Pynchon and Grand Theft Auto

Boy, this Time magazine article sure makes me want to run out and buy Pynchon’s latest novel, Inherent Vice,

Ten Similarities Between Grand Theft Auto and Inherent Vice

1) Fake Versions of Real Cities (Gordita Beach = Manhattan Beach. Los Santos = Los Angeles)

2) Corny, Corny, Corny Jokes

3) Broad characters with no internal lives and silly names spouting insane monologues revealing their strange or anti-social world views who appear in multiple books/games in the series

Does the writer think this will make the book appealing?

Pynchon Fan: “Dude, it’s totally like playing a fuckin’ video game!”
Convert: “That sounds awesome!”
Pynchon Fan: “It is!”
Convert: “What’s it about?”
Pynchon Fan: “Get this: it doesn’t matter! It’s a book that’s got these people who are totally out to get you and it’s filled with easter eggs like in video games and there’s all kinds of wild action and sex.”
“Convert: “Cool. I’m getting it off Amazon, now!”

Why is it that Pynchon fans make me want to run away from Pynchon books? I’ve only read one: The Crying of Lot 49. Well-written with lots of silly and paranoia. The book didn’t make me believe in Pynchon’s genius. I keep telling myself I’ll read Gravity’s Rainbow at some point. But I never seem to get around to it. And blog posts, reviews, and articles like the above from Pynchon Fans (Cultists) keep turning me off.


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