Bleeding Edge

Bleeding Edge

3.0 27
by Thomas Pynchon
     
 

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The Washington Post
“Brilliantly written… a joy to read… Bleeding Edge is totally gonzo, totally wonderful. It really is good to have Thomas Pynchon around, doing what he does best.” (Michael Dirda)

It is 2001 in New York City, in the lull between the collapse of the dot-com boom and the terrible events of

Overview

The Washington Post
“Brilliantly written… a joy to read… Bleeding Edge is totally gonzo, totally wonderful. It really is good to have Thomas Pynchon around, doing what he does best.” (Michael Dirda)

It is 2001 in New York City, in the lull between the collapse of the dot-com boom and the terrible events of September 11th. Silicon Alley is a ghost town, Web 1.0 is having adolescent angst, Google has yet to IPO, Microsoft is still considered the Evil Empire. There may not be quite as much money around as there was at the height of the tech bubble, but there’s no shortage of swindlers looking to grab a piece of what’s left.

Maxine Tarnow is running a nice little fraud investigation business on the Upper West Side, chasing down different kinds of small-scale con artists. She used to be legally certified but her license got pulled a while back, which has actually turned out to be a blessing because now she can follow her own code of ethics—carry a Beretta, do business with sleazebags, hack into people’s bank accounts—without having too much guilt about any of it. Otherwise, just your average working mom—two boys in elementary school, an off-and-on situation with her sort of semi-ex-husband Horst, life as normal as it ever gets in the neighborhood—till Maxine starts looking into the finances of a computer-security firm and its billionaire geek CEO, whereupon things begin rapidly to jam onto the subway and head downtown. She soon finds herself mixed up with a drug runner in an art deco motorboat, a professional nose obsessed with Hitler’s aftershave, a neoliberal enforcer with footwear issues, plus elements of the Russian mob and various bloggers, hackers, code monkeys, and entrepreneurs, some of whom begin to show up mysteriously dead. Foul play, of course.

With occasional excursions into the DeepWeb and out to Long Island, Thomas Pynchon, channeling his inner Jewish mother, brings us a historical romance of New York in the early days of the internet, not that distant in calendar time but galactically remote from where we’ve journeyed to since.

Will perpetrators be revealed, forget about brought to justice? Will Maxine have to take the handgun out of her purse? Will she and Horst get back together? Will Jerry Seinfeld make an unscheduled guest appearance? Will accounts secular and karmic be brought into balance?

Hey. Who wants to know?

Slate.com
"If not here at the end of history, when? If not Pynchon, who? Reading Bleeding Edge, tearing up at the beauty of its sadness or the punches of its hilarity, you may realize it as the 9/11 novel you never knew you needed… a necessary novel and one that literary history has been waiting for."

The New York Times Book Review
Exemplary… dazzling and ludicrous... Our reward for surrendering expectations that a novel should gather in clarity, rather than disperse into molecules, isn’t anomie but delight.(Jonathan Lethem)

Wired magazine
The book’s real accomplishment is to claim the last decade as Pynchon territory, a continuation of the same tensions — between freedom and captivity, momentum and entropy, meaning and chaos — through which he has framed the last half-century."

