W hen March Kelleher, the leftwing, paranoid blogger in Bleeding Edge , invites the heroine, Maxine Tarnow, to recall "what Susan Sontag always sez", Maxine responds: "I like the streak, I'm keeping it? It prompts a question relevant to him and to all contemporary artists, from writers to directors to choreographers: if the present day is atomised, paranoid, infantile, obsessive, can a work of art capture this without taking on these attributes itself? Bleeding Edge is a multi-character detective -ish story, set in in a New York thrumming with ventures linked to Silicon Alley, the home of Manhattan's tech companies. Add to this thematic weight the fact that Pynchon invokes the tones of multiple genres — detective story, chick lit, teen lit, sci-fi, Tom Wolfean social satire — and the fact that it takes almost pages, most of them frantic with pop-culture references, to unfold, and a sense emerges of the scale of investment Pynchon demands from his reader. Like a major bank, like a marriage, Bleeding Edge is an idea too big to fail — at least, not without grand-scale disillusionment.
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Look Inside. Sep 17, Minutes Buy. A New York Times besteller! It is 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. Maxine Tarnow is running a nice little fraud investigation business on the Upper West Side, chasing down different kinds of small-scale con artists. 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.
Foul play, of course. 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?
Who wants to know? It really is good to have Thomas Pynchon around, doing what he does best. If not Pynchon, who? If not here at the end of history, when? It is unequivocally a masterpiece. 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. It connects the dots, the packets, the pixels. We are all part of this story.
It is funny, sad, paranoid and lyrical. It was difficult to put down. I want to read it again. 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.
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Product Details. Inspired by Your Browsing History. 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. Pynchon is the master of technology-as-metaphor. And these mechanisms are often manifest in the vagaries of things like rocket science and radio broadcasting tools. Related Articles. Looking for More Great Reads? Download Hi Res. LitFlash The eBooks you want at the lowest prices.
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The novel is a detective story, with its major themes being the September 11 attacks in New York City and the transformation of the world by the Internet. The often surreal and dream-like plot of the novel opens on the first day of spring , with Maxine Tarnow walking her two sons to school before going to work. Maxine, ex certified fraud examiner , is approached by Reg Despard regarding suspicious goings-on at hashslingrz, a computer security firm run by Gabriel Ice. She finds much of their financial numbers fail basic plausibility statistics, and notices large payments going to a now defunct website. She talks to an ex-temp for that site, learns they have strong Arab connections and move large sums of money through hawala , and notices she is being tailed afterwards. She talks to Rocky Slagiatt, VC investor behind some of Gabriel's start-ups, who is nervous about where they may be going. Meanwhile, mysterious government heavyweight Nicholas Windust puts pressure on Maxine, asking her to pump her Israeli brother-in-law for information regarding Mossad hacking methods.
In work spanning six decades, Thomas Pynchon has depicted a plural world reduced to mechanization, automation, and control. In doing so he has done more than any American author to reveal to readers the posthuman future. It does so by examining how Pynchon concludes his works. This move from noise to clarity is a move from spiritualism to spirituality. Even though possibilities are diminishing, and the end seems near, there remains the opportunity for communion, shared vulnerability, family, and friendship. This essay focuses on how this move transpires in Bleeding Edge , a novel that presents, potentially, the culmination of historical-eschatological movements toward reduction and domination. He does so in his endings, where vulnerability, community, and care for the souls of others take center stage.
Bleeding Edge by Thomas Pynchon – review
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This realization prompts him to defect, joining a loosely-knit counterforce and launching a tragicomic transcontinental chase where he is pursued by vengeful American authorities across the globe. Edward Snowden, right? As a Cornell undergraduate, he co-wrote a dystopian play that predicted the era of mobile computing. Way back in , Pynchon wrote an essay for the New York Times Book Review that foretold the rise of big data, the whip-cracking impact of the Long Tail, and the fragmenting of popular culture, all within the first two paragraphs. But over the last couple of decades, Pynchon's work has felt oddly out of step with the times he predicted. Is the NSA merely engaged in routine police surveillance?