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Inherent Vice


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So Doc Sportello, inveterate doper and sometime private eye, is sitting around hazy L.A. at the end of the Sixties when he gets a visit from former flame Shasta. Seems she's been seeing developer-turned-visionary Mickey Wolfmann, whose wife and boyfriend are cooking up a scheme to kidnap Wolfmann and want to cut her in. Meanwhile, black ex-con Tariq wants Doc's help in hooking up with Glen Charlock, a White Aryan he did business with behind bars, and he's pretty bummed that Channel Vista Estates, Wolfmann's latest development, has wiped out his neighborhood. Doc heads for Channel Vista, where he might have encountered Charlock had he not blacked out (it's those drugs?). Instead, Charlock winds up dead; Doc has another run-in with friendly nemesis Lt. Det. Bigfoot Bjornsen; and Wolfmann disappears. So, for that matter, does Shasta. And it gets even more complicated as Doc is off on one very weird acid trip of an investigation. Verdict With whip-smart, psychedelic-bright language, Pynchon manages to convey the Sixties-except the Sixties were never really like this. This is Pynchon's world, and it's brilliant. The resolution is as crisp as Doc is laid-back. Highly recommended.-Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

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