***A New York Times Notable Book of 2013***

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
08/19/2013
Reviewed by David Kipen. Published 50 years ago by long-gone J.B. Lippincott & Co., Thomas Pynchon's V. wasn't just the best first novel ever, it was a blueprint for his entire career. Much as that book yoyo-ed between an international femme fatale and a feckless contemporary klutz, the Pynchon shelf has alternated between globe-trotting, century-spanning bricks like Gravity's Rainbow (1973), and impish, only slightly historical, California-set bagatelles like Inherent Vice (2009). Now comes Bleeding Edge, a lovably scruffy comedy of remarriage, half-hidden behind the lopsided Groucho mask of Pynchon's second straight private-eye story. Like Ornette Coleman's riff on The Rite of Spring, it starts out strong, misplaces the melody amid some delightfully surreal noodling, and finally swans away in sweet, lingering diminuendo. Almost all Pynchon's books are historical novels, with this one no exception. Where Vineland slyly set a story of Orwellian government surveillance in 1984, Bleeding Edge situates a fable of increasingly sentient computers in, naturally, 2001. Of course, the year 2001 means something besides HAL and Dave now, and Pynchon spirits us through "that terrible morning" in September--and its "infantilizing" aftermath--with unhysterical grace. Our heroine throughout is Maxine Tarnow, a defrocked fraud investigator and daftly doting Manhattan mom, still stuck in that early, "my husband...ex-husband" stage of an unwanted divorce. Maxi soon becomes embroiled in the mysterious case of one Lester Traipse, a superannuated Silicon Alley veteran who, along with the dotcom bubble, has just gotten popped. The plot's dizzying profusion of murder suspects plays like something out of early Raymond Chandler, under whose bright star Bleeding Edge unmistakably unreels. Shoals of red herrings keep swimming by, many of them never seen again. Still, reading Pynchon for plot is like reading Austen for sex. Each page has a little more of it than the one before, but you never quite get to the clincher. Luckily, Pynchon and Austen have ample recourse to the oldest, hardest-to-invoke rule in the book --when in doubt, be a genius. It's cheating, but it works. No one, but no one, rivals Pynchon's range of language, his elasticity of syntax, his signature mix of dirty jokes, dread and shining decency. It's a peculiarity of musical notation that major works are, more often than not, set in a minor key, and vice versa. Bleeding Edge is mellow, plummy, minor-key Pynchon, his second such in a row since Against the Day (2006)--that still-smoking asteroid, whose otherworldly inner music readers are just beginning to tap back at. But in its world-historical savvy, its supple feel for the joys and stings of love--both married and parental--this new book is anything but minor. On the contrary, Bleeding Edge is a chamber symphony in P major, so generous of invention it sometimes sprawls, yet so sharp it ultimately pierces. All this, plus a stripjoint called Joie de Beavre and a West Indian proctologist named Pokemon. Who else does that?David Kipen is the former director of reading initiatives at the National Endowment for the Arts and is the founder of Libros Schmibros, a nonprofit lending library and used bookstore in Los Angeles.
Vogue Magazine
A pitch-perfect portrait of pre-9/11, pre-social media New York that's both seductive and impossibly innocent.
From the Publisher
***A New York Times Notable Book of 2013***

Brilliantly written… a joy to read…Full of verbal sass and pizzazz, as well as conspiracies within conspiracies, Bleeding Edge is totally gonzo, totally wonderful. It really is good to have Thomas Pynchon around, doing what he does best.” —Michael Dirda, The Washington Post

“A precious freak of a novel, glinting rich and strange, like a black pearl from an oyster unfathomable by any other diver into our eternal souls. If not here at the end of history, when? If not Pynchon, who? Reading Bleeding Edge, tearing up at the beauty of its sadness or the punches of its hilarity, you may realize it as the 9/11 novel you never knew you needed… a necessary novel and one that literary history has been waiting for, ever since it went to bed early on innocent Sept. 10 with a copy of The Corrections and stayed up well past midnight reading Franzen into the wee hours of his novel’s publication day.” —Slate.com

“Are you ready for Thomas (Screaming Comes Across the Sky) Pynchon on the subject of September 11, 2001?... Exemplary… dazzling and ludicrous… Our reward for surrendering expectations that a novel should gather in clarity, rather than disperse into molecules, isn’t anomie but delight. Pynchon himself’s a good companion, full of real affection for his people and places, even as he lampoons them for suffering the postmodern condition of being only partly real.” —Jonathan Lethem, New York Times Book Review

Surely now Pynchon must be in line for the Nobel Prize?... Thomas Pynchon, America’s greatest novelist, has written the greatest novel about the most significant events in his country’s 21st century history. It is unequivocally a masterpiece.” —The Scotsman (UK)

The book’s real accomplishment is to claim the last decade as Pynchon territory, a continuation of the same tensions — between freedom and captivity, momentum and entropy, meaning and chaos — through which he has framed the last half-century… As usual, Pynchon doesn’t provide answers but teases us with the hint of closure, leaving us ultimately unsure whether the signals add up to a master plot or merely a series of sinister and unfortunate events. The overall effect is one of amused frustration, of dying to find that one extra piece of information that will help make sense of this overwhelming and vaguely threatening world. It feels a lot like life.” —Wired magazine

The New York of late 2001 was a Pynchon novel waiting to happen, in which the failures of ‘late capitalist’ speculation, in the form of the recently deflated tech bubble, meet 9/11 to form the 21st century’s Year Zero.” —New York Observer

