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Extended Audio Sample Inherent Vice, 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:
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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.”


  • “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 by 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 by 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 by 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 by 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 "

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