Inherent Vice
Thomas Pynchon
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Buy *Inherent Vice* by Thomas Pynchon online

Inherent Vice
Thomas Pynchon
The Penguin Press
384 pages
August 2009
rated 3 1/2 of 5 possible stars

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Click here to read reviewer Brian Charles Clark's take on Inherent Vice or here for Sandie Kirkland's review.

Thomas Pynchon's latest novel, Inherent Vice, combines pulp fiction, mystery, '60s psychedelia and film noir, mixes them together, and comes up with a concoction that is weaker than its separate parts. The book isn't sure whether it wants to be glib, profound, mysterious, funny, or serious - and it ends up being none of them.

The main character burned-out hippie from the 1960s called Doc Sportello, a reefer-smoking detective on the trail of a big-time real estate developer and a former girlfriend. When he's not high, he manages to uncover the most miniscule of clues in a way that is neither believable nor honest.

This just doesn't present the Free Love '60s in any type of believable light. The characters are flimsy and the dialogue hackneyed. This is Columbo on LSD or The Maltese Falcon with a broken wing. Pynchon tries to reach out here, but the end result isn't very rewarding.

You'd have more fun watching Up In Smoke with Cheech and Chong.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Steven Rosen, 2009

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