Pynchon's prose is irresistible. It's playful and bustling — cheesy puns rub elbows with Big Ideas.  A-” —Entertainment Weekly

Brilliant and wonderful… Bleeding Edge chronicles the birth of the now — our terrorism-obsessed, NSA-everywhere, smartphone Panopticon zeitgeist — in the crash of the towers. It connects the dots, the packets, the pixels. We are all part of this story. We are all characters in Pynchon’s mad world. Bleeding Edge is a novel about geeks, the Internet, New York and 9/11. It is funny, sad, paranoid and lyrical. It was difficult to put down. I want to read it again.” —Salon.com

Bleeding Edge takes the messy, funny, and sad all-at-once world we live in and reflects it back to us in a way that I can only call consoling—somebody else out there gets it. No matter how crazy things became in this book, I felt safe as long as I was inside its pages. So of course as soon as I finished it, I started over again.” —Malcolm Jones, Daily Beast/Newsweek

Bleeding Edge may be the book Thomas Pynchon was born to write.” —New York Daily News, “Page Views” 

The ingeniously whimsical, accessible story of a New York City fraud investigator who becomes entangled with some very sketchy characters as she tries to get to the bottom of a case involving a tech billionaire.” —O: The Oprah Magazine 

Showstopping…The future that [Pynchon] so precociously, disturbingly foresaw long ago now surges around us. With Bleeding Edge, he shows that he has mastered the move from the shock of the new to the shock of the now, while cushioning the blow.” —Leisl Schillinger, Barnes & Noble

Bleeding Edge is vintage Pynchon, a louche yarn of rollicking doomism. Pynchon is the master of technology-as-metaphor. In previous books—particularly “V.” and “Gravity’s Rainbow”—there is a persistent, shadowy suggestion of an unseen system, mechanisms that underlie the perceived reality of events. And these mechanisms are often manifest in the vagaries of things like rocket science and radio broadcasting tools. In those old books, however, the obscure schema was cast as an almost magical or mystical force, but as Bleeding Edge appears, we have the real thing.”—Seattle Times

Fabulously entertainingBleeding Edge is stuffed with gorgeous passages that sing their longing for all we’ve lost, in trashing the land and ourselves. But such writing is also a stirring call to arms, making clear that the history we’ll make depends on what and how we remember. As Pynchon has been reminding us for 50 years, there’s always more than one way to tell that story.”—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“Pynchon’s Bleeding Edge is a masterpiece of post- and pre-9/11 paranoia.”—Las Vegas Weekly
"A hilarious, shrewd, and disquieting metaphysical mystery." —Booklist (STARRED)

"No one, but no one, rivals Pynchon’s range of language, his elasticity of syntax, his signature mix of dirty jokes, dread and shining decency… Bleeding Edge is a chamber symphony in P major, so generous of invention it sometimes sprawls, yet so sharp it ultimately pierces.” —Publishers Weekly

"A much-anticipated return, and it’s trademark stuff: a blend of existential angst, goofy humor and broad-sweeping bad vibes." —Kirkus Reviews (STARRED)

"Truly your most important reading for the fall... darkly hilarious." —Library Journal

The Washington Post - Michael Dirda
Brilliantly written...a joy to read...Full of verbal sass and pizzazz, as well as conspiracies within conspiracies, Bleeding Edge is totally gonzo, totally wonderful. It really is good to have Thomas Pynchon around, doing what he does best.
New York Times Book Review - Jonathan Lethem
Exemplary...dazzling and ludicrous...Our reward for surrendering expectations that a novel should gather in clarity, rather than disperse into molecules, isn't anomie but delight. Pynchon himself's a good companion, full of real affectation for his people and places, even as he lampoons them for suffering the postmodern condition of being only partly real.
Slate.com
Brilliant and wonderful...Bleeding Edge chronicles the birth of the now — our terrorism-obsessed, NSA-everywhere, smartphone Panopticon zeitgeist — in the crash of the towers. It connects the dots, the packets, the pixels. We are all part of this story. We are all characters in Pynchon's mad world. Bleeding Edge is a novel about geeks, the Internet, New York and 9/11. It is funny, sad, paranoid and lyrical. It was difficult to put down. I want to read it again.

