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Neuromancer (Sprawl #1)

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  192,250 Ratings  ·  6,126 Reviews
Alternate version of this book.

The Matrix is a world within the world, a global consensus- hallucination, the representation of every byte of data in cyberspace . . .

Case had been the sharpest data-thief in the business, until vengeful former employers crippled his nervous system. But now a new and very mysterious employer recruits him for a last-chance run. The target: an
Mass Market Paperback, 271 pages
Published 1988 by Ace Books (first published 1984)
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Popular Answered Questions

Deborah Ideiosepius omnivorous reader Yes, it is. Giibson does not over-explain his plots, characters or worlds.
He uses a lot of slang and concepts that you just have to figure out as you…more
Yes, it is. Giibson does not over-explain his plots, characters or worlds.
He uses a lot of slang and concepts that you just have to figure out as you go into the world he has created, as the story progresses you will understand the details. Think of visiting a foreign country, where you barely know the language and none of the cultural mores; you just have to listen to what people say very closely to follow the subject matter.

I have read nearly everything Gibson ever wrote, I just started his newest book and had to remind myself how to read them, I kept getting hung up on the fact that I did not know what was happening and worrying that I had missed something obvious, but no, you just need to read and enjoy the ride!(less)
Kashiari No. Those books primary serves as warnings about what can happen to the humanity in the future.

This book's main role is to describe author's vision of…more
No. Those books primary serves as warnings about what can happen to the humanity in the future.

This book's main role is to describe author's vision of the future, which is not utopian or dystopian.

I think that this review will give you a good sense about this book.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Eureka!...Hallelujah!...I've had a wondrous epiphany!
I finally get it...I have seen the light and understanding has dawned. Gibson’s manifest brilliance has revealed itself to me and I am left humbled and quivering in AWE.

After a rocky, tumultuous courtship that oscillated between respect and frustration through my first two readings of Neuromancer, number 3 became the CHARMing, rapturous awakening into a hopelessly devoted, head over heals love affair that I’m confident will last a lifetime.
Jan 30, 2008 Loren rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Adapted from

The first time I tried to read Neuromancer, I stopped around page 25.

I was about 15 years old and I’d heard it was a classic, a must-read from 1984. So I picked it up and I plowed through the first chapter, scratching my head the whole time. Then I shoved it onto my bookshelf, where it was quickly forgotten. It was a dense, multilayered read, requiring more effort than a hormone-addled adolescent wanted to give. But few years later, I pulled the book do
J.G. Keely
A lozenge is a shape. Like a cube, or a triangle, or a sphere. I know that every time he types it, you are going to imagine a cough drop flying serenely by, but it's a shape. It's from heraldry for god's sake. You may want to look up some synonyms to insert for yourself when he uses it, here are a few: diamond, rhombus, mascle.

Now that the greatest obstacle in Gibson's vocabulary has been dealt with, I can tell you that he writes in one of the finest voices of any Science Fiction author. His ab
Feb 25, 2009 Sandi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008, sci-fi
For well over 20 years, I have seen copies of William Gibson’s “Neuromancer” on the Sci-Fi/Fantasy shelves of nearly every bookstore I have gone into. I recently decided to pick up a copy and read it. I figured a book that’s been continuously in print for over twenty years and is considered a ground-breaking work in Science Fiction had to be good. I figured wrong.

“Neuromancer” is a very convoluted novel. It jumps from local to local and situation to situation in a very jerky way. To add to the
This Is Not The Michael You're Looking For
Context. Sometimes the key to understanding something is context. And never is that more the case than with the book Neuromancer. Neuromancer is a very famous, genre creating/changing book, winner of many awards. I’m reading Neuromancer for the first time; while not quite done, I find the story to be decent and the writing to be ok. As just a book that I am reading, I would call it fair. But that is an evaluation without context.

Under what context does my evaluation change? Well, one of the firs
Aug 15, 2016 Lyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This is a wild ride. If you like Philip K. Dick’s writing and wondered what would happen if you extended his vision into the not too distant future, if you liked Bladerunner, if you liked The Matrix … and even if you like all the film and fiction that has made an attempt to be any of the above, you will love Neuromancer.

William Gibson said that while writing Neuromancer he went to see the Ridley Scott film Bladerunner and thought that his ideas for the book were hopelessly lost, that everyo
Dec 18, 2011 s.penkevich rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who needs an escape from the Sprawl
Recommended to s.penkevich by: Drunkkidcatholic
I was watching Jeopardy a few weeks ago when I first heard of Gibson (Technology for 200: “I coined the term ‘cyberspace’”) and the next morning on my commute to work I heard another allusion to the Canadian author on NPR. A few days later, someone recommended I read Neuromancer so seeing as the stars were seemingly aligning to place a Gibson novel at the top of my ‘to-read’ list, I went out and bought this novel. I am glad I did. Not only did it remind me that I needed to read more sci-fi from ...more
I am going to have to admit that I was utterly confused by the majority of this book. I mean,

“His eyes were eggs of unstable crystal, vibrating with a frequency whose name was rain and the sound of trains, suddenly sprouting a humming forest of hair-fine glass spines.”

