- Please keep these annotations SPOILER-FREE by not revealing information from later pages in the novel.
Page numbers refer to editions with 369 pages, where the story begins on page 1. Not sure if there are other editions with variant pagination. Please let us know otherwise.
Brylcreem is a hair styling oil/gel for men that was very popular. It gives hair a wet, oily look.
on the natch
"natch" is short for "natural" and "on the natch," in this context, means sober. On pg. 273, the perennially sober Bigfoot is described as a "literal-minded natch-meister."
A real high school, in Lawndale, California, which - particularly in the story's time period - was a relatively undesirable and low-priced city in the LA area.
Probably a play on the term of Russian origin, meaning a man with underworld connections or a career criminal.
Section Eight hippies
Section Eight is low income housing funded with a California state subsidy.
"Japonica" is just a Latinization of "Japanese," but it is most commonly used in formal Latin plant names. There are a wide variety of "____ Japonica" plants, such as the Camellia Japonica. While it's not really possible to make any universal statement about such widely varied species, they tend to be ornamental and hardy. See: Plants of Inherent Vice
It is possible the first name is inspired by the character "Crocker Jarmon" from the movie The Candidate (1972). The character in the movie is an establishment, incumbent GOP Senator from California.
the ancient American Indian belief that if you save somebody's life, you are responsible for them from then on, forever
Last seen in Against the Day with Foley Walker and Scarsdale Vibe.
Ronald Reagan was governor of California from 1967 to 1975.
ten-year-old Mercedes sedan with a roof panel
outdoor concerts where thousands . . . public self
A good description of Woodstock, which had just taken place the previous year.
each person was listening in solitude, confinement and mutual silence
Perhaps a foreshadowing of the iPod generation?
Here, "head" refers to drugs, as in "head shop".
'64 Dodge Dart
They went down Pico . . . before repeating an ethnic category.
A possible nod to noted LA chowhound Johnathan Gold, who got his start as a Pulitzer Prize winning food critic eating his way across ethnic LA along Pico Blvd. Profiled here on NPR's "This American Life" (See: Act Five. Taste.)
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