A precious freak of a novel, glinting rich and strange, like a black pearl from an oyster unfathomable by any other diver into our eternal souls. If not here at the end of history, when? If not Pynchon, who? Reading Bleeding Edge, tearing up at the beauty of its sadness or the punches of its hilarity, you may realize it as the 9/11 novel you never knew you needed...a necessary novel and one that literary history has been waiting for.

USA Today
The truth is, Pynchon writes like no one else. He somehow injects love and humanity as the antidote to the dehumanization he fears and obsesses about. He convincingly warp-speeds from one setting and characters to another within the same sentence. Even in his hyper-narrative ways, he remains the master of phrasing — cool, hip, explosive narrative fragments overstuffed with meaning...If you're willing to enter this bleeding-edge (def: more advanced and riskier than cutting-edge) novel, figure to come out the back page a different reader, probably better off.
Wired magazine
The book's real accomplishment is to claim the last decade as Pynchon territory, a continuation of the same tensions — between freedom and captivity, momentum and entropy, meaning and chaos — through which he has framed the last half-century...As usual, Pynchon doesn't provide answers but teases us with the hint of closure, leaving us ultimately unsure whether the signals add up to a master plot or merely a series of sinister and unfortunate events. The overall effect is one of amused frustration, of dying to find that one extra piece of information that will help make sense of this overwhelming and vaguely threatening world. It feels a lot like life.
Los Angeles Times
It's fitting that Pynchon is tackling the near-present, because the real world has all but overtaken his elaborate, far-out fictions. Paranoia, conspiracy, electronic connection, government surveillance — there's nothing like reading a Pynchon novel while new revelations about the NSA are popping up on your cellphone.
The Boston Globe
A book that fights mightily against the landfill by taking all the random pieces of that wastrel-conman era and putting them into a plot that is both ridiculous and far too close to reality to laugh at without a back-draft of dread.
The Scotsman (UK)
Surely now Pynchon must be in line for the Nobel Prize?... Thomas Pynchon, America's greatest novelist, has written the greatest novel about the most significant events in his country's 21st century history. It is unequivocally a masterpiece.
Library Journal
★ 09/01/2013
Once again, Pynchon delivers an extraordinary sense of the zeitgeist. As the book opens, Maxine Tarnow—sort of separated from staid Horst—gets her sons off to school in an artfully rendered Upper West Side directly before 9/11. A fraud investigator who's lost her license, which makes for scuzzy clients but lets her pack a Beretta, Maxine is on the case when filmmaker friend Reg contacts her about his suspicions regarding hashslingrz, the computer security firm he's been asked to document. Maxine's investigations lead her to hashslingrz monomaniac Gabriel Ice; Igor, a Russian mafioso with a conscience; and two rap-spouting sidekicks named Misha and Grisha; government agent Windust, a murderer and torturer with whom Maxine exchanges information and a carnal moment; and many more. Then there's friend Vyrva, whose husband has helped create the virtual escape site DeepArcher, emblem of the turn-of-the-21st-century techno-angst, -greed, and -possibility that is the book's thematic context. VERDICT A theory is voiced here about CIA involvement in 9/11 to get funding from anti-Islamic sources. But 9/11 is not ultimately the point. Nor is Maxine's page-turning, occasionally dense, high art-low art mystery trail. What matters is the creation of a time, a place, and authentic, deeply connected characters, all heightened by Pynchon's darkly hilarious way with language and located on the "bleeding edge" as the world changed. [See Prepub Alert, 5/6/13.]—Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2013-09-01
Pynchon (Inherent Vice, 2009, etc.) makes a much-anticipated return, and it's trademark stuff: a blend of existential angst, goofy humor and broad-sweeping bad vibes. Paranoia, that operative word in Pynchon's world ever since Gravity's Rainbow (1973), is what one of his characters here calls "the garlic in life's kitchen." Well, there's paranoia aplenty to be had in Pynchon's sauté pan, served up in the dark era of the 9/11 attack, the dot-com meltdown and the Patriot Act. Maxine Tarnow is, on the face of it, just another working mom in the city, but in reality, after she's packed her kids' lunches and delivered them at school, she's ferreting around with data cowboys and code monkeys, looking into various sorts of electronic fraud. Her estranged husband, apparently a decent enough sort, "to this day has enjoyed a nearly error-free history of knowing how certain commodities around the world will behave," but Maxine has a keen sense of how data flows and from whom to whom. One track she follows leads to a genius billionaire and electronic concoctions that can scarcely be believed--but also, in a customarily loopy way, to organized crime, terrorism, big data and the U.S. government, with the implication, as Horst later will ponder, that all are bound up in the collapse of the Twin Towers. ("Remember the week before this happened, all those put options on United and American Airlines? Which turned out to be exactly the two airlines that got hijacked?") If you were sitting in a plane next to someone muttering about such things, you might ask to change seats, but Pynchon has long managed to blend his particularly bleak view of latter-day humankind with a tolerant ability to find true humor in our foibles. If he's sometimes heavy-handed, he's also attuned precisely to the zeitgeist, drawing in references to Pabst Blue Ribbon longnecks, Mamma Mia, the Diamondbacks/Yankees World Series, Office Space, and the touching belief of young Zuckerbergs in the age before Zuckerberg that their bleeding-edge technology--"[n]o proven use, high risk, something only early-adoption addicts feel comfortable with"--will somehow be put to good use rather than, as Pynchon assures us, to the most evil applications. Of a piece with Pynchon's recent work--not quite a classic à la V. but in a class of its own--more tightly woven but no less madcap than Inherent Vice, and sure to the last that we live in a world of very odd shadows.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781594204234
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/17/2013
Pages:
496
Sales rank:
426,951
Product dimensions:
6.56(w) x 9.36(h) x 1.51(d)

