A new Thomas Pynchon book is a rare and wondrous thing in and of itself—but the fact that Pynchon's new novel, Bleeding Edge, is all a "historical romance" set in NYC pre-9/11 (during the dot com boom!) has got us salivating. The novel will be released on September 17th, and to whet our appetites, Penguin Press released a very strange trailer for it today featuring a talkative young man in a T-shirt that says, "Hi, I'm Tom Pynchon."

The guy, who is identified as "Sleazus," refers to himself as the "King of the Upper West Side" during the five minute video; he spends most of the time going on about the Pastrami Mafia and fetishizing the seafood counter at Zabar's. The only point where there is any obvious connection to the book is when he refers to private investigator Maxine Tarnow—the novel's main character—as "a grade A MILF."

It's comforting to know that Pynchon, who by all accounts loves The Daily Show and The Simpsons, has a good (and weird) sense of humor about playing up his own mystique. You can read the first page of the novel here, and check out the full publisher's description below:

Here's the full description of the new novel:

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-exhusband 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?