Is it just me, or does it make little to no sense to have people who openly admit their hatred for an author review said author’s work?
The early reviews of Pynchon’s Inherent Vice have been, at least in the various New York press, similarly negative. What’s interesting is that they have tended to be equally dismissive of Against the Day. (Kakutani went so far as to describe Against the Day as “pretentious,” but I cannot for the life of me figure out what it is feigning to be other than, well, a Pynchon novel.) Curiously, I don’t recall this being articulated so clearly and loudly in its reviews. (Most just said it was, in varying degrees, unreadable — code for, I think, “I didn’t read it all, but wanted the money for writing this review.” Another code for this same sentiment is: “This is a flawed masterpiece.”) It is, as Adam said I were discussing just now, as though reviewers are using this shorter novel to more fully express their disdain for being expected to read Pynchon’s more typical (i.e., longer) stuff. In short, they conclude: “We hate Pynchon when he’s being ambitious, and then we hate him even more when he writes a shorter book that’s more fun.”