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Inherent Vice Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon
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Inherent Vice Quotes Showing 1-30 of 68
“What goes around may come around, but it never ends up exactly the same place, you ever notice? Like a record on a turntable, all it takes is one groove's difference and the universe can be on into a whole 'nother song.”
Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice
“What, I should only trust good people? Man, good people get bought and sold every day. Might as well trust somebody evil once in a while, it makes no more or less sense.”
Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice
“. . . yet there is no avoiding time, the sea of time, the sea of memory and forgetfulness, the years of promise, gone and unrecoverable, of the land almost allowed to claim its better destiny, only to the claim jumped by evildoers known all too well, and taken instead and held hostage to the future we must live in now forever.”
Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice
“Can't say it often enough - change your hair, change your life.”
Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice
“Questions arose. Like, what in the fuck was going on here, basically.”
Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice
“ ... as long as American life was something to be escaped from, the cartel would always be assured a bottomless pool of new customers.”
Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice
“You can only cruse the boulevards of regret so far, and then you've got to get back up onto the freeway again.”
Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice
“It had been dark at the beach for hours, he hadn't been smoking much and it wasn't headlights – but before she turned away, he could swear he saw light falling on her face, the orange light just after sunset that catches a face turned to the west, watching the ocean for someone to come in on the last wave of the day, in to shore and safety.”
Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice
“You can only cruise the boulevards of regret so far, and then you've got to get back up onto the freeway again.”
Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice
“What was “walking on water,” if it wasn’t Bible talk for surfing?”
Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice
“Hair and drug-use issues notwithstanding, I've never thought of you as any less than professional.”
Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice
“Dealing with the Hippie is generally straightforward. His childlike nature will usually respond positively to drugs, sex, and/or rock and roll, although in which order these are to be deployed must depend on conditions specific to the moment.”
Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice
“Yeah, but nowadays it's all you see anymore is cops, the tube is saturated with fucking cop shows, just being regular guys, only tryin to do their job, folks, no more threat to nobody's freedom than some dad in a sitcom. Right. Get the viewer population so cop-happy they're beginning to be run in. Good-bye Johnny Staccato, welcome and while you're at it please kick my door down, Steve McGarrett.”
Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice
“...Just be advised, boys,' she said, 'you'll want to watch your step, 'cause what I am is, is like a small-diameter pearl of the Orient rolling around on the floor of late capitalism-- lowlifes of all income levels may step on me now and then but if they do it'll be them who slip and fall and on a good day break their ass, while the ol' pearl herself just goes a-rollin' on.”
Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice
“You need to find true love, Doc."
Actually, he thought, I'll settle for finding my way through this. His fingers, with a mind of their own, began to creep toward the plastic hedge. Maybe if he searched through it long enough, late enough into the night, he'd find something that might help --- some tiny forgotten scrap of his life he didn't even know was missing, something that would make all the difference now.”
Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice
“People in this town saw only what they'd all agreed to see, they believed what was on the tube or in the morning papers half of them read while they were driving to work on the freeway, and it was all their dream about being wised up, about the truth setting them free.”
Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice
“This seemed to be happening more and more lately out in Greater Los Angeles, among gatherings of carefree youth and happy dopers, where Doc had begun to notice older men, there and not there, rigid, unsmiling, that he knew he'd seen before, not the faces necessarily but a defiant posture, an unwillingness to blur out, like everyone else at the psychedelic events of those days, beyond official envelopes of skin. Like the operatives who'd dragged away Coy Harlingen the other night at that rally at the Century Plaza. Doc Knew these people, he'd seen enough of them in the course of business. They went out to collect cash debts, they broke rib cages, they got people fired, they kept an unforgiving eye on anything that might become a threat. If everything in this dream of prerevolution was in fact doomed to end and the faithless money-driven world to reassert its control over all the lives it felt entitled to touch, fondle, and molest, it would be agents like these, dutiful and silent, out doing the shitwork, who'd make it happen.
