Every author should only write one great book. all others should be burned. and i will be the arbiter of what single work is that authors most outstan...moreEvery author should only write one great book. all others should be burned. and i will be the arbiter of what single work is that authors most outstanding work. Otherwise, authors who introduce a new genera should be made to never write in that style again, as their contributions to society via the introduction of a genera far outweigh their ability to pile prose together in anything other then episodic poppycock.
at some point in the recent past, gibson decided that the life of the slightly eccentric artist/professional was interesting enough to justify a whole series of books (yes, more are coming.)
The plot tolls out like this. Artist is in the throws of some mid life crisis. No longer satisfied by her past works, looking for more, she receives a job she cant refuse from the mysterious Hubertus Bigend. In the guise of some legitimate business venture Hubertus cons the young lady into revealing the seedy underbelly of some underground art movement. The juxtaposition of the artist novice detective skills combined with Bigends titanic wealth make for some interesting adventures till the climactic ending that, both times, i couldn't see coming.
The appeal of the gibson book comes two fold. One, he draws from contemporary technology (macbooks) and the recent past (vr5) to paint a near future that is both accessible and steeped in nostalgia. Secondly, he extrapolates from the technology, ways people might actually interact. With gibsons breakthrough Nuromancer we found the gap between real life and fiction a void un-spannable in our lifetimes. But with spook country, the jump from future-present and now is seemingly across the next horizon.
If your into this sort of thing, then by all means add this to your "to read" list.(less)
Many cite this as the start of the cyber-punk movement in contemporary fiction. Its gibsons greakout work and the first in his series titles. This one...moreMany cite this as the start of the cyber-punk movement in contemporary fiction. Its gibsons greakout work and the first in his series titles. This one basically sets the pace for the whole mans whole career.
breaks down like this: Silicon Cowboy burns out at the hands of some nefarious characters. In some downward spiral of self destructive behaviors he get picked up by some shady folks to do some serious burn on some of the slickest cats in the military industrial complex. Like a bush league D&D line up, the team consists of the hacker (hero), the bioengineered hired killer chick (ninja), the ROM backup of a top notch hacker (www.izz3rd.com) and some mysterious WWIII vet who always knows whats going on. (rich adventurer? i dont play d&d)
The groups been put together by a mysterious financier who has access to the most choice gear, the sickest rides and the most challenging tasks. after some minor battles, that both show weakness' and strengths in the team dynamic, they make the big push to the final encounter.
if this sounds formulaic, it is. But like all good stories its not some compelling NEW improved design or some crazy plot twist that makes a book woth reading. Its the quality of the pros, the growth of the characters and the dynamics set up by the author. Neuromancer is worth the effort because it a good story, well done. Its a solid piece of Sci-fi that breaks the convention as it is also good fiction.
also: Much has been written about this book since its publishing about its influence on digital media. Gibsons later works also make assumptions about the ways people interact with technology. Many of which come to fruition of their own accord. I have no doubt that some designers, born and breed of the sci-fi lifestyle, reference this notable work of fiction when creating real life human interfaces. But moreover i believe in Gibsons ability to predict how humans might design future incarnations of existing technology to (less)
Maybe its charles trying to get back some of that late 90's magic by again writing from a womans perspective....moreRight off the bat, did not like this one.
Maybe its charles trying to get back some of that late 90's magic by again writing from a womans perspective. But i just dont buy it. The books full of detailed anatomical information about the face in that it relates to expressions, but lacks those "shock" descriptions his other works. Maybe this is some effort to appeal to a more female audience, maybe hes trying something different, maybe i just didn't like this one.
I cant keep this book straight. So im going to break it into 3 sections for my own leasure.
Part One: ok So basicly rant is this screwed up kid in the...moreI cant keep this book straight. So im going to break it into 3 sections for my own leasure.
Part One: ok So basicly rant is this screwed up kid in the american heartland. Grows up in the middle of no place, getting kicks from snakebits and coyote scratches. The kid is basically a testbed for every animal born disease you can contract with out buggering something. This portion of the book sets it apart from the classic chuck story arc because we see the individual WHILE the screwing up takes place. Not after, not years later. At various times references are made to future events, but for the most part the foreshadowing is left alone instead for the twisted tales of this messed up kid, doing... well, kid stuff.
I think at this point the story could be left alone, for various reasons this could be a serial in the back of a magazine. Rant Casey: a boy in 4 parts or some shit. You know, keep the readers coming back every 28 days for more.
Part Two: Do what now? At some point during the middle part of the book you realize things are not all what they seem. Characters start interacting with dynamics you wouldn't expect, plot elements that dont get explained; its generally confusing. Its at this point that i usualy start getting into whatever chucks got planned, but this time im all cought up it just trying to get cought up. I was tempted to go back to go over the parts i was sure i missed. the SciFi elements i was expecting just poped up and no one seemed to care.. very strange.
