Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Vacation reading

Over vacation I read Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon, his most recent book. I'd recommend it to anyone interested in sampling his style who doesn't have the fortitude to wade through Gravity's Rainbow (I haven't tried that one yet; I hear it's a challenge). IV is accessible, fun, and hilarious in the way that only Pynchon can manage. Here's the trailer:

Upon reading more about it online, I discovered that a movie of the book is in the developmental stages. At first the news made me nervous. None of Pynchon's books have been portrayed on film before. Was this going to be a Michael Bay summer blockbuster attempt? But three pieces of news set me at ease:

1. The film's director is P.T. Anderson, one of my favorite directors (Magnolia is right at the top of my favorite films list);

2. Pynchon is working closely with Anderson on the script. Considering Pynchon's reluctance to put himself anywhere near a public spotlight, this is big news; and

3. Robert Downey Jr. will likely play the lead.

So now I'm psyched to see this film. I'll have to wait a while, though; Anderson won't start filming until the fall. I also wonder if the film will introduce more casual readers to Pynchon's books, which are generally aimed mostly at the literary fiction set.

Who knows, maybe it'll even inspire me to pick up Gravity's Rainbow.

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