Let Me Down Softly: Pynchon’s “Bleeding Edge”

J Edgar Mihelic
2 min readJun 21, 2022

I had this thing pre-ordered back in 2012. I was excited for a new Pynchon. And then I got a few pages in and gave up for whatever reason. That was a decade ago now.

I did pick it back up and went back at it. There’s not a lot of payoff.

It’s weird. If you like Pynchon, it has all the things you like.

There’s plenty of paranoia.

You got your bad puns.

You got your songs (someone needs to make an album of his songs if no one has done it yet).

There’s people with weird names.

But I didn’t care about any of the characters, except maybe the protagonist and then only a little.

I spent the book waiting on some plot action, knowing that this was his “9/11” book.

And 9/11 happens, on page 316 of a 477-page book and for the most part it could have not happened. The characters are in New York, and they are affected by the event, but it stays in the background.

Maybe that is the whole point, that 9/11 stays in the background? It was kind of disappointing.

Oh, and the last thing is that a lot of the characters and plot revolves around the dot com bubble and bust from a New York vantage. It rang false. It kept reminding me of Wolfe’s “I Am Charlotte Simmons” which is not the comparisons you want your text to fish out from the reader.

Originally published at http://alphabetofmadness.blogspot.com.