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Idoru (Bridge #2)

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  14,108 ratings  ·  339 reviews
The New York Times bestselling author takes readers to 21st-century Tokyo after the millennial quake--where something violently new is about to erupt...
Paperback, 308 pages
Published January 7th 2003 by Berkley Trade (first published 1996)
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Neuromancer by William GibsonSnow Crash by Neal StephensonThe Diamond Age by Neal StephensonAltered Carbon by Richard K. MorganDo Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
Best of Cyberpunk
12th out of 206 books — 787 voters
Ender's Game by Orson Scott CardDune by Frank Herbert1984 by George OrwellFahrenheit 451 by Ray BradburyBrave New World by Aldous Huxley
Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Books
257th out of 4,475 books — 16,031 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Ashley
You know, it seems like I would really like William Gibson, from what I've heard of him, but there's something about his writing that leaves too much out. This book is the first of his I've been able to finish. I still don't feel like I understood everything he was trying to say--something about a melding of science and nature, centered around the music star Rez and the idoru Rei. It was interesting, but I kept feeling like it was something I was reading out of the corner of my eye, and every ti ...more
Rob
Apr 29, 2008 Rob rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: jaded futurists in search of "that physical thing"
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Thomas Strömquist
About half the way into this book I had a rough outline for this review in my head. It went somewhere along the lines of "if Gibson's stories sucked you in as his world descriptions do he would write the best books ever..." And that was when the story grabbed me!

So why did I rate it 4 stars and not 5? Well truth is, the hold did not last all the way through and another "problem" is the characterization. Even the main protagonists could be Idorus judging by their bleak impressions and I frequentl
...more
Mike
Feb 26, 2011 Mike rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
Now this book I remember better than its immediate predecessor, "Virtual Light". One might guess that it is because I liked "Idoru" better than VL, but I think it is another subjective factor. From the early to end of the 90s I did a fair amount of traveling and East Asia, including Japan was where I went often. So, I suspect that familiarity with the locations and real-world culture and people helped make a stronger impression on me than people living in San Francisco (which city I have only se ...more
Will Ransohoff
After a few of Gibson's cyberpunk novels, I'm starting to see a pattern in the structure of his plots and the composition of his worlds. But they're enjoyable patterns and settings that I'd love to see more of, so I can't really fault him for that.

His vision of Tokyo scarred by a massive quake ("Godzilla"), and rebuilt by emergent technology is probably the most glaring similarity between this and the first book in the trilogy, Virtual Light; without having read the third, it seems like they cou
...more
Cathy Douglas
The fact that some of the "futuristic" detailing of this story is already here and old hat wasn't lost on me, but didn't bother me either. The story world of this book is a believable take on the not-too-distant future. I loved the fantastic worlds people create together to interact online, and the way their avatars have morphed into fully-loaded alter egos. People create elaborate virtual sets and props for their meetings, parties, escapist fantasy, musical sessions, and just about everything e ...more
Cameron Mulder
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Browland
Gibson is an ideas man: big on 'what', not on 'why' or 'how'. It's been said enough times that his predictions are spookily accurate. This book - written in 1996 - features many foreshadowings of the current time. A time where we hide behind an avatar, led around by geo-aware goggle-boxes. Social networks, always-on broadband, CGI pop stars (nearly).

Gibson's writing has distance. The (lethargic) characters seem behind a transparent wall; you can see but not touch. Laney - one of two protagonists
...more
S.
famously William Gibson never went to Japan, and if that worked for Neuromancer, where Japan's sleek cyberpunk aesthetic, blue LEDs, mirror-like black skyscrapers leaping into night skys, then it does not work for Idoru, where the characters are somewhat caricatures rather than fleshed-out individuals, and the Japanese Fan Club identical-bowl-cutted schoolgirls seem like some sort of bad joke rather than either (a) how they really are or (b) how they superficially can be.

authors are hit or miss,
...more
Lee
Gibson writes well and convincingly. He incorporates the specifics of his futuristic world. The problem is, he has done it better before, and with greater detail, so fans are not likely to forgive him for a simpler world and story. Still, reading any Gibson book is a treat, especially compared with much of what's out there. His ability to incorporate near-future technology with an exciting story that fits perfectly inside this fabricated world is astounding even on this smaller scale.

