Vineland (1990) is a provocative, rambling meditation on the aftermath of that periodization of American history known as "the sixties." We are in 1984, after the Nixonian repression, at the height of Reagan's triumph. The surface of Pynchon's novel obsessively, distractingly (distressingly to some), bears witness to the impact of media and popular culture on those who would examine the recent past. A faultless ear for reminiscences and questions carries forward the soul-searching the predicament demands. We "listen" to the self-indulgence of zany and marginal types, hippies who were "turned" to work for the other side, as their would-be revolution fizzled. Pynchon pushes his characters to the edge of madness, through the discovery of the cynical manipulation and make-believe which brought down the dream.