Read an Excerpt

It’s the first day of spring 2001, and Maxine Tarnow, though some still have her in their system as Loeffler, is walking her boys to school. Yes maybe they’re past the age where they need an escort, maybe Maxine doesn’t want to let go just yet, it’s only a couple blocks, it’s on her way to work, she enjoys it, so?

This morning, all up and down the streets, what looks like every Callery Pear tree on the Upper West Side has popped overnight into clusters of white pear blossoms. As Maxine watches, sunlight finds its way past rooflines and water tanks to the end of the block and into one particular tree, which all at once is filled with light.

“Mom?” Ziggy in the usual hurry. “Yo.”

“Guys, check it out, that tree?”

Otis takes a minute to look. “Awesome, Mom.”

“Doesn’t suck,” Zig agrees. The boys keep going, Maxine regards the tree half a minute more before catching up. At the corner, by reflex, she drifts into a pick so as to stay between them and any driver whose idea of sport is to come around the corner and run you over.

Sunlight reflected from east-facing apartment windows has begun to show up in blurry patterns on the fronts of buildings across the street. Two-part buses, new on the routes, creep the crosstown blocks like giant insects. Steel shutters are being rolled up, early trucks are double-parking, guys are out with hoses cleaning off their piece of sidewalk. Unsheltered people sleep in doorways, scavengers with huge plastic sacks full of empty beer and soda cans head for the markets to cash them in, work crews wait in front of buildings for the super to show up. Runners are bouncing up and down at the curb waiting for lights to change. Cops are in coffee shops dealing with bagel deficiencies. Kids, parents, and nannies wheeled and afoot are heading in all different directions for schools in the neighborhood. Half the kids seem to be on new Razor scooters, so to the list of things to keep alert for add ambush by rolling aluminum.

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From the Publisher

Brilliantly written… a joy to read…Full of verbal sass and pizzazz, as well as conspiracies within conspiracies, Bleeding Edge is totally gonzo, totally wonderful. It really is good to have Thomas Pynchon around, doing what he does best.” --Michael Dirda, The Washington Post

“A precious freak of a novel, glinting rich and strange, like a black pearl from an oyster unfathomable by any other diver into our eternal souls. If not here at the end of history, when? If not Pynchon, who? Reading Bleeding Edge, tearing up at the beauty of its sadness or the punches of its hilarity, you may realize it as the 9/11 novel you never knew you needed… a necessary novel and one that literary history has been waiting for, ever since it went to bed early on innocent Sept. 10 with a copy of The Corrections and stayed up well past midnight reading Franzen into the wee hours of his novel’s publication day.” --Slate.com

