Pynchon Speaks

David Hershkovits

It took the combined investigative ability of Galley Cat and the WSJ to determine that the voice narrating the promotional clip above for the new Thomas Pynchon novel Inherent Vice is indeed the reclusive author himself. At first the publisher at Penguin books refused to confirm it, but when the WSJ contacted a voice identification expert to match the sound with audio known to be Pynchon, the publisher fessed up and confirmed the story. Having just finished reading the delirious stoner noir detective thriller set in 1970 Los Angeles, I can't tell you the chills I felt hearing the raspy voice of Doc, the private investigator protagonist, narrating a bit of travelogue across the terrain covered in the novel. Though the book has been critiqued as being slight compared to his more serious classics like Gravity's Rainbow, I found it laugh-out-loud funny in spots and a perfect antidote for the times we live in. Too well-written to be a mindless beach read, Inherent Vice is the book you take outside along with a cool drink and as suggested in the above clip: "Take a hit or two off your favorite brand of cigarette."

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