynchon's flare for off-beat characters and zany situations described in energetic prose. And I feel like it probably accurately depicts the atmosphere of some aspects of the Southern California beach, dope, and counter culture scene in the late 60s. Fun and fairly easy to read, as some have rightly claimed it's the most accessible Pynchon. I remember recently calling it Pynchon 101. That's probably not quite right because to me it doesn't seem to be typical of his work. But well worth the time spent with it.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Becky Yup - IV was fun but not even close to his best -it's way down the list. The themes are similar and it's pretty well written. My favorite is still Against the Day or Mason & Dixon.


James Murphy Becky wrote: "Yup - IV was fun but not even close to his best -it's way down the list. The themes are similar and it's pretty well written. My favorite is still Against the Day or Mason & Dixon."

I'd say my favorite is Gravity's Rainbow. I plan to reread it later in the year. But I really admire Against the Day, too. I hope one day I can find the energy to read it again. May have to charge some batteries, stick my finger in a socket for a day or two. But I'm in awe of both those novels. I enjoyed Inherent Vice, but I'm not sure I'd read it again.


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