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Extended Audio Sample Inherent Vice Audiobook, by Thomas Pynchon Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (4,895 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Thomas Pynchon Narrator: Ron McLarty Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2012 ISBN: 9781470326418
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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.

In this lively yarn, Thomas Pynchon, working in an unaccustomed genre that is at once exciting and accessible, provides a classic illustration of the principle that if you can remember the sixties, you weren’t there.

It’s been a while since Doc Sportello has seen his ex-girlfriend. Suddenly 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 of those words going around at the moment, like “trip” or “groovy,” except that this one usually leads to trouble.

Undeniably one of the most influential writers at work today, Pynchon has penned another unforgettable book.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A great American read—a terrific pastiche of California noir, wonderfully amusing throughout (and hard to quote from in a family newspaper because of the frequent use of, uh, colorful spoken language) and a poignant evocation of the last flowering of the '60s, just before everything changed and passed into myth or memory.”

    Washington Post

  • Inherent Vice is the funniest book Pynchon has written. It's also a crazed and majestic summary of everything that makes him a uniquely huge American voice. It has the moral fury that's fueled his work from the start—his ferociously batshit compassion for America and the lost tribes who wander through it.”

    Rolling Stone

  • “The new Pynchon: a beach read and a heartstring puller. It's almost surreal. [grade] A”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • Inherent Vice is Thomas Pynchon doing Raymond Chandler through a Jim Rockford looking glass, starring Cheech Marin (or maybe Tommy Chong). What could easily be mistaken as a paean to 1960s Southern California is also a sly herald of that era's end. This, of course, is exactly the kind of layered meaning that readers expect of Pynchon…With Pynchon's brilliance comes readability.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “Pynchon's prose is so casually vernacular, so deeply in the American grain, you forget that someone composed it. Inherent Vice feels fizzily spontaneous—like a series of jazz solos, scenes, and conversations built around little riffs of language.”

    Newsweek

  • “What Pynchon is after with the prodigal absurdities of Doc’s adventures is not really parody, but something larger. They are a way to enter into a time and place of extravagant delusions, innocent freedoms, and an intoxicated (literally) sense of possibility. And to do it without sententiousness, to write in psychedelic colors disciplined by a steel-on-flint intelligence.”

    Boston Globe

  • “How pitch-perfect noir can one get?”

    Chicago Tribune

  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jesse | 1/31/2014

    " Serious fun, and a reminder of what I fell so hard for in Pynchon in the first place when I discovered the Crying of Lot 49 thirteen years ago. Pure, unadulterated whimsy, underscored with a darkness and weird melancholy that make it seem like it's more than just a really long joke. Contains great puns, constant smirk-inducing material, and retains TP's ability to provoke goosebumps at the same time. I was thrilled enough to actually draw out my reading of it so I'd enjoy it over a longer period of time and thus, possibly, more? Though I suspect Pynchon would argue against that principle. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 michel | 1/31/2014

    " not sure i was able to fully follow the twists and turns, but enjoyed it anyway. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Josh | 1/30/2014

    " I remember really liking The Crying of Lot 49, so I thought that I should read Pynchon's newest book. While my memory of Lot 49 is a little hazy (I read it 12 years ago) there are some connections - crazy characters with equally crazy names, conspiracy, drugs, pop culture references, and did I mention conspiracy? While I would hang up on the occasional sentence, it was a pretty quick read and a relatively fun/interesting jaunt through an LA in the 60/70s that didn't really exist, but you kind of wish did (and that you were a part of it). I wish that I had a reading group that was well versed in film noir and late 60s/early 70s SoCal politics & culture to talk about the book with. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David Braga | 12/22/2013

    " not the most memorable book in the long run, and the plot meanders a bit, but a very enjoyable trip during the process. great dialogue and language even though the plot is a bit thin and outlandish "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karl | 12/22/2013

    " Pynchon brings along his usual paranoid trappings and convoluted plotting, he taps into some entertaining historical culture, throws in a few original song lyrics, and turns out great entertainment. It's my kind of thing, very neatly packaged. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ken French | 12/17/2013

    " One of the best books I read this year. A rollicking look at the end of the 60s. Also a great deconstruction of the detective novel. Pynchon is at the top of his game. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Niall Slynn | 12/1/2013

    " Read it slowly for the use of language and colourful imagery, enjoy the humour and silly asides, the storyline (rather thin) scarcely matters in this instance. His most accessible - Pynchon lite? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarina | 11/25/2013

    " Very unique style of writing...took a while to become accustomed to following the vernacular in the book as well as the shifting of scenes (time and place), but a great read in the end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Subbacultcha | 11/9/2013

