Permanent & Inseparable Immorality

Posted on Updated on

I recently read Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice. My first Pynchon novel, I am now thoroughly entranced, as well as incredibly impressed by his writing abilities. In this novel, Pynchon has created a world, that takes place in a location with which many of us are familiar (California, U.S.) during a time with which some of us are vaguely or intimately familiar (’60s – ’70s), but Pynchon has imbued this world with a vividness and a completeness that is refreshing to read. Even the title of this novel is both eye-catching, and makes the reader think:



One of the things I really like about this novel is Pynchon’s use of language. His references are generally comprehensible, but also might give you pause.

On potential insane asylums:

Shasta had mentioned a possible laughing-academy angle to Micky Wolfmann’s matrimonial drama…

Inherent Vice, Thomas Pynchon, Chapter 5

On being incognito:

Looking in the mirror, he almost recognized himself. Groovy.

Inherent Vice, Thomas Pynchon, Chapter 5

On being stoned:

-And another thing.

Other writers might be condescending (a pet peeve of mine about which I will likely write  a post soon #foreshadowing #notreally #forewarning #impendingrant). Might explain, repeatedly, what is going on in “flatfoot” terms. Might point out too clearly when drugs are causing hallucinations and when odd things are actually happening. Pynchon isn’t babying the reader – he makes you think, figure out what is going on for yourself.


This includes the world that Pynchon has created. For example, there is a reference to a poster of Jesus surfing goofy foot. As someone who does not know much about surfing, I had to look it up, and while my brain was picturing this:


it turns out, the term refers to this:

goofy foot

I like reading books that make me look up references, that expand my vocabulary, that make me think, and that, overall, is pleasant to read. Inherent Vice had all of these qualities.

AND, as an added bonus, the novel provides a (admittedly sarcastic) selfless reason you don’t have to share your food:

-'I'd share these with you

Have you read Inherent Vice? What were your thoughts?


2 thoughts on “Permanent & Inseparable Immorality

    This or That: « Bambi Quim said:
    April 27, 2016 at 7:00 am

    […] Inherent Vice – Another mystery novel, this one occurring in the hippy-dippy ’60s. Chill with Doc Sportello, man, in a world created by Thomas Pynchon that is an inherently good read. […]


    2016: My Reading List « Bambi Quim said:
    December 30, 2016 at 8:34 am

    […] Blog post […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s