Pattern Recognition (Blue Ant, #1)
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Pattern Recognition (Blue Ant #1)

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  25,729 ratings  ·  1,407 reviews
Cayce Pollard is an expensive, spookily intuitive market-research consultant. In London on a job, she is offered a secret assignment: to investigate some intriguing snippets of video that have been appearing on the Internet. An entire subculture of people is obsessed with these bits of footage, and anybody who can create that kind of brand loyalty would be a gold mine for...more
Mass Market Paperback, 367 pages
Published February 2005 by Berkley Publishing (first published February 3rd 2003)
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Best Science Fiction of the 21st Century
25th out of 270 books — 2,272 voters
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Bryce Wilson
It'll happen one day, you'll see. William Gibson WILL right an ending that resembles something other then a last ditch attempt from a man desperate not to default on his contract.

It will not stink of a man who has just watched the sunrise with a headful of Jack Daniels. No it will be thematically fufilling, and tie up and enrich the man threads that have wound through the novel like a tapestry. Giving these rich themes, imagery, and characters the proper glory rather then merely tarnishing ever...more
Nancy
I loved Pattern Recognition nearly as much as Neuromancer and felt the two novels had a lot of similarities. Even though it is classified as general fiction, the novel has a strong SF feel to it. The highly technological societies (New York and the "mirror world" of London) where things are similar but a little different and the efficient, individualistic, widely traveled and rootless characters make Pattern Recognition feel dark and surreal and more like SF.

Boone Chu was an interesting characte...more
Brad
I am an excellent reader, as I know many of my friends on goodreads are, but I don’t think there’s enough appreciation of reading as a skill in our world. We take it for granted, those of us who are “literate,” and because it is the base of the things that we learn, we tend to ignore those who excel. Of course, many of those who read well are told they “analyze things too much” or that they “dig too deep” by those who might be solid readers, but probably don’t have serious reading chops.

I think...more
John Huizar
Jan 30, 2008 John Huizar rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: everyone
I love the way that William Gibson writes women. Gibson usually has both male and female protagonists in his books, who may or may not even see one another during the course of the story (the almost-but-never-quite is something he comes back to again and again). Regardless, his female characters are always as strong and capable as the men (and often more so). Cayce Pollard is a wonderful character, and I think that Gibson deftly avoided all the usual pitfalls of men writing female characters.

Fo...more
notgettingenough
As goodreads is Amazon, I am taking my reviews off goodreads. Nonetheless, I hope by providing links along with this ongoing message about why Amazon should not be part of our lives, this message is kept alive. I include some text from the beginning of each review because goodreads has been removing my reviews from places they can be seen and apparently this may make it less likely for them to do this. Read my lips, go on. Whilst a semblance of free speech exists on goodreads. FUCK AMAZON. It is...more
Jamie
This was my first William Gibson book, and I thought it was beautifully written, quite a literary novel. I liked the characters, and I liked the idea of Cayce being sensitive to trends and brands, and having a logo "allergy". I'm now contemplating scratching the logos off of everything I own.

Plot-wise, this isn't the most exciting book I've ever read. I was never bored, but the pacing was sedate, to say the least. The tone of the book was cool and deliberate - even the single fight scene followe...more
Sergey
Книга должна быть интересна поклонникам предыдущих романов Уильяма Гибсона. В отличие от предыдущих романов — это не фантастика, но это всё тот же киберпанк. Тот же стиль, тот же саспенс, тот же ритм, но ничего такого, что не могло бы происходить в действительности. Лондон, Токио, Москва наших дней, странные люди, загадочные устройства, неизвестного происхождения файлы, непонятные дела. Как сказал однажды автор в одном из интервью: «Будущее уже здесь, но оно не очень равномерно распределено». Во...more
David
Jun 28, 2012 David rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Marketing consultants, viral video makers
I was hoping to be blown away by the legendary William Gibson (none of whose legendary books I have read), but I found that Pattern Recognition reminded me a lot of Reamde by Neal Stephenson: it's a pacey, interesting techno-thriller that just never quite reached the peak of Awesome. I found Gibson's writing to be stronger than Stephenson's, but his characterization weaker.

The main character is Cayce (pronounced "Case") Pollard, who has one of those odd freelance consultant jobs that can only ex...more
Alexis
Apr 29, 2007 Alexis rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Contemporary Artists (or fans of)
Shelves: all-time-faves
The novel is set in a number of present day cities, in a way that seems futuristic/sci-fi. I read this book in a class called "The Novel and Globalization"--and I believe having that context was helpful-at first. As the book progressed the suspence was built on the mystery of where the many relavent themes and styles converge in the plot.