Was it possible, that at every gathering--concert, peace rally, love-in, be-in, and freak-in, here, up north, back east, wherever--those dark crews had been busy all along, reclaiming the music, the resistance to power, the sexual desire from epic to everyday, all they could sweep up, for the ancient forces of greed and fear?
'Gee,' he said to himself out loud, 'I dunno...”
Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice
“Some would say eccentric. I would say stoned out of his fuckin mind, nothing personal.”
Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice
“Later they went outside, where a light rain was blowing in, mixed with salt spray feathering off the surf. Shasta wandered slowly down to the beach and through the wet sand, her nape in a curve she had learned, from times when back-turning came into it, the charm of. Doc followed the prints of her bare feet already collapsing into rain and shadow, as if in a fool's attempt to find his way back into a past that despite them both had gone on into the future it did. The surf, only now and then visible, was hammering at his spirit, knocking things loose, some to fall into the dark and be lost forever, some to edge into the fitful light of his attention whether he wanted to see them or not.”
Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice
“Remember how they outlawed acid soon as they found out it was a channel to somethin they didn’t want us to see? Why should information be any different?”
Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice
“Sometimes in the shadows the view would light up, usually when he was smoking weed, as if the contrast knob of Creation had been messed with just enough to give everything an underglow, a luminous edge, and promise that the night was about to turn epic somehow.”
Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice
“Doc fell in to a car convoy, moving slowly, single lane through the fog. He figured if he missed the Gordita Beach exit, he'd take the first one whose sign he could read and work his way back on surface streets. He knew that at Rosecrans, the freeway began to dogleg east, and at some point, Hawthorne Boulevard or Artesia,he'd lose the fog, unless it was spreading tonight, and settled in region wide... Maybe then it would stay this way for days, maybe he'd have to just keep driving, down past Long Beach, down through Orange County, and San Diego and across a border where nobody could
tell anymore in the fog who was Mexican, who was Anglo, who was anybody. Then again, he might run out of gas before that happened, and have to leave the caravan, and pull over on the shoulder, and wait. For whatever would happen. For a forgotten joint to
materialize in his pocket. For the CHP to come by and choose not to hassle him. For a restless blonde in a Stingray to stop and offer him a ride. For the fog to burn off, and for something else this time, somehow, to be there instead.”
Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice
“Odd, yes, here in the capital of eternal youth, endless summer and all, that fear should be running the town again as in days of old, like the Hollywood blacklist you don't remember and the Watts rioting you do - it spreads, like blood in a swimming pool, till it occupies all the volume of the day. And then maybe some playful soul shows up with a bucketful of piranhas, dumps them in the pool, and right away they can taste the blood. They swim around looking for what's bleeding, but they don't find anything, all of them getting more and more crazy, till the craziness reaches a point. Which is when they begin to feed on each other.”
Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice
“Chotto, Kenichiro! Dozo, motto panukeiku.”
Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice
“On the face of it," Vehi Fairfield said finally, "two separate worlds, each unaware of the other. But they always connect someplace.”
Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice
“Not the first time Doc had run into girl-of-his-dreams unavailability.”
Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice
“Last apricot light flooded landward and brought their shadows uphill, past the lifeguard towers, into terraces of bougainvillea, rhododendrons, and ice plant.”
Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice
“... it was luck, dumb luck, that had put them each where they were, and the best way to pay for any luck, however temporary, was just to be helpful when you could.”
Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice
“It was as if whatever had happened had reached some kind of limit. It was like finding the gateway to the past unguarded, unforbidden because it didn't have to be. Built into the act of return finally was this glittering mosaic of doubt. Something like what Sauncho's colleagues in marine insurance liked to call inherent vice.”
Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice
“It had been dark at the beach for hours, he hadn’t been smoking much and it wasn’t headlights—but before she turned away, he could swear he saw light falling on her face, the orange light just after sunset that catches a face turned to the west, watching the ocean for someone to come in on the last wave of the day, in to shore and safety.”
Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice

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