22 May 2012


I highly recommend Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon. I am going to classify this one as a psychedelic California crime novel. There is A LOT going on. But you can handle it. 

It is hard to give you amusing and eerie tidbits, not because the book is not amusing and eerie but because you get caught up in the words and then tidbits turn into chunks...

By the time they got to the checkout, they had somehow acquired an extra hundred dollars' worth of goods, including half a dozen obligatory boxes of cake mix, a gallon of guacamole and several giant sacks of tortilla chips, a case of store-brand boysenberry soda, most of what was in the Sara Lee frozen-dessert case, lightbulbs and laundry detergent for straight-world cred, and, after what seemed like hours in the International Section, a variety of shrink-wrapped Japanese pickles that looked cool. At some point in this, Sauncho mentioned that he was a lawyer. 
"Far out. People are always telling me I need a 'criminal lawyer,' which, nothing personal, understand, but - "
"Actually I'm a marine lawyer."
Doc thought about this. "You're a Marine who practices law? No, wait - you're a lawyer who only represents Marines..."
In the course of getting this all straight, Doc also learned that Sauncho was just out of law school at SC and, like many ex-collegians unable to let go of the old fraternity life, living at the beach - not far away from Doc, as a matter of fact. 

Offshore winds had been too strong to be doing the surf much good, but surfers found themselves getting up early anyway to watch the dawn weirdness, which seemed like a visible counterpart to the feeling in everybody's skin of desert winds, and heat and relentlessness, with the exhaust from millions of motor vehicles mixing with microfine Mojave sand to refract the light toward the bloody end of the spectrum, everything dim, lurid and biblical, sailor-take-warning skies. The state liquor stamps over the tops of tequila bottles in the stores were coming unstuck, is how dry the air was. Liquor-store owners could be filling those bottles with anything anymore. Jets were taking off the wrong way from the airport, the engine sounds were not passing across the sky where they should have, so everybody's dreams got disarranged, when people could get to sleep at all.

Image from Google Images. Quotations from Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon (New York: Penguin Books, 2009).

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