Inherent Vice (Magill's Literary Annual 2010)
Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice begins when Shasta Fay Hepworth arrives at the Gordito Beach residence of her former boyfriend, private investigator Doc Sportello. She persuades Sportello to save her lover, Mickey Wolfmann, from a plot to kidnap him and install him in a sanitarium. As Sportello begins his investigation of Wolfmann, an influential real-estate developer with connections to both criminal and police sources, Sportello is knocked unconscious and awakens to discover that one of Wolfmann’s bodyguards has been murdered and Sportello is the prime suspect.
After his lawyer secures his release from jail, Sportello is contacted by Hope Harlingen, the widow of a saxophone player in a local surf band, who asks him to investigate her husband’s suspicious drug overdose, and by Black Nationalist Kahlil Tariq, who is seeking an ex-convict who owes him money. A massage parlor attendant warns Sportello to beware of the Golden Fang and tells him that Coy Harlingen, the saxophone player, is not really deceased but is also looking for the private eye. A pair of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents then detain Sportello as part of an investigation of Black Nationalists, who they believe have kidnapped Wolfmann.
Soon, Sportello’s investigations spread in all directions, and the mystery of the Golden Fang deepens. Sportello wanders through Los Angeles and local beach communities, has random sexual encounters with various women,...
(The entire section is 1734 words.)
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 2010)
Booklist 105, no. 21 (July 1, 2009): 7.
Kirkus Reviews 77, no. 13 (July 1, 2009): 679.
Library Journal 134, no. 13 (August 1, 2009): 74.
London Review of Books 31, no. 17 (September 10, 2009): 9-10.
New Statesman 138, no. 4960 (August 3, 2009): 42-43.
The New York Review of Books, September 24, 2009, 70-71.
The New York Times, August 4, 2009, p. 1.
The New York Times Book Review, August 23, 2009, p. 9.
The New Yorker 85, no. 23 (August 3, 2009): 74-75.
Publishers Weekly 256, no. 27 (July 6, 2009): 38.
Rolling Stone, August 6, 2009, p. 38-39.
Time 174, no. 6 (August 17, 2009): 60.
The Times Literary Supplement, August 7, 2009, p. 22.
The Wall Street Journal, July 31, 2009, p. W2.
(The entire section is 76 words.)