Kakutani slams Pynchon and the return of the dot-com boom

After her glowing review of Dave Eggers’s new book, Michiko Kakutani finds fault in Thomas Pynchon’s inability to create one true character in his new novel, Against the Day. She writes:

Whereas Mr. Pynchon’s last novel, the stunning “Mason & Dixon,” demonstrated a new psychological depth, depicting its two heroes as full-fledged human beings, not merely as pawns in the author’s philosophical chess game, the people in “Against the Day” are little more than stick figure cartoons.

In the Times Sunday Book Review, Liesl Schillinger’s sprawling review calls Against the Day Pynchon’s “funniest, and argurably most accessible novel.”

Elsewhere in the Times, Katie Hafner uses the example of Reid Hoffman to portray the return of the dot-com boom in Silicon Valley, where, she writes:

Envy may be a sin in some books, but it is a powerful driving force in Silicon Valley, where technical achievements are admired but financial payoffs are the ultimate form of recognition. And now that the YouTube purchase has amplified talk of a second dot-com boom, many high-tech entrepreneurs — successful and not so successful — are examining their lives as measured against upstarts who have made it bigger.

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