Bleeding Edge

Bleeding Edge

Audiobook CD - 2013
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Thomas Pynchon brings us to New York in the early days of the internet

It is 2001 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 1.0 is having adolescent angst, Google has yet to IPO, Microsoft is still considered the Evil Empire. There may not be quite as much money around as there was at the height of the tech bubble, but there's no shortage of swindlers looking to grab a piece of what's left.

Maxine Tarnow is running a nice little fraud investigation business on the Upper West Side, chasing down different kinds of small-scale con artists. She used to be legally certified but her license got pulled a while back, which has actually turned out to be a blessing because now she can follow her own code of ethics—carry a Beretta, do business with sleazebags, hack into people's bank accounts—without having too much guilt about any of it. 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. She soon finds herself mixed up with a drug runner in an art deco motorboat, a professional nose obsessed with Hitler's aftershave, a neoliberal enforcer with footwear issues, plus elements of the Russian mob and various bloggers, hackers, code monkeys, and entrepreneurs, some of whom begin to show up mysteriously dead. Foul play, of course.

With occasional excursions into the DeepWeb and out to Long Island, Thomas Pynchon, channeling his inner Jewish mother, brings us a historical romance of New York in the early days of the internet, not that distant in calendar time but galactically remote from where we've journeyed to since.

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?

Hey. Who wants to know?
Publisher: New York : Penguin Audio, p2013.
ISBN: 9781611762334
Branch Call Number: FIC Pynch
Characteristics: 17 sound discs (ca. 18.5 hr.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.


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Mar 01, 2017

The "reader" is the worst ever. A whiny, nasal voice with absolutely zero affect. No tonal variation to express emotion. Awkward pauses at inappropriate places, as if she was turning a page and/or just seeing the text for the very first time. Because of the poor narration, I quickly lost the thread of the story. Mechanical, monotone voice made it tough to follow. so i only got about 20 minutes in before I gave up.

Dec 19, 2015

I couldn't get past the narrator either. Gave up pretty quick. Big let down after the great reader for Inherent Vice.

I think they thought they were getting a Sarah Vowell vibe based on the voice, but instead this reader is just so blah I just stopped paying attention - just zero sense of variation in culture or class, no humor or micro drama or irony, with no variation in tempo or tone. I was wildly disappointed. I even tried to find a place to send feedback.

At one point I thought maybe it was a Pynchon joke of some sort. But aren't the audiobooks worth significant money these days? Maybe Pynchon doesn't care about money, or maybe it was just a really bad choice by the publisher that he had no imput into.

Got the book on my travel reading short list now.

Feb 06, 2015

Pynchon's rich detail is perfectly suited to Audio CD. At 18 and a half hours, it should get you through the week. I'm on disk 4. Listened to the first three at work and am chugging right along. I've read Gravity's Rainbow, Mason/Dixon and Slow Learner. Jeannie Berlin (IMDB profile) is the reader for this title and you have to cut her a lot of slack. Her voice is gravelly and smokey (I tell myself she sounds like Janice Joplin and that sort of works) The book will make you laugh out loud if you have half a chance to listen to it.

ngtrains Nov 29, 2014

ok, I have not finished the book.
I think I'm on disc 8. Maybe, it's the worst book ever. The narrator is TERRIBLE. OK, she does sound like a NY Jewish lady, but why do all the other characters sound the same way?

So far, I can't understand the whole point of the story. I had heard Pynchon was a good author. Maybe so, but this is a terrible example.

niafrances Jul 05, 2014

I could not get past the narrator. Will have to try reading the book.

Mar 15, 2014

The most incredibly tedious and monotonous book ever; all the characters sound alike, as if they have the same voice, et cetera! This is surely one over-hyped author! Maybe it's ethnic; you have to be a Jewish New Yorker to appreciate this extraordinarily monotonous pile of something or other? Based upon this novel (?), it should be suggested that writing might not be Pynchon's strong point, he should think of pursuing some other career track? Or stick to writing those AIPAC newsletters?

Mar 15, 2014

I couldn't make it more than 2 minutes into this audio book because the narrator was so awful. Not a pleasant listen.

Dec 26, 2013

Its a shame J. Berlin is the narrator of this story. The high nasaly monotone twang made it impossible to listen. 0 of 10 stars

Nov 14, 2013

The narrator on these CDs was so horrible I couldn't make it through the first chapter. May have to try it in book format.

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