Author: Thomas Pynchon
Released: 1990

Even Pynchon on a slow day, i.e. Vineland, is still worth reading. In other words, don’t let this here blot of text deter you from checking out a superficially goofy novel about a retired hippie and his teenage daughter as they try to escape from an evil federale in Ronnie Reagan’s America.

The central theme—America’s slide into fascism from the perspective of an aging dope smoker—is something Pynchon would take up 19 years later with Inherent Vice. If you have to pick one, choose Vice, where the zaniness is contained within the context of a Chandler-esque piece of private-eye pulp. But since there’s no one like Pynchon, you’ll probably wind up reading them all. —Ross Scarano