Inherent Vice

Sixties ‘Vices’ Collide in Pynchon’s New Novel
August 12, 2009

Thomas Pynchon’s novel, Inherent Vice, is a detective romp set at the end of the 1960s psychedelic era.

Thomas Pynchon, the publicity-shy 72-year-old wizard who broke onto the scene in 1963 with “V,” a globetrotting epic about paranoia and patterns, history and entropy that’s one of the great first novels ever written.

In the decade since, he has made himself into a cult hero with a series of dazzling, difficult books, most recently the underrated “Against the Day,” that have fond the Earth like the monoliths at the beginning of “2001.” I know people who swear that Pynchon has saved their lives. But I know others who say he is literally unreadable.

Like a good noir detective, Pynchon roots for the underdog. But he knows that the world’s inherent vice is that it belongs to the powerful.

“Gravity’s Rainbow” is cited by:

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