Books like Inherent Vice

Inherent Vice

2009, Thomas Pynchon


Inherent Vice is a novel by American author Thomas Pynchon, originally published in August 2009. A darkly comic detective novel set in 1970s California, the plot follows sleuth Larry "Doc" Sportello whose ex-girlfriend asks him to investigate a scheme involving a prominent land developer. Themes of drug culture and counterculture are prominently featured. It is considered a postmodern novel that warps the stylistic conventions of detective fiction. Critical reception was largely positive, with reviewers describing Inherent Vice as one of Pynchon's more accessible works. The novel was adapted into a 2014 film of the same name.

The novel is set in Los Angeles in 1970. Larry "Doc" Sportello, a private investigator and pothead, receives a visit from his former girlfriend Shasta Fay Hepworth, who is now having an affair with real-estate mogul Michael Z. "Mickey" Wolfmann. Shasta asks Doc to help foil a plot allegedly hatched by Mickey's wife Sloane and her lover, Riggs Warbling, to have Mickey admitted to a mental health institution. Later, a black militant named Tariq Khalil asks Doc to find Glen Charlock, one of Mickey's bodyguards—Tariq claims that Charlock owes him money after their time spent together in prison.

Similar Books

Filter by:

If you like Inherent Vice, you might also like: Americana, Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West, and The Pale King