“Are you ready for Thomas (Screaming Comes Across the Sky) Pynchon on the subject of September 11, 2001?... Exemplary… dazzling and ludicrous… Our reward for surrendering expectations that a novel should gather in clarity, rather than disperse into molecules, isn’t anomie but delight. Pynchon himself’s a good companion, full of real affectation for his people and places, even as he lampoons them for suffering the postmodern condition of being only partly real.” --Jonathan Lethem, New York Times Book Review

Surely now Pynchon must be in line for the Nobel Prize?... Thomas Pynchon, America’s greatest novelist, has written the greatest novel about the most significant events in his country’s 21st century history. It is unequivocally a masterpiece.” --The Scotsman (UK)

The book’s real accomplishment is to claim the last decade as Pynchon territory, a continuation of the same tensions — between freedom and captivity, momentum and entropy, meaning and chaos — through which he has framed the last half-century… As usual, Pynchon doesn’t provide answers but teases us with the hint of closure, leaving us ultimately unsure whether the signals add up to a master plot or merely a series of sinister and unfortunate events. The overall effect is one of amused frustration, of dying to find that one extra piece of information that will help make sense of this overwhelming and vaguely threatening world. It feels a lot like life.” --Wired magazine

Brilliant and wonderful… Bleeding Edge chronicles the birth of the now — our terrorism-obsessed, NSA-everywhere, smartphone Panopticon zeitgeist — in the crash of the towers. It connects the dots, the packets, the pixels. We are all part of this story. We are all characters in Pynchon’s mad world. Bleeding Edge is a novel about geeks, the Internet, New York and 9/11. It is funny, sad, paranoid and lyrical. It was difficult to put down. I want to read it again.” --Salon.com

"A hilarious, shrewd, and disquieting metaphysical mystery." --Booklist (STARRED)

"No one, but no one, rivals Pynchon’s range of language, his elasticity of syntax, his signature mix of dirty jokes, dread and shining decency… Bleeding Edge is a chamber symphony in P major, so generous of invention it sometimes sprawls, yet so sharp it ultimately pierces.” --Publishers Weekly

"A much-anticipated return, and it’s trademark stuff: a blend of existential angst, goofy humor and broad-sweeping bad vibes." --Kirkus (STARRED)

"Truly your most important reading for the fall... darkly hilarious." --Library Journal

Meet the Author

THOMAS PYNCHON is the author of V.; The Crying of Lot 49; Gravity’s Rainbow; Slow Learner, a collection of short stories; Vineland; Mason & Dixon; Against the Day; and, most recently, Inherent Vice. He received the National Book Award for Gravity’s Rainbow in 1974.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
New York, New York
Date of Birth:
May 8, 1937
Place of Birth:
Glen Cove, Long Island, New York
Education:
B. A., Cornell University, 1958

