The book of the year

By Felix Salmon
May 19, 2009

It’s one of the most eagerly-awaited books of 2009, and it features “a bizarre tangle of motives and passions whose cast of characters includes surfers, hustlers, dopers and rockers, a murderous loan shark, a tenor sax player working undercover, an ex-con with a swastika tattoo and a fondness for Ethel Merman, and a mysterious entity known as the Golden Fang”. More generally, there’s a “splendid cast of characters [which] includes villains, a few heroes, and a lot of people who look very, very foolish”, including “the goats and the few who saw what the emperor was wearing”.

Oh, wait, I’m conflating two different books. But really, wouldn’t “Inherent Vice” be a much better title for Michael Lewis’s crisis book than “The Big Short”? And when is Pynchon going to start writing about finance?

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