A new Thomas Pynchon novel is always an occasion to celebrate. And that’s just what Pynchon fans will be doing come September 17, when the literary madhatter releases “The Bleeding Edge,” his first novel since 2009′s acid noir “Inherent Vice”.
(Read my “Inherent Vice” review.)
The novel is said to take place in New York City’s Silicon Alley in 2001 between the burst of the Dot-Com bubble and 9/11. Perfect conspiratorial territory for Pynchon, of course. If anyone can spin a madcap yarn out of technology, financial shenanigans, radicals (in this case, Jihadists) and the simulated feel of 9/11, it’s Pynchon. In all truth, the fictional territory here seems rather more Don DeLillo (think: “Mao II”) than Pynchon; so it should be interesting to see how the author folds in his usual slapstick, psychedelic humor into the tech world and 9/11.
Even if he pulls off the narrative, the book won’t be for everyone. Pynchon fans are no strangers to his rambling, tangential style and labyrinthine “plots” populated with all manner of shaggy dogs, rockers, sexual deviants, international conspiracies, historical events, bananas and various types of entropy. Most readers will likely be baffled. But if any novel of 2013 threatens to be the best, it will likely be “The Bleeding Edge”.
Ready yourselves for a banana brunch celebration.