Part three: Ok, i get jokes. By this point in the book the narrative is wrapped like on of those 90's tribal knot tattoos. Sorta confusing, but mostly annoying. The periphery info we've been bombarded with since page one suddenly all seems to be making sense. If you weren't paying attention before you might just want to give up now. Starting overs not an option, half the fun of this one is the realization that youve been lead along the whole time. I dont know how often Stephine Kings lead me on some switchback path, just to abandon me like someones unwanted dog on a country road. Chucks got you by the nose here, and hes not letting go. Where ever this novel ends, hes taking you with him.
I found this an interesting exercise. Being more familier with the mans writing style and the arc of his career, i can honestly say this is one of the "do not miss" Palahniuk books. If you think he got a little incestuous during the early 2000's this ones a refreshing dip in the gene pool.(less)
I liked all of chucks books on some level. but only a few of them really grabbed me by the booboo. this was one of them.
Following chucks gross out sty...moreI liked all of chucks books on some level. but only a few of them really grabbed me by the booboo. this was one of them.
Following chucks gross out style and familiar character arcs, we trace the path of yet another outsider with emotional problems. This guys a sex adict. He attends 12 step meetings to pick up on other "sex-aholics". Works as a colonial re-inactor during the day, pretends to choke in restaurants to earn extra money at night. The money goes to help his dying mother, a crazy anti-social terrorist whos drug fueled youth has left her a broken shell. The theory behind the choking for cash scheme is really quite inventive. Not wanting to spoil it for anyone, its just another one of chucks thought experiments brought to fruition on paper.
Quick pacing makes this 300 pages a fast read, maybe a lazy weekend, then youll want to do it again. The sci-fi vein that runs though these later works doesent kick in till the last few chapters. Less confusing than Rant, this serves to counterpoint the overall craziness of the main characters, and doesent go as far as to make you rethink your whole relationship to the novel. I found it twisty without being m. night twisty.
Best part of a novel ive read in the last 5 years: ----- Monkeys violating men in loincloths with chestnuts. ----- (less)
It seems that Enders Game is just one of those novels that everyone else has read accept me. At some point in my life i started to run across the seem...moreIt seems that Enders Game is just one of those novels that everyone else has read accept me. At some point in my life i started to run across the seemingly endless list of books that were not "classics" but well read none the less. The first one of these that really struck me was The Hobbit. At some point in highschool someone recited that first line about Bilbo's little house in the shire and i just looked at them blankly, never being a fantasy junkie i had missed the Tolkien bandwagon.
I cant say ive ever expected to be the first person to discover some new work of fiction, but its really starting to grate how everyones already read all the good books before i get there. Winning the Hugo the year it was published probably dident help Enders Game slip quietly into obscurity, boohoo for me. Now onto the review.
The novel has obviously influenced many subsequent works, the most striking at the moment being Diamond Age for its use of computerized childrens game as a learning tool. After watching "Citizen Kane" i felt this same way about every movie i watched for the next six months. Meh.
Over all the books solid, i give it a 4/5 because i would actually recommend it to someone who was not a Card Junkie. If i find out everything else the mans ever written runs the same track, i will retroactivly drop this books score to 3/5. It good, but that extra points for being imaginative.
At 385 pages its by no means a doorstop, a few brisk afternoons would put you well into this one. Its fast paced, with good character development, its use of asides early on mix well with the idea of a future military super state eavesdropping on your every action/word. Some of the jumps in time are glossed over more then others, a few times i got caught off guard by something that was happening months later.
all and all i would regard this as a fine piece of literature that defis the genera by being a well crafted book and not just good science fiction.
I believe up till this point every Palahniuk book ive been through has been written from a male perspective. Not to say that this one is some sort of...moreI believe up till this point every Palahniuk book ive been through has been written from a male perspective. Not to say that this one is some sort of dramatic departure from the norm, the same nihilistic self examination exists here. But the approach seems different, more aloof. And the structure, while still shattered, is more tangential then in previous efforts. Perhaps its just the main characters being female that makes this one seem more unique, but from the very beginning i had the feeling this one was going to be different.
A trip to Wikipedia tells us this book was written in the early/mid 1990's. That puts it Pre-fightclub. Labeling this as one of chucks earlyest novels really pushes my assertions about its uniqueness to the forefront of this article. While reading it i was struck by the way it deals with many of Palahniuks main theams but in a way that seems fresh and new. Perhaps after the release of the fightclub film, with the public clamoring for more, the publishers released this, previously unlikely, book in an effort to catch more eyeballs. Im glad they did.
In the opening pages we find that fashion model Daisy St. Patience got shot in the face while driving, ripping her jaw clean off. Once mind meltingly beautiful, shes now hideously deformed. Before youd have to try not to stare at her, now everyone looks away. Shes invisible, an invisible monster.
In hospital we get introduced to the cast of characters. Her fiance, her best friend and the drag queen thats going to change the way she thinks about everything. The plot twists and character development are slightly less stylized here then in say, Lullaby. Refreshing.
