Sunday, June 22, 2014

What I am reading 6/22/2014

There hasn't been much in the news that interests me for the last couple days so nothing there.  As far as books go -

The Director by David Ignatius - I discussed this book earlier in the week.  Horrible book.  I have never read anything by Ignatius before and I doubt I will again.  The underlying story of the book is a plan by the British to maintain control of their Empire after WWII by using the CIA, the Special Relationship, and the Bank for International Settlements to manipulate events.  That could have been an interesting story but the writing was so flat and the characters so retarded it just sucked.

The Martian by Andy Weir - Just started this last night.  So far it is pretty good.  Nice light read up to this point.  I'll probably finish this today or tomorrow.

The Bleeding Edge by Thomas Pynchon  - Next up on the list.  I have been meaning to read this for awhile because I like the description:

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?
The problem is it's Pynchon and my experience with him have been hit an miss, mostly miss, but I guess we'll see.

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