Idoru (Bridge Trilogy, #2)
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Idoru (Bridge #2)

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  12,800 ratings  ·  310 reviews
The author of the ground-breaking science-fiction novels Neuromancer and Virtual Light returns with a fast-paced, high-density, cyber-punk thriller. As prophetic as it is exciting, Idoru takes us to 21st century Tokyo where both the promises of technology and the disasters of cyber-industrialism stand in stark contrast, where the haves and the have-nots find themselves wal...more
Hardcover, 292 pages
Published October 3rd 1996 by Viking (first published 1996)
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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  ·  review of another edition 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.
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.
Mike
Feb 26, 2011 Mike rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition 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
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
Michael
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
Ruby Duvall
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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  ·  review of another edition 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.
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
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
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.
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.
Ippino
E' la storia di una creatura virtuale, l'Aidoru del titolo appunto, che prende coscienza di sè; ed è la storia di Laney, un "cowboy del cyberspazio", che se ne innamora. In mezzo ci sono guerre tra corporazioni, scenari apocalittici, viaggi nel cyberspazio.
L'intreccio è sicuramente valido, anche se alcune trovate stridono un pò, se confrontate con la realtà di adesso. Il protagonista maschile è come tutti quelli dei libri di Gibson: velocissimo con la tastiera, perdente, con l'acqua alla gola, s...more
Gary Ballard
I decide to reread this book and its predecessor recently, as I wanted to finish the trilogy and it had been years since I read either book. My first reading of it left me somewhat lukewarm. I had liked the book, but didn't love it. Something about the understated ending left me flat. A reread changed my opinion of it. The understated ending worked much better for me now, as I have a greater appreciation for the book's themes. It's subtle take on post-modern celebrity and the power associated wi...more
Maku Sato
I read this book about a cyberpunk future during my first trip to Japan in 1999. It was a surreal experience because I felt like I was experiencing the BLADERUNNER dystopian future first-hand of wall to wall people, the smell of noodles, tiny apartments, technology and advertising run amok. This is William Gibson's last great book, written in that Raymond Chandleresque cyberpunk nonsensical prose and with a great ending. What Raymond Chandler was to 1930's & 1940's Los Angeles, William Gibso...more
Aravind Nair
This has been my second Gibson. Idoru is certainly mellower than Neuromancer but every bit as true to the genre. Like Neuromancer, it takes you deep into the net, which you'd think only Gibson understands in all its terrible glory. If you know your way around the web, you would recognize many of the things in this novel as highly probable extrapolations of our own net. Gibson seems to have a talent for seeing stuff, just like Laney one of the protagonists. Laney looks into the mass of data gener...more
Nicholas Armstrong
William Gibson impresses me more with his imagination than with his story or characters. He is the inventor of cyber-punk and steam-punk (there were some others too but forget them). His concepts and worlds are ones that our world seems to use as guidelines. Reading a Gibson book is what I imagine a computer would see if it could take an acid trip.

The characters aren't great, but they are pretty good. More impressive than anything is his world. It is so real that it feels like I'm going to star...more
Mina Villalobos
I'm not even sure I would call this cyberpunk, given how it feels like it could be happening now or just a few years ago in an alternate Earth. Or a few years in the future, but not by much. I really like the hints of the world differences, what happened to Mexico City and Japan and how it changed people and the way they lived.

This story uses Gibson's shifting POV narrative but with only two different POVs, so it's a lot more streamlined than other of his books. In this one, we get to see Laney,...more
Martin
This is my own stupid fault for jumping into a trilogy by reading the second book first; I daresay my opinion of this one will change when I've read the others.

As a cyberpunk piece it's a bit generic but the little details are fun - stuff that's given a futuristic twist, or things you wish were invented already. The latter half felt like a bit of a letdown for some reason, but considering how it extensively explores issues such as the internet and Japanese pop culture it's not aged too badly. If...more
Joe
Nov 15, 2011 Joe rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Gibson fans, Japanophiles
This was the William Gibson book I'd been dreading, where the amount of Japanese flavour he weaves into almost every story leaps into the foreground and the whole thing is set in Tokyo, and everything from the title to the time it was written suggested it would be too much of a book by a Japanophile, for Japanophiles. As I read more and more of Gibson's work, though, I had the growing impression that he really did 'get' Japan, or at least see it in a way similar to the way I do, and actually, Id...more
Stasa Fritz
The review is part of a combined respones I did for my current MFA program.

Response to Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat, Idoru by William Gibson, and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
Attempting a combined response with these three books does not make sense at first blush, but contrasts are often interesting and illuminating, so I will attempt it. My real hesitation is that Diaz’s writing from a craft perspective brings so much more to the table that it may overwhelm the...more
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in February 2001.

We are rapidly approaching the era when virtual celebrities will become a commonplace; there are already websites which feature purely digital news readers. We will no doubt soon see computer generated actors (improving on Jar Jar Binks) and musicians. Eventually, they will have at least simulations of personalities of their own. The pivotal event of this novel depends on this idea; rock star Rez announces his engagement to a virtual personal...more
John
While I'm a bigger fan of Gibson's Sprawl trilogy (Neuromancer, Count Zero, and Mona Lisa Overdrive), I think Idoru may actually be the best introduction to this work. Unlike the imaginable-but-still-genuinely-strange world of the Sprawl trilogy, Idoru's setting seems to be about 10 minutes into the future (five minutes, if you've already been to Japan); and in this future, pop sensation Rez is has announced that he is going to marry an idoru -- a virtual pop singer with no corporeal existence....more
Krzysztof
I rated Virtual Light a 4/5, meaning a 3.5/5. Idoru was definitely weaker, but not terrible. This book is a typical Gibson ride, meaning that it's chock-full of great concepts and ideas, but not much is done with them. The idea of the idom, the Lo/Rez band, futuristic Tokyo, the Hak Nam... all good concepts, interesting and fitting for the setting. But most of them are rather chaotically described - I have only a slight idea of how Hak Nam actually looks like, despite a lot of text being focused...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...more
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.” 114 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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