Onto Books: Inherent Vice

Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon.

Amazon link.

The Amazon link is part of the deal. The link has a video with a voice-over, might be the author, but it’s probably an actor, reading some of the opening lines. Part promo, part ad, and the backing music to the Amazon clip? Eerily reminiscent of a certain Pink Floyd album. Not a CD, not originally, a 12-inch album. Pressed vinyl with grooves.

Pink Floyd, especially the earlier material, is very much an acquired taste. Either you like it, or you don’t. Me? I like it. Mostly. There’s a space/jazz connection that is more open to interpretation. Part of the good stuff, maybe. Psychedelic. Or something.
Pink Floyd link.

I was struggling with a way to describe the novel. It’s narrative frame is simple enough, it’s a mystery crime thriller, under the broader genre of “whodunnit” or Murder/Mystery.

The private detective is a doper, and the time is 1974, or 1972, or sometime like that. In part, it’s got to be an alternate universe. There are one too many time anomalies to be taken too seriously. Which left me wondering, just exactly what this novel was.

It could be, to me, it was a gentle and sarcastic poke at the Walter Mosely-esque series. LA. Old-time. Nostalgia. Then, too, there was a Kurt Vonnegut-esque look at the future that was to be. Will be. Here’s a hint: they didn’t have internet in 1972.

The music, again. Some very realistic and some a little too far-fetched.

Pastiche? Sarcasm? Literary hijinks? Or is the tale of greed, dope, stoners, bars, music, dopers, all a little too much? The texture is – to me – slightly foggy. Like a stoner’s dream.

Better yet, the novel reminded me of early Pink Floyd – something I only know about from a historical perspective.

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