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Bleeding Edge af Thomas Pynchon

Bleeding Edge (udgave 2013)

af Thomas Pynchon (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
1,3295010,904 (3.53)62
New York City, 2001. Fraud investigator Maxine Tarnow starts looking into the finances of a computer-security firm and its billionaire geek CEO and discovers there's no shortage of swindlers looking to grab a piece of what's left of the tech bubble.
Titel:Bleeding Edge
Forfattere:Thomas Pynchon (Forfatter)
Info:Penguin Press (2013), Edition: 1st, 477 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek

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Bleeding Edge af Thomas Pynchon


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Engelsk (44)  Fransk (2)  Hollandsk (1)  Tysk (1)  Spansk (1)  Italiensk (1)  Alle sprog (50)
Viser 1-5 af 50 (næste | vis alle)
There's a surreal, dream-like quality to the book. On the surface it feels very shallow, depicting a Jewish mother/fraud investigator in New York in 2001. She looks and sounds very much like what you would expect, except with a bit more humor and wit to her. The characters and interactions she has with them appear shallow - yup - but dig deeper and you'll find more heart and meaning to these encounters.

However, it all feels very on the nose, crass even. Reading it took me a lot longer than expected, owing mostly to the language and the 'references', so to speak. Pychon has other, much better stories - this one's a pass. ( )
  bdgamer | Sep 10, 2021 |
This was a book that I enjoyed greatly, even more than I expected I would. I have always enjoyed Pynchon's writing but I was surprised by how "up to date" he was about the technology world of 2001. He definitely captured the feel of the time and he weaves together an enjoyable mystery with a fantastic lead charaacter. I don't pretend to have gotten all the meanings he likely put into the narrative, but I had a great time flowing along with his language and his story. Definitely a 5 star read for me.
( )
  MarkMad | Jul 14, 2021 |
A staggering weight comes across the shelf. It has happened before, but at this point in his career there are quite a few masterpieces to compare it to now. As America's greatest living novelist, each book he releases feels like it should be a bombshell, ever-escalating shocks of genius radiating out for as far as there's literary terrain left to expose to new light. Bleeding Edge, which is unquestionably a great novel, funny and moving and as clever as any number of competitors put together, is not on the same level of revelation as the Three Doorstops of Gravity's Rainbow, Mason & Dixon, and Against the Day. It's instead by far the most "normal" book he's ever written, meaning it contains the fewest goofy songs, ludicrous Dickensian names, drug-addled digressions, or egregiously stupid/brilliant puns, though all of those elements definitely appear. I won't call it "mature", since he's been ahead of the game ever since his very first book, but this is his first novel to seem like it was written by a father, someone with real roots in the ordinary quotidian life of school days, sleepovers, and the rest of the thankless but necessary work done by any ordinary parent.

Maxine Tarnow, the star of this particular show, will conjure up inescapable memories of Oedipa Maas in The Crying of Lot 49. They're similar in many ways, in only one of the elements of resonance that this book has with his earlier works - they're both smart, inquisitive women with husbands in varying stages of detachment, who investigate rapidly expanding mysteries with some degree of illumination, bafflement, and mildly erotic peril. Maxine is far more of a real human being, however, with a job, children, and friends, none of which Oedipa seemed to have. It's difficult to read the book's opening and closing scenes of maternal concern and not think that Pynchon's own fatherhood has changed his writing dramatically, in the sense of getting him more interested in the day-to-day details of people's lives, and less interested in stringing scenes together around obscure trivia he dredged up from an atlas or dictionary, as he claimed he used to do in his introduction to Slow Learner. Not only do people worry about their children in Bleeding Edge, they have real conversations; in particular, the banter between Maxine and her friend Heidi is some of the funniest dialogue he's ever written. Even Maxine's relationship arc with her ex-husband is well-done; the scene where their kids catch them slow-dancing together is a combination of funny and moving that he's done only rarely before.

Another change in his writing, besides the focus on grown-up themes, is how much calmer it's gotten, to the extent that it's hard to believe that he once wrote books featuring immortal light bulbs, robot ducks, or sentient tornadoes. He's still the same writer who seemed to know everything there was to know about the history of Malta, medieval postal societies, the orthography of Central Asian languages, or Chinese occult practices, but he's turned his eye back to New York City again, giving it much more attention and detail than he did when he used it as part of the setting of V. I once read a quote to the effect that New York is the only city you can write about without sounding provincial; whether that's true or not, since I can imagine it being both a small canvas for a great artist and an impossibly daunting one for a lesser artist, Pynchon gives the city the same treatment he's given to the more exotic locales he's used over the years, filling it with all the little details that will jump out at anyone who's ever visited or lived there. Additionally, instead of throwing in highbrow references to Maxwell's Demon or quaternions, there's Dragonball Z, Jennifer Aniston hair, Final Fantasy X, Pokémon, and countless more pop culture items, handled with a deftness amazing for a 76 year-old, or indeed most people. It's hard to write about pop culture and not sound clunky, if you're old, or shallow, if you write for an indie music review site, so although it's less "mindblowing" that he's writing about all this familiar everyday stuff instead of his more abstruse encyclopedia findings, his evocation of the 9/11 era is still impressive.

