I don’t often get to talk about things that I consider to be really awesome with you guys. I’m just leveling with you here. Fighting, wrestling and videogames are indeed great things, but my true passion has always been books, usually books that err on the side of being a bit out there. Thomas Pynchon has been my favorite writer (at least not named Kurt Vonnegut or Philip K. D**k or Frank Herbert or….) since I was first told to read The Crying of Lot 49. That book was short, incredibly short if you consider Pynchon’s body of work, but it resonated pretty well with me, enough to make me read some of his loftier tomes.
Stuff like V., Vineland, Mason & Dixon and Gravity’s Rainbow are must-reads when it comes to lofty Pynchon (yes, I intentionally left off Against the Day there), each with their own inherent value and insanity to boot. Pynchon does the long, crazy postmodern masterpiece better than anyone else has ever done (I’m not infinitely jesting here), but I gotta say, when Pynchon stays on topic and errs away from the erudite, dense style of writing that he’s known for he churns out what happen to be really damned good books that are accessible to just about anyone. His latest for example, Bleeding Edge, is pretty much a 90’s and early 00’s-infused noir mystery that will leave you downright giddy. Something about reading Pynchon talking about videogames this gleefully is like mainlining cotton candy and becoming addicted to it; you immediately get it. With Pynchon’s other work all of his references are to things from pop cultures that are long since dead, meaning that there needs to be a certain level of research into why his writing is so ridiculous and funny, but Bleeding Edge was just a lot more modern.
It was also a lot shorter than most of his other books, which helps. Then the question arises, what about Inherent Vice? Inherent Vice is yet another detective story in the vein of a noir, only this is a stoner noir. This is the Big Lebowski meets Chinatown and it is exactly as fun as you’d suspect it might be. So when I found out that Inherent Vice was being made into a film by Paul Thomas Anderson, well, I almost died on the spot. What happens when a brilliant filmmaker mainlines one of the best living writers today with an amazing lead actor at the helm? Here’s the first trailer. My god.
This is PERFECT.