Inherent Vice

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A Best Book of the Year for the Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, and Los Angeles Times Part noir, part psychedelic romp, all Thomas Pynchon—private eye Doc Sportello surfaces, occasionally, out of a marijuana haze to watch the end of an era. It’s been awhile since Doc Sportello has seen his ex-girlfriend. Suddenly out of nowhere she shows up with a story about a plot to kidnap a billionaire land developer whom she just happens to be in love with. It’s the tail end of the psychedelic sixties in L.A., and Doc knows that “love” is another one of those words going around at the moment, like “trip” or “groovy,” except this one usually leads to trouble. In this lively yarn, Thomas Pynchon, working in an unaccustomed genre, provides a classic illustration of the principle that if you can remember the sixties, you weren’t there . . . or . . . if you were there, then you . . . or, wait, is it . . .

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