February 27, 2013

Book Club: Pynchon News

In the Book Club section I have written about Thomas Pynchon's books Gravity's Rainbow. I loved Gravity's Rainbow the second time I read and thanks to kt1000's recommendation loved Pynchon's Mason & Dixon. I've since read The Crying of Lot 49 and have seen the genius in that book.

A few days ago it was announced that Thomas Pynchon will release a new book in September called Bleeding Edge. According to Sarah Weinman the book will be set in New York's Silicon Alley (I had no idea such a place existed) and will be about “the lull between the collapse of the dot-com boom and the terrible events of September 11.” For now that's all what we know about this new Pynchon book.

I haven't read Pynchon's last two books after Mason & Dixon, Against the Day and Inherent Vice. Maybe I've been too scared from the reviews of his last two books, but I've been afraid to pick them up. Maybe I should try them and make my own opinion on them.

I mention Pynchon's last two books because I really don't know what to expect from his upcoming book. The time frame definitely has my interest. Pynchon's view of pre-911 New York has my interest. Pynchon's view of the dot-com era has my attention. So what makes me skeptical about it? The fact that his last two books were seen as either a letdown or not up to his level.

Now I know that's not fair to his upcoming book. I shouldn't judge this book before A) it even comes out or B) because his last two books weren't up to his standards. Still though I'm worried. I like to think of Pynchon in terms of The Crying of Lot 49, Gravity's Rainbow, and Mason & Dixon. I also know that's not exactly fair to Pynchon because it's like expecting your favorite baseball player to keep playing forever at a high level. It's not possible and shouldn't be expected.

So will I buy this book? Probably because like I said I'm interested in Pynchon's unique take on pre-911 New York and the dot-com era. I obviously don't know yet if I'll be let down or as excited when I finished Gravity's Rainbow but unlike his last two books, I have to try.


  1. Give Inherent Vice a chance. It's a fun little Pynchon take on hard boiled crime/detective fiction. But I never finished Against the Day. What a fucking slog that was. But, I could see where it would be appealing for a steampunk fan.

    The best novel I've read about the dot-com era was Kurt Andersen's Turn of the Century.

    1. I'll give Inherent Vice a chance because it's one of his shortest works. What do you think of this news though? Intrigued?

  2. Against the Day was horrible. Pynchon at his absolute, indulgent worst. Vice I never thought was anything special, but not bad either. I'm definitely interested in this new book though.

    1. The subject matter should definitely be in Pynchon's wheelhouse. I can't wait to see what connections he makes in it.