Speaking of 9/11, I really appreciated the way he handled it. It would be easy for a lesser writer to milk the event for tears and sentiment through some pompous literary overwriting, but instead everyone in the book behaves like a normal person and has exactly the kind of emotions you remember from 12 years ago. There's a nod to quasi-truther theories, but only as a way for him to work in his trademark paranoia theme, which aside from a joke or two like "Paranoia is the garlic in life's kitchen", is absent here to a degree greater than every other book aside from maybe Mason & Dixon in spite of Maxine's investigation's resemblances to Oedipa's famously paranoia-soaked quest. One irritating trope I've noticed among critics of his more recent works is this idea that he writes "shaggy dog" stories - that is, his books are merely extended versions of the famous "We're the aristocrats!" routine or that knock-knock joke that ends in "Orange you glad I didn't say banana again?" - the implication is that Pynchon is just stringing the reader along like a sucker, rambling on about paranoia, conspiracies, and so forth, teasing with the possibility of meaning, and then ending his books with a yuk and a rimshot, cheating them of the glorious sense of emotional, aesthetic, and narrative closure you get in a true masterpiece like, say, a Jonathan Franzen novel. I would be tempted to dismiss this stupid, borderline illiterate criticism as either sour grapes or straightforward philistinism, but I was glad to see that Pynchon decided to make fun of that line of thinking himself with a literal Shaggy dog story, a description of the unfortunately fictional "Scooby Goes Latin!" cartoon Maxine's kids are watching:

"Shaggy, somehow allowed to drive the van, has become confused and made some navigational errors, landing the adventurous quintet eventually in Medellín, Colombia, home at the time to a notorious cocaine cartel, where they stumble onto a scheme by a rogue DEA agent to gain control of the cartel by pretending to be the ghost - what else - of an assassinated drug kingpin. With the help of a pack of local street urchins, however, Scooby and his pals foil the plan.
The cartoon comes back on, the villain is brought to justice. "And I would've got away with it, too," he complains, "if it hadn’t been for those Medellín kids!"

I personally can't get enough of those amazing/retarded puns, and I vehemently disagree that they make the book any less meaningful. Where did this idea come from that the only way to make real points about life is to be as grim and unsmiling as possible? To embed a silly throwaway joke like that into a scene of parental worry and care might strike some as perversely unserious, but I prefer to think of it as a greater appreciation for the way that different feelings can coexist with each other at the same time, as well as an admirable refusal to let a good joke go to waste (though it's not as ludicrous as Gravity's Rainbow's incredible "For De Mille, young fur-henchmen can't be rowing" pun). It's not like the book doesn't have a lot of feelings in it, despite the existence of things like strip clubs called Joie de Beavre; on the contrary it has plenty of moments as heartfelt as Roger and Jessica's doomed love affair, Mason and Dixon's enduring friendship, or the fidelity of the Chums of Chance. The DeepArcher webspace that drives Maxine's actions becomes, instead of a bland technothriller or cringe-inducing salad of unhip hacker jokes, a great vehicle for ideas about freedom, privacy, and choice, which will resonate even for those not as infamously attention-averse as Pynchon.

