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View Diary: Bookflurries-Bookchat: The Glorious Beach Book, the Rag-tag Book for the Pool (144 comments)

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  •  Here's a beach book suggestion: (15+ / 0-)

    Inherent Vice, by Thomas Pynchon.  I know the name of the author alone is enough to make people roll their eyes, but it's a very mainstream-y noir set among the pot-smoking hippies of Southern California.  Very funny, very sad, and very fast-moving - with a lot of telling details about the era (the transition from the 60s to 70s), the shaping of Los Angeles, the growth of scientologyesque cults, the death of counterculture, the Nixon years, the Manson years, etc., etc.  For a shaggy dog private eye story, it's got a lot of hooks.

    And the movie just started filming, which is why I'm recommending it.

    It's a lot of fun, and I have high hopes for the movie (P.T. Anderson and Joaquin Phoenix, together again!)

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Wed Jun 05, 2013 at 05:50:56 PM PDT

    •  I will write it down, thanks! (8+ / 0-)

      I hope the movie is well done.  :)

      Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

      by cfk on Wed Jun 05, 2013 at 05:58:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm reading V. now (10+ / 0-)

      I think that I've become a bigger Pynchon fan than a Wallace fan (someday I might detail the reasons.

      Now you are aware, of course, that Pynchon has a new book coming out this fall, titled Bleeding Edge.

    •  Inherent Vice (6+ / 0-)
      Doc got on the Santa Monica Freeway, and about the time he was making the transition to the San Diego southbound, the fog began its nightly roll inland.  He pushed his hair off his face, turned up the radio volume, lit a Kool, sank back in a cruising slouch, and watched everything slowly disappear, the trees and shrubbery along the median, the yellow school-bus pool at Palms, the lights in the hills, the signs above the freeway that told you where you were, the planes descending to the airport.  The third dimension grew less and less reliable - a row of four taillights ahead could either belong to two separate cars in adjoining lanes a safe distance away, or be a pair of double lights on the same vehicle, right up your nose, no way to tell.  At first the fog blew in in separate sheets, but soon everything grew thick and uniform till all Doc could see were his headlight beams, like eyestalks of an extraterrestrial, aimed into the hushed whiteness ahead, and the lights on his dashboard, where the speedometer was the only way to tell how fast he was going.

      He crept along till he finally found another car to settle in behind.  After a while in his rearview mirror he saw somebody else fall in behind him.  He was in a convoy of unknown size, each car keeping the one ahead in taillight range, like a caravan in a desert of perception, gathered awhile for safety in getting across a patch of blindness.  It was one of the few things he'd ever seen anybody in this town, except hippies, do for free.

      Now if that ain't something to put beside the end of The Great Gatsby, I don't know what it.  Still, not my favorite Pynchon by a long shot.
      •  Wonderful quotation (6+ / 0-)

        Thank you!!

        I guess I will go put it on my wish list at B&N.

        Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

        by cfk on Wed Jun 05, 2013 at 07:30:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  B&N says (5+ / 0-)
        provides a classic illustration of the principle that if you can remember the sixties, you weren't there
        lolololol...actually I do remember them and they were painful, but this made me laugh a lot.

        Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

        by cfk on Wed Jun 05, 2013 at 07:33:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Mine, either. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cfk, rl en france, Monsieur Georges

        As above: Gravity's Rainbow and Mason & Dixon are in the very top tier of my favorite books of all time.  I enjoyed V and most of his short fiction.  I failed to get through Against the Day (but I'm willing to try again).  I hated The Crying of Lot 49.

        Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

        by pico on Wed Jun 05, 2013 at 10:09:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ah, you've answered my question! (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pico, cfk, RiveroftheWest

          I tried The Crying of Lot 49 because I wanted to try Pynchon without committing to something gargantuan.  My reaction was, "Meh."  Then I heard that he had described Lot 49 as a potboiler, so he didn't think it was his best work.

          So, anyhow, I guess reading The Crying of Lot 49 got me nowhere as far as getting Pynchon.

          •  From Pynchon himself: (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cfk

            This is the sole, dismissive reference to "Crying" in his essay on the development of his prose:

            As is clear from the up-and-down shape of my learning curve...it was too much to expect that I'd keep on for long in this positive and professional direction.  The next story I wrote was "The Crying of Lot 49", which was marketed as a "novel", and in which I seem to have forgotten most of what I thought I'd learned up till then.
            So if it didn't work for you, you're in good company.

            But it is his most popular work, and I don't think it's just the length.  I know (multiple) people who've gotten the muted post horn tattoo'd somewhere on their bodies.

            Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

            by pico on Thu Jun 06, 2013 at 09:53:36 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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