Received a copy of Bleeding Edge By Thomas Pynchon through the first reads giveaway.
Bleeding Edge refers to an incorporation of technologies that are so new that they have a high risk of being unreliable and early adopters may incur great expense in order to make use of them. Introduction of this advanced technology to the user community is also risky because they may not be prepared for it or even want it. In some ways you could refer to Thomas Pynchon's collection of novels as bleeding edge to me personally as the user. The risk being my being unprepared nature to what he has to offer or worse, wasted time due to my incomprehension.
While perusing the Goodreads website for recommendations in construction of my future shopping list I have come across the name of Thomas Pynchon on many of occasions. These suggestions have led me to the feeling that although I may find his prose enjoyable and entertaining, it would end up being more difficult for me to follow through to the end and feel like I have read a linear story. After further contemplation my belief was that I was not quite ready to tackle the great Pynchon; that was until his new novel was offered as a free first reads giveaway. So, I win, and the "fun" has just begun. Yeah sure, a free book for me, now go read it and review it pronto. Being a Pynchonian noobie I decided to let go of any preconceived ideas and just dive into the book. Well, after a third of the book finished my first impression is that I am somewhat lost with all the characters, I need an encyclopedia, I don't t really know what I just read, but I look forward to when I can get back to the story.
The humor involved in Maxine's dealings with other characters (sorry I forgot their names) and Mr. Pynchon's grasp of the present nature of the underground is amazing to me giving his age as well as his living arrangements. At times I feel that the seventy six year old Pynchon is cooler than me, mind you I think I am pretty cool, but this guy rubs my face in it. The whole Hip Hop innuendo combined with the references to early 20th century "chick flicks", the delving into Jewish "stereotypes" dynamics (think tongue polonaise), the sexual permissiveness with a twenty-something year old ubergeek foot fetishistic named Eric, conversations with Igor and the two Russian students Misha and Grisha. It all had me laughing and waiting for more, and it wasn't even a tenth of it.
Overall, even if I thought the whole novel was quite accessible it left me with the overwhelming that it was very entertaining and a joy to read. Yet, it also left me feeling somewhat saddened at the infantile state of post 9/11 America with the wasted opportunity for progression and acceptance for short-term economic sustainability.
This is also a type of novel that you could reread instantaneously upon completion. It would allow you the ability to put more of the pieces to the puzzle together given your understanding after your first slow jaunt through this story.
I will no longer fear Thomas Pynchon, but I will make my next selection with great care.