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Bleeding Edge 3.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What we learn from Thomas Pynchon: the world is a dangerous place, but also one filled with strange wonders. That many of those wonders, beautiful and horrifying, come from the human imagination. We have waited just long enough for the contours of 9/11 to blur ever so slightly, and then they are molded back into sharper relief than ever in the simultaneously exuberant and knowing hands of a master magician. We read this book not for a history lesson, but for something deeper, an understanding of the human psyche, in all its intricate and compelling compelxities. Can we read this book without becoming mesmerized, shocked and moved, deeply moved? It is in the humanity of the author and his capacity to make gorgeous (and sometimes cranky) music through his language that gives this book its brilliant, compelling luster. This book is listed as a historical mystery, which is a bit like listing Moby-Dick as a fisherman's tale of the one that got away. This is a book about our souls, and the dark tinge that edges into our hearts. This marks the third Pynchon-related book of the year, each idiosyncratic in its exceptional beauty (the other two carrying blurbs from Pynchon): Tenth of December by George Saunders, working with a post-maximalist music in ten strange stories, each posing a cocked ear and a knowing eye toward our addled times; and The Glass Ocean by Lori Baker, an extended tone poem, that conjures a world of art, science, abandonment and longing. These are, to my mind, the best three works of fiction of 2013. The shared aspect: Pynchon, Saunders and Baker are not following anyone else's path -- they are writing art, not commerce.
blueridgebard More than 1 year ago
Following Inherent Vice, the master just keeps on rolling with this one. Stream of consciousness catch the wave you never want to get off. Terrific humor, though I wonder if anyone is erudite enough to get all the jokes. It helps a lot to have some understanding of the internet, computer programming and associated jargon, New York city, Jewish culture, and too many other things to list here. The heroine is fantastic, sez I. Enough conspiracy theory to make one think again about who knew what and when in the Bush administration. I recommend this book highly. I have read most of Pynchon's books and enjoyed them all. I hope the mysterious Old Dude has several more in him.
mothslayer More than 1 year ago
Thomas Pynchon. You like his style or you don't.  I love it.  Bleeding Edge is humorous, nerdy, insightful, poignant, and thrilling.  He handles the post "11 September" with grace, illustrating the malaise and social/national fallout that followed, all without being insensitive or gushy.  It's quirky and weird, and definitely unconventional when compared with the majority of narratives in popular literature.  Kudos to Pynchon for another wild ride!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I know Thos. Pynchon is a great writer but I didn't get a third of the way through this work before I ditched it. I don't find his style funny. I don't care about his characters. I found the number of characters introduced to be confusing and without merit. The rambling style of the dialog is boring and meaningless. Sorry. I know he has a lot of fans but I'm not among them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It seems that the majority of the postings here are by people who have never read Pynchon or even know anything about his writing.  HIs plots aren't obvious, they never have been in any book.  Once you think you have it, you discover it changes paths.  You end up finding that with Pynchon it's not about the destination, it's about the journey.   "Confusing narrative. Crude sex which adds nothing to the plot, but shows the base characters of the main persons."   Sorry, but maybe the Twilight series is more for you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Bleeding Edge. to me, is analogous to the Seinfeld sitcom. The latter was a self-proclaimed show about nothing – nevertheless we found it amusing and enjoyable. I got many chuckles and laughs reading this fast-paced novel about nothing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A lot of the humor is reliant on Yiddish and Russian cognates. The book pokes fun at and points out how endlessly discomfitted we are by technology and its course to change us. An important if at times frustrating read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazingly intelligent, bitingly satirical and culturally literate, this novel works on so many levels. Another breathtaking novel from one of America's finest writers.
Freedom_to_Read More than 1 year ago
This book never leaves the starting gate. There is so much emphasis by the author to embellish every sentence that most of the paragraphs have no more than two sentences. It is a very tough read when all it has going for it are the author's over indulgence of compound sentence after compound sentence. The Yiddish is very hard to follow. The verse it cluttered with ethnic in-jokes that only the author can comprehend. Don't ask me about the ending because that to was awful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
gramercypolice More than 1 year ago
Very evocative of a time and place -- NYC in the year falling from Spring 2001 to Spring 2002, the remnants of the dotcom bust, the rise of the security state, and the tension between the necessary sense of community and the need for some to grab whatever they can. A story of the many meanings of family, masquerading as a detective novel. It rewarded my time, and sometimes my patience, with a huge story brilliantly told, revolving around a small family in a big city.
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I always finish what I start to read except this time. I couldn't follow the plot and I didn't get his abbreviations. I would look up words I didn't understand and they weren't in the dictionary. I kept ready thinking that things would become understandable--they didn't. I'm not stupid, I have a MBA. I lost interest quickly.
Phyllie More than 1 year ago
I bought the Audio CD and could not get past the reader, Jennie Berlin. Her voice was like a sleeping pill while scratching the chalkboard with nails, I listened to the first CD and could not finish
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pynchon got lost on the Upper West Side and hasn't found his way out. Vaguely resembles Crying but misses many fine points of novelistic determinism. It rambles.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Confusing narrative. Crude sex which adds nothing to the plot, but shows the base characters of the main persons.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There is no plot, to speak of, to spoil...all character driven...all the characters and dialogue are just too ironic and sooo clever and cutsey...willful suspension of disbelief is abandoned in favor of an exercise in authorial bravura......if you like implausibility and deus machina interveners, you'll love this tour de egomanical author farce....the whole premise of the book excruciatingly builds to predictable cliche 9/11 an UN-denouement... IMO, not even worthy for consideration of a National Book Award...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
flat characters, little plot and hard to read...not worthy of a book award...
bonemike More than 1 year ago
I think if you were a New Yorker, this novel would not be as incomprehensible as I found it. I stopped reading 1/3 of the way through.
guitaoist3 More than 1 year ago
Havent read it but this book deserves better ratings than what these numbskulls are posting, though i have faith this book'll be a great experience like his always tend to be.