I never could get through his other books either. Based on the reviews, I was sure I was going to like this one. Nope ... It looks as if he tried to wing it. No research, no focused time--he does a casual sometime between 1969 and 1973.
And mystery ... uh ... I couldn't find the mystery although the crime is there. In some ways it reminded me of Ross MacDonald of the same period. I'm not terribly fond of him either, but he did get a lot of things right. With Pynchon It's as if he is trying to prove that if you remember what happened, you weren't there. None of his style or panache came through in in this one for me.
I read some damn good reviews of "Inherent Vice." So this is just another opinion. I am not a professional critic, just a tough grader.
Now Cormac McCarthy--That's a writer.
And, Jack Getze, I'm jealous. I've spent some time in L.A., but not enough time to experience the Moonies and Sunnies and other weirdness. Not the stewardesses either--well, not in L.A., Santa Monica, etc.