Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon

This book’s similarities to Cities of the Red Night by William S. Burroughs are uncanny. Both contain/deal with: the transmigration of the soul; paranoia (the freedom in finding connections between seemingly unrelated things and how too much of that finding becomes a constraint (fear)); the mourning/celebration of a freedom we, as a culture, almost had (life under Captain Mission’s articles in Burroughs, the psychedelic 60s in Pynchon); drugs (and the tension between freedom and control they create); sex (random? in Pynchon, ritualistic in Burroughs (but, and again, in both books, a fulcrum point between freedom and control)); a pirate ship (which may or may not be bringing a release from (a kind of) slavery); and private detectives (who are both, ultimately, investigating the same loss of freedom, how we almost achieved it, how it was taken or given away). It is possible that these are simply (some of) the main themes taken up by Post-Modernism, but that idea may just be the fear end of what began as a useful paranoia. inherent_vice_book_cover_01