The Emperor’s New Clothes or The Road to Nowhere? I can’t quite figure out which of these two phrases best sums up Thomas Pynchon’s Bleeding Edge.
Although the prose is sparkling at times, the characters are so limpid that I couldn’t find a single reason to care about what happened to any of them in the course of the long and languid unwinding of events.
Not that much does actually happen in the book even though it is set against the backdrop of the end of the dot-com boom and the tragedy of 9-11. Perhaps that’s the real point Pynchon wants to make: no matter how dramatic the times you are caught up in, you still can’t escape the petty intrigues and absurdities of daily life.
It took me six months to battle my way through to the end of Bleeding Edge. While I’m glad I finally made it, I doubt I’ll return to the author’s oeuvre again.