My favorite part of reading the book was digesting the refernces to art, architecture, and literature, throughout that acutally added meaning to the text rathe...more
Deborah
Mar 26, 2008 Deborah rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Mark, Robbie
I just re-read this book and liked it even more during the second reading (and have changed my rating from four to five stars). Gibson has pared an already spare writing style down without sacrificing the elegance or evocative nature of his prose. He makes you see things in the plot as though they occur at the very edge of peripheral vision. Were they even there at all? Although it would seem that this would create an emotional distance too profound to be crossed, the opposite is true. As I writ...more
Brooke
Definitely the most accessible Gibson novel written up to this point in his bibliography - it lacks the complex density of Neuromancer and is pretty rooted in the here-and-now. Also unlike his previous novels, Pattern Recognition only follows one protagonist, Cayce Pollard, instead of jumping between several entwining storylines.

Gibson's portrayal of internet groups and internet friendships feels very authentic, especially when compared with fellow sci-fi author Cory Doctorow's. The mysterious f...more
Jim
I'd been meaning to read something by Gibson for a long time. I thought it would be Neuromancer. But this book fell into my hands first. Despite its 2003 copyright, which makes it very old by computer-world standards, the high-tech world that Gibson whips up here feels fresh. It takes place today--not in the distant future. Email, the web, viral marketing, high fashion, international espionage, contemporary underground art all collide here. I could not put it down. Takes place mostly in London,...more
Monk
This is a little different for Gibson. It's not really a future setting, but it drips with the usual Gibson sentence fragments and whimsy. Overall, the story is there and it has a beginning a middle and an end, but to be honest, the book lacks in a particular quality - there's nothing really at stake.

The story is fairly linear, and focuses on the main character, Casey Pollard. She's what is called a 'cool hunter'. She divines trends and evaluates logo work. She has a literal allergy to fashion a...more
February Four
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Mike Rossmassler
Brilliantly written, but like the rest of Gibson's novels, the ending leaves something to be desired. Not exactly unfulfilling, more like seeing all of the pieces come together into a picture that is just a little underwhelming. Just like the rest of Gibson's other works (Neuromancer and Spook Country being the only two i have read, in all honesty), the story is initially compelling and the mysteries and conspiracies are thought provoking. But the resolution just doesn't have that same "snap" or...more
Stephanie Sun
It's a funny CayceP-ish quirk of fate that this was published in 2003 (and not under the radar—it was a NYT bestseller) when I was 23, but I found it a few weeks ago, when I was the exact same age as the protagonist, 32-year-old Cayce Pollard. As Win Pollard says (and Cayce reminds us several times) you must always leave room for coincidence. Or, as pattern recognizer extraordinaire Nate Silver says, beware of overfitting.

Ben in his review succinctly described Pattern Recognition as "The only pi...more
Michael
A really big letdown after the masterful depiction of cyberpunk in Neuromancer. Perhaps the problem is that the entire story takes place in a modern-day setting instead of in an interesting future. Or perhaps the problem is lack of relatable characters or a plot that maintains the reader's interest for the duration of the story. In any case, steer clear of this one.
Amy
riveting. plus I felt hip reading it.
Mei-Lu
I've read this book a couple of times and I absolutely love it. Maybe it's because I worked in advertising (and have my own horror of logos) but I really identified with the main character (even though obviously I am no where near as cool as she is). Usually with William Gibson novels, I feel like my brain is being overloaded with information at all times and I'm only absorbing a fraction of the data contained in the novels. But Pattern Recognition manages to have all of the thematic complexity...more
Elizabeth Barone
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
CëRïSë
I don't know how this book got to be a best-seller. Yet as I was traveling last month, I noticed that, for the first time, I was toting, along with my rolling suitcase, a paperback that was all over the airport booksellers' racks.

I thought it was abysmal. A good friend had mentioned it to me, and I thought that he had recommended it, so when I saw a used copy at one of my favorite local bookstores, I grabbed it. I realized later, when I checked my notes, that he had actually recommended Count Ze...more
Ben Babcock
After reading Neuromancer I took a short detour into some of Gibson’s other works of fiction, and then I read Virtual Light. With Pattern Recognition I seem to have established a trend of reading his three trilogies in a breadth-first rather than depth-first mode: having completed all of the first books, I will now read all three second books, etc. This might be an unusual way to go about it, but I hope it offers some insights and connections that might not make themselves apparent were I to rea...more
Brian
Sep 23, 2012 Brian rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Brian by: Michael Economy
(4.0) For me, more readable and thus more enjoyable than Neuromancer

But I still had the problem with the Gibson style. Just something about it makes it hard to read smoothly. Keep having to go back and re-read sections to decipher things, just to keep the plot straight (is that part of the attraction for some hacker types?).