How’s that again? Eggs…of humming rainforest glass? No?

Normally I would read a sentence like that and just throw in the towel. But for all its trippy, surreal, dense prose, this book still manages to convey so much. Reading it fee
Oct 13, 2008 E.B. rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Cyber Goths, Computer Programers, IT Pros
Wow. What a terrible book.

First, let me just say that I read for entertainment value. Anything else that happens is gravy. That being said- the biggest reason this book is so awful is that Gibson's characters are completely hollow. Gibson makes it up as he goes along. He'll introduce a character, barely describe him and then 10 chapters later toss in another description. As if to say "Oh, yeah did I mention his hands were chainsaws? Yeah, they were totally chainsaws. Cool right?"
The reason this
Jul 24, 2015 Apatt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my third reading of Neuromancer, the first time was while in my teens decades ago, I hated it then and was not able to read more than 50 pages. The second time was around five years ago, I liked it better then but still found much of it inaccessible. This third reading was inspired by The Three-Body Problem which is only partially a cyberpunk book. I keep coming back to this problematic book not because I love it, but because the story and its iconic status interests me and I really wan ...more
Richard Derus
May 08, 2013 Richard Derus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 4* of five

The Book Report: The seminal work of cyberpunk, the novel was published in 1984 as a mass-market paperback original. It's the story of a twenty-first century dominated by Japanese corporations, feeding off American talent, and dominating a planet only recently recovered (if one can call it that) from the most recent pandemic as well as a horrific war between the USSR and the USA. So far, Reality 1, Gibson 0...but wait.

Molly, Case, and Armitage are a weird little unit, chasing a
mark monday
Jul 19, 2016 mark monday rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: futuristik
the following is a Reverse Exquisite Corpse Review, brought to you by the good folks at Sci Fi Aficionados.

I first read Neuromancer about 20 years ago. Writing with strokes instead of details is an interesting way to describe Gibson's writing. That's how I feel about some of the performance art I saw in my art school days. The strokes were far too numerous. I found it impossible to tell what was detail, what was colour, what was clue. I get bored with things being laid out t
Oct 23, 2011 Shovelmonkey1 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who really like geometry
Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by: 1001 books list
This book should be so covered in shiny, spangly stars to indicate all the sci-fi awards it has received that the cover should look like the milky way and possibly be shinier and brighter than the sun. I just had the plain old paper back version with no spangles. Very sad. I like a nice bit of shiny.

Any goodreaders who have already perused my shelves will note that I am not someone who has read a great deal of science fiction. Is this a glaring oversight on my part? Hmm maybe.

I was persuaded t
Matthew Quann
Neuromancer is a most peculiar novel that deserves a peculiar review. So,



1. The Reader With Delicate Sensibilities

Does swearing, violence, lots of sex, and drug use sends a shiver of disgust down your spine? Then this is likely not the book for you. Though it rarely veered into territory that made me uncomfortable, Neuromancer refuses to be censored a
Ian "Marvin" Graye
To Call Up a Demon, You Must Learn Its Name

As punishment for a business indiscretion, Case, who lives for the "bodily exultation of cyberspace" (one of many neologisms first used in "Neuromancer"), is injected with a wartime Russian mycotoxin and hallucinates for 30 hours, only to suffer damage that is "minute, subtle and utterly effective".

He falls into a "prison of his own flesh". After some fringe medical treatment in Siberia reinvents him, he emerges debt-ridden and physically compromised

Following the resounding success of my Locus Quest, I faced a dilemma: which reading list to follow it up with? Variety is the spice of life, so I’ve decided to diversify and pursue six different lists simultaneously. This book falls into my HUGO WINNERS list.

This is the reading list that follows the old adage, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". I loved reading the Locus Sci-Fi Award winners so I'm going to crack on with the Hugo winners next (but only the post-1980 winners, I'll follow up with
Dec 08, 2007 Monk rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is one of the relatively few 5-Star books I can rate. On a scale of 1 to 5, one means stay away from this book. Five is something that changes your life after you read it. Gibson's Neuromancer is a definite five.

Neuromancer is the story of a burned-out hacker named Case. Having performed the one unforgivable crime of his shadowy business - stealing from his employer - he has literally been burned out. A Russian mycotoxin has destroyed his nervous sytem so accutely that he is no longer
Jan 30, 2013 Szplug rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In hindsight, it seems that Neuromancer was a triumph of style over substance, a fact which might go some ways in explaining its enduring relevance as an ur-text of modern (science) fiction: that particular quality serving in meta, perhaps paradoxical fashion by both establishing a trend that was to become progressively more discernible while yet commenting on what was and, more impressively, that which would prevalently come to be. At the time I read this, though, such artsy-fartsy pondering wa ...more

The book that launched the whole cyberpunk genre... well of course it's brilliant. If you like SF at all, put this on your must-read list.
Mar 28, 2016 Carmen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone

This is one of the most beautifully written books I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Gibson has a real gift.

