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Paperback Fever: Excerpt from Thomas Pynchon’s Upcoming Private Detective Novel

OEditions3.jpgAs the publishing world braces for a cold, cold New Year, some literary minds think that paperbacks could flourish in a recession.

Over at the Millions, C. Max Magee argues that paperbacks “could save paper and space and entice younger readers for whom $25 for a hardcover and $14 for a paperback is too much money to risk”–citing Harper Perennial’s new Olive Editions (pictured) as a good example. What do you think?

The gold-era of the bestselling paperback books traditionally required a certain kind of story–hardboiled crime, bodice-ripping romance, gory horror, or Beatnik poetry. As you ponder, here’s an excerpt of Thomas Pynchon’s upcoming private detective novel, Inherent Vice. We grabbed this excerpt from the Penguin catalog, it’s a paperback waiting to happen:

“She came along the alley and up the back steps the way she always used to. Doc hadn’t seen her for over a year. Nobody had. Back then it was always sandals, bottom half of a flower-print bikini, faded Country Joe and the Fish T-shirt. Tonight she was all in flatland gear, hair a lot shorter than he remembered, looking just like she swore she’d never look. ‘That you, Shasta? The packaging fooled me there for a minute.’ ‘Need your help, Doc.’”

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