Book Trailer Thursday: Inherent Vice

This is what passes for big news in the world of book trailers: when a video teaser for Thomas Pynchon’s mystery novel Inherent Vice hit the internet recently, the literati started buzzing. Could that possibly be the famous recluse Pynchon himself doing the voice-over? All anyone had to go on was an old Simpsons episode on which Pynchon “appeared” (albeit animated and wearing a bag over his head).

A voice identification expert (I told you this was big news) confirmed suspicions. Then, finally, Penguin confirmed the confirmation. All in all, a pretty handy bit of sleuthing for a book about sleuthing.

But what of the actual trailer? It’s 2:43 of rack-focus shots mainly of desolate beaches, rusty chain-links, and boring alleys, set to a Pynchon sounding a hell of a lot like his late-1960s, pill-popping, beach-bum “private gumshoe” Doc Sportello.  “Y’know, it’s groovy,” he says as he waxes poetic about surfing and drugs, before asking you to buy the book for $27.95–wait. “27.95?! That used to be, like, three weeks of groceries, man.”

Verdict: Groovy. Not sure this is going to convert any nonbelievers, but Pynchon’s good-natured, conversational mumbling really impresses. Dude should record his own audio books, obviously.



About the Author:

Dan Kraus is Booklist's Editor of Books for Youth. He is also the producer and director of numerous feature films, most notably the documentary Work Series, and the author of several YA novels, including Rotters and Scowler, both of which won the Odyssey Award. Follow him on Twitter at @DanielDKraus.

1 Comment on "Book Trailer Thursday: Inherent Vice"

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  1.' Keir says:

    You know who else they could have had narrate this? Jeff Lebowski.

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