Read the First Page of Thomas Pynchon’s Next Novel

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
April 22 2013 11:21 AM

Read the First Page of Thomas Pynchon’s Next Novel

pynchon
Thomas Pynchon on The Simpsons.

FOX.

It’s been four years since Thomas Pynchon published Inherent Vice (which, by the way, Paul Thomas Anderson may start filming within the next few weeks, with Joaquin Phoenix in the lead as Doc Sportello, the stoner Los Angeles P.I.). That’s not a long time for Pynchon, who often takes several years in between books. But his next one, Bleeding Edge, arrives this fall, and you can read the first page of it below.

First, some context: Bleeding Edge is set in New York City, “in the lull between the collapse of the dotcom boom and the terrible events of September 11,” and concerns Silicon Alley, New York’s community of high-tech companies. It centers on Maxine Tarnow, “your average working mom” who runs “a nice little fraud investigation business on the Upper West Side, chasing down … small-scale con artists.” She’s had her license revoked, and “now she can follow her own code of ethics—carry a Beretta, do business with sleazebags, hack into people’s bank accounts.” Maxine “starts looking into the finances of a computer-security firm and its billionaire geek CEO,” and “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.”

Advertisement

Sounds like a Pynchon novel. The book’s publisher, Penguin, calls it “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,” and hints that Jerry Seinfeld may “make an unscheduled guest appearance.” The book comes out September 17.

bleedingedge

David Haglund is a senior editor at Slate. He runs Brow Beat, Slate's culture blog.

TODAY IN SLATE

Culturebox

The End of Pregnancy

And the inevitable rise of the artificial womb.

Doctor Tests Positive for Ebola in New York City

How a Company You’ve Never Heard of Took Control of the Entire Porn Industry

The Hot New Strategy for Desperate Democrats

Blame China for everything.

The Questions That Michael Brown’s Autopsies Can’t Answer

Foreigners

Kiev Used to Be an Easygoing Place

Now it’s descending into madness.

Technology

Don’t Just Sit There

How to be more productive during your commute.

There Has Never Been a Comic Book Character Like John Constantine

Which Came First, the Word Chicken or the Word Egg?

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 23 2014 1:51 PM Is This the ISIS Backlash We've Been Waiting For?
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 23 2014 5:53 PM Amazon Investors Suddenly Bearish on Losing Money
  Life
Outward
Oct. 23 2014 5:08 PM Why Is an Obscure 1968 Documentary in the Opening Credits of Transparent?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 23 2014 11:33 AM Watch Little Princesses Curse for the Feminist Cause
  Slate Plus
Working
Oct. 23 2014 11:28 AM Slate’s Working Podcast: Episode 2 Transcript Read what David Plotz asked Dr. Meri Kolbrener about her workday.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 23 2014 6:55 PM A Goodfellas Actor Sued The Simpsons for Stealing His Likeness. Does He Have a Case?
  Technology
Technology
Oct. 23 2014 11:45 AM The United States of Reddit  How social media is redrawing our borders. 
  Health & Science
Science
Oct. 23 2014 5:42 PM Seriously, Evolution: WTF? Why I love the most awkward, absurd, hacked-together species.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.