Think of Blade Runner - the movie with Harrison Ford. This book has the same kind of slick, urban, grimy, futuristic feel to it. It has aged wonderfully. Written in 1983, it has done nothing to date itself and still feels fresh and new and possible, even now.

Case is a hacker, it's what he lives for - being jacked in and connected to the matrix. But he loses that ability
Kat  Hooper
Aug 23, 2011 Kat Hooper rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, audiobook
4.5 stars
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

audio version
Henry Dorsett Case is a washed up computer hacker. He used to be one of the best, traveling cyberspace and sneaking through computer defenses, stealing money and information for his employers. But after he got greedy and embezzled some money, his employers damaged his brain so he can’t jack into cyberspace anymore. He spent the stolen money trying to get his ability back, but it didn’t work, and now he’s suicidal and wandering the squ
Jan 12, 2013 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: street samurai, cyberspace cowboys, RPG addicts
This is a book that, if you are approaching it for the first time, suffers from having been imitated so much that it seems derivative of its own successors. Neuromancer was genre-defining and it blew a million little geeky minds back in the day, but reading it in 2012, I failed to be enthralled by the goshwow factor. 'Cyberspace' is mainstream now, and stripped away of the novelty that made fans back in 1984 say "This is so fucking cool!" the book is kind of a techy-tech high concept thrill ride ...more
This novel was recommended to me by several friends both inside and outside GoodReads as a classic in the genre. Well, with apologies to said friends, I read it, and I was singularly underwhelmed. I was confused through much of it. I was mystified by the description of technology (including microsofts--did Bill Gates read this thing before he sat down to start a multi-kazillion-dollar corporation?). And I didn't find myself engaged in the story or caring for any of the major characters until qui ...more
I can certainly see where Neuromancer was important in the 1980s when it was published. It brings together many threads of literature and assembles a lot of ideas that hadn’t previously been combined. There is the drug culture and general aura of darkness of Philip K. Dick’s fiction; the technology of Spider Robinson’s Mindkiller; the emergent machine intelligence foreshadowed by Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress; the “heist” elements of the story. For me, it also had faint echoes of Dhalg ...more
K.D. Absolutely
Jul 28, 2010 K.D. Absolutely rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Aaron who currently reads a lot of dystopian novels
Recommended to K.D. by: TIME Magazine 100 Best Novels; 1001 Must Read Books Before You Die (2006-2010)
Shelves: 1001-core, 501, sci-fi
A mind-bender of a read. It has all the elements of a top rate science fiction and a post-industrial dystopian novel. First published in 1984, it was ahead of its time. It coined the term "cyberspace" which Gibson, long before the internet and other virtual technologies were integrated into everyday life, described as "a three-dimensional representation of computer data through which users communicate and do business, alongside a whole host of more dubious activities." In fact, this book said to ...more

Excuse me; I just woke up. I've been essentially asleep since first picking this book up a few days ago. I had to keep smacking myself to stay awake.

Cyberpunk. The matrix. Jacking in. Flipping. And on and on.

The cover of my book blurbs Washington Post, which uses words like "kaleidoscopic, picaresque, flashy." You lie, Washington Post. There's none of that here. There is no flash.

This is a story about drugs and computers and awkwardly phrased sex. (The sex itself isn't awkward, but it
The word "cyberspace" did not exist until William Gibson coined the phrase in his short story, "Burning Chrome," published in Omni Magazine in 1982. He also used the term in "Johnny Mnemonic," yes, the source of the Johnny Depp movie. And in Johnny Mnemonic, Gibson introduced an enhanced female street samurai named Molly Millions. She reappears as one of the main characters in "Neuromancer" in 1984. And it was with the publication of his debut novel that the use of the word "cyberspace" went vir ...more
I imagine this book is far better than I can give it credit for. Circumstance and timing proved bad in the end. I had a very stressful bad week of thesising and as a result I didn't pay enough attention. I'll have to re-read this one day.

I didn't care much for the ending. I was expecting more from it. I thought the characters and constructs were very interesting and there were lots of very clever ideas thrown around in this novel. I didn't always know what was going on, but I'm not sure if that
Aug 15, 2014 Gavin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
It's sad to say, but Father Time has treated Neuromancer cruelly. I'm sure back in 1984, when this was first published, Gibson's take on the evolution of "cyberspace" was an innovative one. Hard for me to say for sure since I'm no computer expert and I was only 1 year old in 1984!. I can say that there is nothing innovative in Gibson's tale for the modern reader.

That leaves the modern reader relying on the enjoyment of the story itself. Unfortunately that is average at best. The story revolves
Jan 11, 2008 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the era of Blade Runner, Music Video, Cold-War Endgame, and skyrocketing crime rates; in the time of the very beginning of the digital revolution, Neuromancer hit like a ton of bricks. It took both trends and said, "here is what the future could be like." And while it wasn't pretty, it was interesting. It was cool. It was sexy. It even sounded like fun, in a short-lived, stimulant fueled sort of way.

The book's flaws are well documented. Case, the main character, is such an ass that by the end
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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 about William Gibson...

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“The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.” 529 likes
“Cyberspace. A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts... A graphic representation of data abstracted from banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding...” 227 likes
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