Good job o
...more
Michael Burnam-fink
Cyberpunk, and Gibson's cyberpunk in particular, is defined by a gritty, tactile, future. The brands, the computers, the specificity of object and place serve to make good cyberpunk dense and hard. This is not good cyberpunk, rather, to borrow an image from the book, it's a lacquered full-scale replica of a cyberpunk novel. All the surfaces are there; the AI love story, the post-modern technological mercenaries, simulated realities, and philosophical musings on a plastic celebrity culture, but w ...more
Daniel Burton-Rose
A problem with riding the cutting edge is that one's work can become quickly dated. It's difficult to imagine that only 15 years ago staples of Japanese pop culture fetishism like as Akihabara and love hotels were sufficiently novel to American audiences to build bestsellers around. Yet Gibson's a crisp enough writer that he's always a pleasure to read.
It's also worth noting that this book came out when anti-Japanese anxiety books, like Michael Crichton's Rising Sun, were a market trend; Gibson'
...more
Steve Chisnell
William Gibson's Idoru is no longer as remote a premise as it might have seemed in 1996: a human wishes to marry a software program. Indeed, the concept has been repeated in a number of films in the last several years, each regarded as a kind of Hollywood pablum. But the conceit which drives the plot of Gibson's novel is not its primary joy.

The fun in most all of Gibson's works is in its cultural atmosphere, in the deeply insinuated effects of our tech in common language and lifestyle. We see di
...more
Elizabeth
Fun, good way to kill a four hour train ride. Well constructed book with craftsman like prose; the creaking of the works is not too intrusive. It's got two flaws, and unfortunately they are both in plot lynch pins.

It would be difficult to find a girl Chia's age dumb enough to carry a stranger's bag through customs. And it's been impressed upon any girl over 10 that following overly friendly, brassy ladies into big black cars driven by strange men leads to getting drugged, raped, and having the v
...more
Ruby Duvall
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kyle
Perhaps not so much a mystery anymore, with the Oculus Rift and Hatsune Miku being more of a reality than virtual, but to think back nearly two decades ago when this novel first appeared, and the pre-millennial hope that many people had for the future - us now - there was this strange enthusiasm that things may work out well. Instead, the novel deals with a celebrity-obsessed culture spanning the entire globe, centring on a reconstructed Tokyo (that may have happened if plate tectonics had shift ...more
Afroditi
I' d say this book is more "cyberpop" than cyberpunk but i really liked it.

Gibson creates a breathtaking scenery in futuristic Tokyo that follows the fact that an A.I. pop singer - the Idoru and Rez, singer of the Lo-Rez band are having an affair.

For me, Gibson talks about the present, projecting ideas in the future based on technologies that already exist - in this case, the nanotechnology.

Gibson is trully a very intelligent man and a very talented writer.
Ashley
Nov 23, 2007 Ashley rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Sci-Fi Fans, People Who Hate LA
I've really been holding out in regards to sci fi. I have a lot of friends who love it, but it took me reading books for school with Gibson footnoted constantly.

Idoru is great and a not too sci-fi introduction to his work. It is a quick read, which is great if you're busy and just want to know what all the hype is about.

It takes place in a future LA and Tokyo and deals a lot with fame in the digital age-- all very interesting if you've ever lived in LA.
L Ikon
A character driven and personal story from the creator of the modern cyberpunk genre. Idoru is more about the growth of it's two main protagonists rather then the action-packed adventures of street samurai and computer hackers against massive corporate entities which Gibson is known for.

Told in alternating chapters, Idoru tell's the story of Colin Laney and and Chia McKenzie's journey through a neo-tokyo still recovering from a cataclysmic earthquake. Laney has the unique talent to be able to fi
...more
Kaethe
10/25/2012

Last night my daughter introduced me to one of her hot new things on YouTube: Hatsune Miku, a purely synthetic pop star. In return, I introduced her to this book in which Gibson predicts such a thing, twenty years ago. Then we checked out her other hot new thing, the PBS Idea Channel and among other things, we watched Mike Rugnetta talk about the connections between Gibson, Hatsune Miku, Lana del Rey, pop culture, technology and art. And then I told her about a show that used to be o
...more
David
William Gibson's "Idoru" is the second book in his Bridge Trilogy. First of all, I have to say that I've read this book out of order: I've not yet read the first book. But, as far as I can tell, except for the previous existence of some tertiary characters, that's not a problem. The book is, essentially, stand-alone. Anyway, Gibson does a fine job here. It's his usual futuristic cyber-type of world, well-written, with good characters. My only complaint is that there's a bit of padding in the boo ...more
Rick Gibson
This was big on ideas, many of them prescient, but not so big on fleshing out characters, nor making you care much about any of them. On second reading nearly 20 years after it was published, I got little sense of jeopardy when the main characters were threatened, and was left with only a mild curiosity about how the author would tie everything up at the end. As one other reviewer here says, his writing is like seeing characters through thick, rather tarnished, glass.

