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 Deep Web 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?
©2013 Thomas Pynchon (P)2013 Penguin Audio
Ever since V in 1963 Thomas Pynchon has written superb novels and Bleeding Edge does not disappoint in anyway. He spins a dazzling web of a plot populated with engaging characters and conveying a powerful message for our times. An excellent read
Its hard to imagine a worse selection of narrator than this. She was presented with excellent material to perform but delivers it in a croaking monotone with no discernible sensitivity for timing or inflection rendering a fine novel almost unbearable. Its hard to understand how this performance escaped the studio. This narration made me buy my first hard copy novel for years.
This narrator ruins the great new book by Thomas Pynchon. She sounds like a cross between the late talk-radio voice Lynn Samuels and Laugh-In's Ruth Buzzi. It doesn't sound like she's even read the material beforehand. It sounds like a grating, horrible COLD READING!!! Ugh!
It was HORRIBLE.
Thomas Pynchon is America's great writer. Give him some voice talent. The guy who read INHERENT VICE isn't much better. Who is in charge of voice talent around here???
I cannot understate how bad this reader is. I & a friend have been looking forward to this book for months and planned to listen to it together and discuss it but it is one of the worst narrations I have come across in my 27 years of listening to audiobooks on tape and Audible. There is no excuse for destroying a much anticipated work by a major author in this fashion. This needs to be redone ASAP. How could this get past the first day of recording without someone realizing how horrible it was and immediately getting someone new? We are both giving up on this after struggling through a couple hours. I cannot judge the story or the writing as it is intolerable to listen to her mangling of Pynchon's prose. If it would allow me to give Zero stars for performance I would but i tried and it won't. SAD.
Definitely Thomas Pynchon. Jeannie Berlin, never. Neverl
I cannot honestly understand why anyone would choose to have this narrator read a book.
Stopped listening after 15 minutes. Going to get a refund. There's no way to recommend 18 hours of listening to this voice.
From the first few sentences I was surprised at how amateurish the narration was. She is reading; not narrating. Her voice is grating. She misreads words (Silicone Valley vice Silicon Valley). I love Thomas Pynchon but it is going to be a long slog getting through 15 hours of Jeannie Berlin.
I know good readers are hard to find, but this is Pynchon ffs! I've been looking forward to this audiobook release for months. Very disappointing.
Any other reader. The reader is so bad that I cannot finish the first 2 hours. It is more than just distracting. I find myself ignoring the story because I cannot stand the readers voice, lack of intonation, and the total lack of continuity in the reading. She pauses in the middle of phrases and leaves the reader hanging.
Please redo this book. I bought the hard copy to read it as Pynchon is a master.. But the reader totally butchers this book.
I cannot remember being able to follow the story because the reading is so bad.
EVERYTHING!. THe worst reader I have ever heard on audible.
Please redo this book. You owe it to Mr. Pynchon.
I love audiobooks. I love Thomas Pynchon. This performance is so poor that I have dumped the audio and bought the Kindle edition. I suspect Ms. Berlin wasn't given enough time to prepare.
I sent this book back because the narrator grated on me so badly I could not focus on the story. Nasal, monotoned, grating. This is a rating for the narrator, not the book.
"Bleeding Edge" is my first introduction of this author and I thought that it was excellent. I really enjoyed Thomas Pynchon's style of storytelling, with the dot com bust, ponzi schemes with the shady part of the business and the loose triangle romance with the main characters. It all leads up to the day of 9/11 when the towers fell. I really liked this book.
As far as Jeannie Berlin performance of reading the "Bleeding Edge," I found her voice to be tolerable. Sure, the narration could had been a lot better by someone else, but despite the numerous warnings from other reviewers on how bad Berlin's voice is, I don't regret giving this book a chance. The content was good enough to kept me going and I had a few laugh out loud moments on how her voice was so raw that it was just funny.
She doesn't even tries to rap the hip hop tunes, how funny is that?
Her voice is not so bad, but it could had been better. It's all about the content. For example, many of us agree that Scott Brick is a good narrator. I liked"Salt Sugar Fat," and found the information to be interesting, but his performance in "The Twelve (the passage trilogy)," was horrendous because I didn't like those books.
I'm not defending the performance of Jeannie Berlin in "Bleeding Edge," but it's all about the content. If the content is good, at least I can overlook the performance of the narrator.
For those who couldn't finish the book because of Ms. Berlin's performance, Audible should give them a free download if the publisher decides to record another version with another voice. I almost passed up this title many times because of the 1 star rating for the narrator. I'm glad that I went for the content.
Plus her voice is so raspy and hoarse that I couldn't fall asleep during the story because I needed to pay attention to follow the plot
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