A few other quibbles. Here there's a little more of the 80s adolescent fascination with Japan, but much less so than I've seen elsewhere (and Neuromancer), so at least by 200...more
Cheryl
Okay then. I liked the book. From the start, it was written very differently than what I am used to, but the flow of words, which my son found awkward (being kind), worked okay for me. My brain is wired in a similar fashion, so the it worked for me.

I can't say the story itself sucked me in right away, but I found I liked it more and more as I continued to read. Towards the end, I felt somethig like whiplash as things suddenly felt like they went break-neck speed. I've seen a good number of compl...more
Wealhtheow
The ending was a total anticlimax, but the concept and characters were really interesting.
Kiri
This is a clever, intriguing book. It features a protagonist with a fascinating quirk: a psycho-allergy to trademarks and marketing. This sensitivity also gives her a gift in detecting, by her gut reaction, whether a given logo or marketing scheme will succeed. She also goes "cool-hunting" on the streets to determine what fads and styles will be the ones that catch on, well before they appear in the wider world.

But that isn't (mainly) what this book is about. The book is a mixture of intrigue, q...more
Shawn Kupfer
I picked up “Pattern Recognition” after being away from the works of William Gibson since, I don’t know, probably “Mona Lisa Overdrive.” It wasn’t an intentional split — my reading habits are really more like phases, and I think I went into an essayist phase shortly after. When I made it back to SF, I hadn’t really forgotten William Gibson. . . I’d just discovered Frank Herbert, and that’ll take up a chunk of time.

So about a year back, I was wandering around one of the many used bookstores I hau...more
Ryan
Can Pattern Recognition be William Gibson's best novel? Certainly not. Don't be ridiculous. Gibson wrote Neuromancer.

And yet, Pattern Recognition in many ways reads like a more mature accomplishment -- even if it mirrors many of the accomplishments of Gibson's debut.

Perhaps Neuromancer's biggest claim to fame is that it foresaw The Matrix (among other things). It's a novel that saw what was coming and still feels raw and fresh twenty years later. And it has ninjas, artificial intelligences, and...more
Max Renn
Decided to re-read this trilogy immediately after finishing 'Zero History' and a continuing discussion with J about the technology and the Blue Ant worldview.

If the world in this book wears unevenly, some of it seeming quaint and other parts still prescient, that is a tribute to the specificity of Gibson's detail-oriented eye and the perils of writing edge fiction about a world unfolding... but what comes to fore upon re-reading, what i've almost forgotten, is his ability to deliver a killshot s...more
Peter
The thing I like about Gibson's work in general is that it's equal parts style and substance. I find his prose satisfying, his phrasing and pacing superb, and everything suffused with a sense of cutting-edge cool. Pattern Recognition is no different, even with it's present-day setting. This may be the first book I've read that successfully bridges the present, and the weird, unfolding future that creeps in every day.

It's a copout to say that this book is about marketing and advertisement. It is,...more
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9226
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

William Ford Gibson is an American-Canadian writer who has been called the father of the cyberpunk subgenre of science fiction, having coined the term cyberspace in 1982 and popularized it in his first novel, Neuromancer(1984), which has sold more than 6.5 million copies wor...more
More about William Gibson...
Neuromancer (Sprawl, #1) Count Zero (Sprawl, #2) Burning Chrome Mona Lisa Overdrive (Sprawl, #3) Idoru (Bridge, #2)

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“The future is there... looking back at us. Trying to make sense of the fiction we will have become.” 1522 likes
“We have no idea, now, of who or what the inhabitants of our future might be. In that sense, we have no future. Not in the sense that our grandparents had a future, or thought they did. Fully imagined cultural futures were the luxury of another day, one in which 'now' was of some greater duration. For us, of course, things can change so abruptly, so violently, so profoundly, that futures like our grandparents' have insufficient 'now' to stand on. We have no future because our present is too volatile. ... We have only risk management. The spinning of the given moment's scenarios. Pattern recognition” 66 likes
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