RARA-AVIS: "Inherent Vice" and Other Pynchon novels

From: Jack Bludis (buildsnburns@yahoo.com)
Date: 28 Aug 2009

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    I wanted to like this book, intended to like this book, and thought I would like this book, but I reached the end of Chapter Eleven and gave up. I wanted to give up earlier.

    I tried to stay with it, but the bouncing anachronisms were too much for me to take. It felt that Pynchon was trying to wing his history in an "I was there so what the fuck difference does it make what you think" kind of way. I can't attribute his motives, only his results, and that was how it felt to me. It also felt that the cause was lack of research rather than an attempt at post-modern construction.

    As for the characters? From the very beginning, I didn't care about them, I could not get emotionally involved with them, and they weren't quirky or funny enough to hold my attention.

    I suppose I could go on and and on, repeating variations on my basic theme, but I just didn't like the book enough to stay with it.

    By the time I reached page fifty, I wanted to know why this guy was perceived to be a great writer. I went to Amazon.com and read the opening of several of his other books as well as their reviews. The writing in the opening paragraphs of "V," "Gravity's Rainbow," "Against the Day," "The Crying of Lot 49," "Mason & Dixon," and "Vineland" are excellent, and I may be tempted to read another Pynchon even though I remember disliking him in the past and not finishing his books.

    I even took the radical step of trying to start over--that didn't work either.

    Of his other books, based on descriptions and Amazon reviews, I might like to try "V." Any comments on "V?"

    Jack Bludis


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