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Bleeding edge /
Thomas Pynchon.
imprint
New York : The Penguin Press, 2013.
description
477 p. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
1594204233 (Cloth), 9781594204234 (Cloth)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : The Penguin Press, 2013.
isbn
1594204233 (Cloth)
9781594204234 (Cloth)
catalogue key
8943760
A Look Inside
First Chapter

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.

Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 2013-09-01:
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 (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Reviews
Review Quotes
"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 "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
This item was reviewed in:
Library Journal, September 2013
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
New York Times Book Review "Exemplary... dazzling and ludicrous. " 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? Publishers Weekly "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." Library Journal "Truly your most important reading for the fall... darkly hilarious."
Main Description
Thomas Pynchon brings us to New York in the early days of the internet 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 theres no shortage of swindlers looking to grab a piece of whats 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 peoples 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 Hitlers 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 weve 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?
Main Description
Thomas Pynchon brings us to New York in the early days of the internet 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?

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