    " Sometimes hard to parse the dialect and I certainly missed some of the references, but an enjoyable read. And I'm always happy and proud to get through a Pynchon novel. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jefferson | 11/6/2013

    " Just meh. Nothing to really take or learn. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Adam | 9/28/2013

    " I really love Pynchon, so I will have to be tough on him. The Crying of Lot 49 is both a better mystery/detective novel and a more gripping and deeper read without even trying as hard as Inherent Vice does. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Aaron | 8/30/2013

    " Unfortunately, I just can't get into Pynchon. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 George | 6/10/2013

    " The most accessible Pynchon novel, in my opinion, and not without his trademark wit and surrealism. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ian | 4/14/2013

    " Almost certainly the first Pynchon book that could be described as "fun" or "breezy." RIYL: LA, late night-diners, marijuana, The Big Lebowski, marijuana, The Big Sleep, marijuana... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Colin | 11/9/2012

    " It borrows a lot from the Big Lebowski and noir genre writers like Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler. It is bizarre and funny with more than a little casual drug usage. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Deathmetalroze | 8/1/2012

    " For a novel in general, this gets a 4, but for a Pynchon novel, it gets a 3... While entertaining, it reminded me much more of Philip K Dick's non-sci-fi works than anything by Pynchon himself except for what I interpreted as a few seemingly self-referential shout outs to the Crying of Lot 49... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Aurora | 5/14/2012

    " Just couldn't get into this one after a few chapters. Was really looking forward to reading it, but...felt like I was just skimming over the surface of the story, it darts around so much. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa | 2/16/2012

    " A groovy picture of 60s California, wrapped in a mystery, wrapped in Pynchon's distinct style. Pretty sneaky. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 DWGibb | 10/21/2011

    " Good read. Some highly quotable passages describing the end of the era. Very well researched down to the last detail. Good refresher for those who have difficulty remembering. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 James | 9/2/2011

    " Meh, this book never really picked up any steam. Lots of interesting cultural references though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wlwarner | 5/25/2011

    " A fun read. Probably has more appeal for readers who are Pynchon fans to begin with. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nathan | 5/22/2011

    " Loved it. Reminded me of Vineland. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Keef | 5/19/2011

    " Very enjoyable. All the reviewers said it was relatively accessible, and they were right. For Pynchon, this is beach reading. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tova | 4/26/2011

    " It was a easy read for a Pynchon novel, it just lacked a really enjoyable ending. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kara | 4/18/2011

    " Other people gave this way too high of a rating. It's a stupid crime/mystery novel. Put it in the category of pulp fiction. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rafa | 4/17/2011

    " Preocupado por lo que mecostará entender este Pynchon "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Charles | 4/11/2011

    " Loved living in this world. Laughed and laughed. Tremendous story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Doug | 3/22/2011

    " I loved the vibe of this book. Pynchon doing psychedelic noir is perfect. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Martin | 3/14/2011

    " didn't blow me away like "against the day", still a fun read though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jack | 3/8/2011

    " My first Introduction to Thomas Pynchon. Weird writing style.Sentences never come up for air
    entertaning in spots.Rant about 60's America. Overall I liked it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elaine | 2/28/2011

    " I lost the narrative thread for a little while but it didn't matter. Hardboiled Hippie Detectiving and more. My favorite thing: Hippiphany-discovering the meaning of life while under the influence of hallucinogens. My 2nd favorte-referencing Cal Worthington! "

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About the Author
Author Thomas PynchonThomas Pynchon is the author of V., The Crying of Lot 49, Gravity's Rainbow, Slow Learner, a collection of short stories, Vineland , Mason and Dixon and, most recently, Against the Day. He received the National Book Award for Gravity's Rainbow in 1974.

Frank Miller is the author and illustrator of Sin City and the 1986 Batman comic The Dark Knight Returns, which is regarded as a milestone in the superhero genre.

About the Narrator

Ron McLarty is a veteran actor of television, film, and stage as well as an award-winning audiobook narrator. He has more than 100 television appearances to his credit, including as a series regular on Spencer for Hire and Law & Order. His film career began in 1977 with a performance in The Sentinel and continued with such films as The Postman, Flamingo Kid, and, most recently, How Do You Know? His stage credits include Broadway and other productions. He has narrated more than 100 audiobooks, earning eight Earphones Awards and recognition by AudioFile magazine as a Best Voice in Mystery & Suspense in 2009 and 2010. He has twice been a finalist for the prestigious Audie Awards and then won the award in 2001 for Best Mystery Narration. He is also an accomplished playwright and an acclaimed novelist.