The lack of wireless connect
...more
Jason
A fun romp that takes the world from Virtual Light, a few remaining characters, largely in cameo, and runs with it. There is something particularly striking about the ideas of nodes, about how aggregates of data gives an individual some sort of a way to predict the future, to understand what all of the pieces add up to, but that's essentially the most interesting thing here. What remains is a fun, well-told story that works for the most part, is a little sketchy as well and has a too-pat way of ...more
Craig
This one just didn't grab me. At times I relished the Gibson flair for otherworldly scenarios and the very unfamiliar but very distinctive in some passages. Other times I cringed at the seemingly contrived (and trite) attempts to make instances more than what they were - just uninteresting characters operating in bland locales - all this despite they were in Tokyo!
John
The first fifty pages are slow, but after that the book gains airspeed and goes like a rocket. Intense plot, with several discrete threads folding together nicely at the climax. Present is Gibson's hallmark microscopic focus on details of society and technology, with emphasis on the social ramifications of tech. The novel is from the mid-1990s, and Gibson's guesses about nanotech and virtual reality have not yet come to fruition. His ideas about reality TV and bottomless food chains of parasites ...more
Victor Gibson
I enjoyed this book, despite what I think were some pretty serious problems. The second of the Bridge trilogy, really! It only manages this this by having occasional references to the previous main player in Virtual Light being made, and the presence of a character from that book in an entirely different role.
But even so the words flow, and you just have to let them seep into the brain, maybe afterwards getting the impression of what is going on, or not. In this volume the author really gets us
...more
Wealhtheow
A fast-paced, exciting story about the intersections of realities and identity. This is also one of the rare books that gets the mindset behind fandom. An impressive piece of cyberpunk.
Leonardo Etcheto
The virtual and the real start to blend as a live rock star and a hologram rock star start to join forces. In between there is the Russian mafia with its brutal reputation, a fan club seeking knowledge and the strange world of Japan. My favorite character in this one is the standover man aptly called Blackwell. He may be an SOB but he is our SOB as the saying goes. Laney's node view ability is interesting, a precursor of all the Big Data stuff going on now. Every time I read Gibson I feel sad th ...more
Derek (Guilty of thoughtcrime)
As good as anything I've read by Gibson. I can't get enough of his vision of the future of cyberspace.
Lynn Khanova
Sorta cool... But really, cyberpunk IS so last century. Like, literally. This book reeks of outdatedness: some ideas have been explored after Gibson, and in better ways; some ideas have been quite surpassed by reality. 10-20 years more, and it will read as a good piece of retrofuturism.
Apparently, cyberpunk tends to fascinate a peculiar age group: those who were young when Internet was born. For me, who was born into Internet, cyberpunk just doesn't work. It's too serious and self-obsessed, like
...more
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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
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More about William Gibson...
Neuromancer (Sprawl, #1) Pattern Recognition (Blue Ant, #1) Count Zero (Sprawl, #2) Burning Chrome Mona Lisa Overdrive (Sprawl, #3)

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“I think I'd probably tell you that it's easier to desire and pursue the attention of tens of millions of total strangers than it is to accept the love and loyalty of the people closest to us.” 122 likes
“[Slitscan's audience] is best visualized as a vicious, lazy, profoundly ignorant, perpetually hungry organism craving the warm god-flesh of the anointed. Personally I like to imagine something the size of a baby hippo, the color of a week-old boiled potato, that lives by itself, in the dark, in a double-wide on the outskirts of Topeka. It's covered with eyes and it sweats constantly. The sweat runs into those eyes and makes them sting. It has no mouth, Laney, no genitals, and can only express its mute extremes of murderous rage and infantile desire by changing the channels on a universal remote. Or by voting in presidential elections.” 24 likes
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