To the extent that it's possible to be disappointed by this book, it can only be due to a failure to meet impossibly lofty expectations, that every Pynchon novel will be a brand new wildly soaring V2 rocket of words airbursting new relationships to Art, Life, and Literature above the reader's head each time. As a massive fan of his, it's true that Mason & Dixon was the last time I felt that Pynchon was writing with the sense that he had something to prove; certainly there's nothing here that would challenge anyone in the same way that his earlier tomes did and still do. Yet it's impossible to read this product of time and experience and not feel amused, entertained, and moved. I'll leave it to future generations of critics to determine exactly where in the literary hierarchy this portrait of a city and country at a critical moment fits; as a fan of words in books, I thought it was great. ( )
1 stem aaronarnold | May 11, 2021 |
This is maybe the most accessible longish Pynchon yet. It's sort of a cross between Delillo's Cosmopolis and Pynchon's own Inherent Vice with less of what's meh about those two books and a tad of Show Crash thrown in for good measure. There's enough of Pynchon in the book to make it unmistakably Pynchon, but he's tempered his tics enough here that it seldom becomes infuriating. I more or less enjoyed it all the way through, which is saying a lot, as I tend to take Pynchon like bad medicine. It's definitely worth a read if you're into Pynchon or are Pynchon-curious. ( )
  dllh | Jan 6, 2021 |
Basically unreadable. Uninteresting; too cute and too precious by 3/4; wanted to stop at 75 pages in, skipped to Chapter 30, no better, tossed against the wall. Jeez. ( )
  tmph | Sep 13, 2020 |
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[I]n Bleeding Edge Pynchon is prepared to handle material even chancier than Anti-Life or creature-feature cheese. As the organ reverberates, at the end of chapter nine, after someone in the summer of 2001 tells a nervous little New Yorker whose father works in the building that the WTC is built like a battleship, Pynchon declares his paradoxical readiness—under special, limited circumstances—to abandon irony entirely. At this moment—when innocence, irony’s eternal patsy, needs to be protected—the postmodern deflector shields buckle, then collapse, bathing the USS Bleeding Edge in a burst of parental love and remorse.
No doubt a good genre book is worth more than a bad literary one any day, but when a writer with real genius squanders so much of his energy on clowning – and for an audience it's not at all clear he respects – it's worth asking what's going on. The idea that jokes are a defence against intimacy is a cliche – perhaps they can also be a defence against close reading.
tilføjet af melmore | RedigerThe Guardian, Talitha Stevenson (Sep 28, 2013)
Pynchon depicts the world as he sees it, riddled by the depredations of greed, conspiracy and intolerance, of entropies both human-engineered and cosmically imposed. But his novels take the form of the world as he wishes it, hence their mighty powers of consolation. The freedoms and duties Pynchon assigns himself are those he desires on our behalf — lasciviousness, punning inanity, attention to the routinely sublime but also to the inevitability of suffering, love for the underdog and a home in our hearts for the dead. Also, license to attempt disappearance into some radical space adjacent to history, and to daily life — what the anarchist philosopher Hakim Bey has called “Temporary Autonomous Zones” — even if the costs of such jaunts are, in the end, punishingly high.

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Pynchon, Thomasprimær forfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Gunsteren, Dirk vanÜbersetzermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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New York as a character in a mystery novel would not be the detective, would not be the murderer. It would be the enigmatic suspect who knows the real story but isn't going to tell it.

--Donald E. Westlake
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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.
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Genau, mal was anderes. Was war denn jetzt die Alternative? Sie ist wieder ganz in Anspruch genommen von der täglichen Routine, sie tut, als wäre alles wieder normal, sie hüllt sich gegen die Winterkälte der Eventualitäten zitternd in eine fadenscheinige Decke aus Bilanzen für das erste Quartal, Schulkomiteesitzungen und fehlerhaften Rechnungen der Kabelgesellschaft, aus Arbeitstagen voller Leute mit jämmerlichen Phantasien, für die "Betrug" ein oft zu elegantes Wort ist , und den Bewohnern der Wohnung über Ihr, für die das Abdichten des Badewannenabflusses ein abwegiges Konzept darstellt, aus Symptomen der oberen Luft- und unteren Darmwege, und das alles in dem rührenden Glauben, dass man sich mit Versicherungen und Sicherheitsausstattungen, mit Gesundheitsdiäten und regelmäßigem Training darauf einstellen kann, und dass das Böse nie aus heiterem Himmel herabstürzen und mitten in jedermanns hoch aufragender Verblendung, man sei davon ausgenommen, explodieren wird...
Wenn Du wissen willst, wie die Zukunft des Films aussieht: immer größere Übertragungsraten, immer mehr Videodateien im Internet, irgendwann ist es dann so weit, dass alle alles filmen - viel zu viel, um es sich anzusehen, und nichts davon wird mehr irgendwas bedeuten. Wenn es so weit ist, danke daran, dass ich es prophezeit habe.
Ja, und das Internet war ihre Erfindung, dieses Zauberding, das wie ein Geruch noch in die letzten Winkel unseres Lebens dringt, das Einkaufen, die Hausarbeit, die Hausaufgaben und die Steuererklärung erledigt, unsere Energie verbraucht und unsere kostbare Zeit frisst. Und darum gebt es da keine Unschuld. Nirgends. Hat es nie gegeben. Das Internet ist aus Sünde geboren, aus der schlimmsten Sünde, die es gibt. Und während es gewachsen ist, hat es nie aufgehört, diesen bitterkalten Todeswunsch für den Planeten im Herzen zu tragen, und glaub bloß nicht, dass sich daran irgendwas geändert hat-
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New York City, 2001. Fraud investigator Maxine Tarnow starts looking into the finances of a computer-security firm and its billionaire geek CEO and discovers there's no shortage of swindlers looking to grab a piece of what's left of the tech bubble.

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