At this point it might be interesting to question the audiences infatuation with any artists early works over the later ones. The feeling of many is that the early works often reflect more the raw energy of the creative process. For lots of people this may be true, Palahniuk seems to be casting a wide net here, catching a lot more of the human condition then he might have to. If the author feels the need to tell a story on his own terms, surely the more experienced one will do it in the most deft and "correct" manor passable. It might be fair to say that the later works are most like the authors true intent. The early ones are more sophomoric trial and error. Anyone care to comment?
I learned (again) that we have to lose everything if we ever want to be truly free.(less)
I learned from this book: That Chuck Palahniuk hates humanity. His outlook is bleak, basicly he's unimpressed.
Here we find all of chucks old tricks pain...moreI learned from this book: That Chuck Palahniuk hates humanity. His outlook is bleak, basicly he's unimpressed.
Here we find all of chucks old tricks painted fresh and new. The tortured, faulted hero. The antagonistic love interest. The questing, the transformative car rides, great return home. Its like Palahniuk's the monster reincarnation of Jack Kerouac living in the shadow of Stephen King.
The plot runs like this: Magic is real, specifically magic words.
Somehow a deadly magic spell has escaped into the world and is responsible for many mysterious deaths.
One man finds a pattern, finds the spell and realizes its power.
Take these plot points and apply the Chuck Palahniuk formula. Thats basically what lullaby does for 275 pages. I would love to go into detail about chucks use of literary devices and some of the more interesting descriptions of bodily function. But i dont want to rob any potential readers of the few truly gratifying moments this book provides.
That being said i would whole heartedly recommend this novel to any Palahniuk fan looking for some time to kill.(less)
Over 10 years after the run away success of his first novel i think Chuck Palahniuk has listened to his critics, his fans and his agent. Knowing nothi...moreOver 10 years after the run away success of his first novel i think Chuck Palahniuk has listened to his critics, his fans and his agent. Knowing nothing else about the mans work besides these two, it would seem hes gone the same direction as Thomas Harris in just shoveling the masses the dreck they crave. You wanted more Dr. Lector ??? Heres Hannibal and Hannibal Rising. I hope you choke on them. And in that vain, with that same sense of contempt for the audience Palahniuk trys to drowned you with a deluge of horrific imagery. The story is like "120 Days on Sodom" meets "The real World". Imagine deSade and Aaron Spelling married in hell forever, this is their lovechild. To let loose with any specifics would ruin the suspense but if you make it past page 30, your going to realize this ones not about the story, its just Chuck trying to outdo himself in the depravity dept. A must read for fans, pain junkies and depressed high school kids.(less)
Short, shorter as an audiobook. small pieces of story seeping into my head 25min at a time. jumping 8-16 hrs around my life just like a star wars film...moreShort, shorter as an audiobook. small pieces of story seeping into my head 25min at a time. jumping 8-16 hrs around my life just like a star wars film festival isent. All the parts of the story seem lost and far away, obscured by arbitrary limitations of time and my crap MP3 players storage capacity. Its like remembering a dream you told someone about. then forgot. anyways.
Tender is a farm boy raised by some crazy menanite like cult valley in the middle of nowhere. At 17 hes sent out into the world to realize the horror of the modern world juxtaposed to his own memories of simple life on the farm. Hes a labor missionary, sent into the land of nod to do gods work. And it seems gods work is scrubbing floors, cleaning carpets and taking care of rich people. Not to give anything away, but my favorite parts include:
Tender eating a live lobster. (Hes to busy on the phone to botice its hearts still beating) Tender talking about getting stains out of thong underpants. (they should just make the string part black, LOLz) Tender losing his verginity. (the first thing the girl asks is "do you mind sloppy 2nds?"
I think i would recommend borrowing this one. Or get it 2nd hand. Maybe ok for a lazy sunday or a short plane flight. But lacks the beefeyness im coming to expect from chuck. I dont know how long this one is, but it seemed to go by quickly.
Fun story mixs the very near future with with a lot of obscure teh referances that will make 40 year old nerds sigh. Stuff like the Sinclair computers...moreFun story mixs the very near future with with a lot of obscure teh referances that will make 40 year old nerds sigh. Stuff like the Sinclair computers, Curta calculators and Buzz Ricksons jackets make a real connection to real nerd culture that gives the story a sense of realism. Without that connection i would have been almost bored with this novel.
here gibson uses real world "hooks" in the way hes done with cyber punk SF in the past. Is it effective? Sure, its an interesting literary tool, but the sense of being drawn in seemed forced some times. The mans a pro, no doubt, but i got the feeling this wasent his prime cut. either hes phoning them in or (gasp) cyberpunk is dead.
Send the man some white lillys, and a $300 nylon bomber jacket.(less)
In a world filled with MANY halfhearted literary exersizes i dont know what stevenson is thinking publishing this half/...moreInteresting but not compelling.
In a world filled with MANY halfhearted literary exersizes i dont know what stevenson is thinking publishing this half/half cyber punk/ fairy tale epic. I dont know what got me started... i think it was Pattern Recognition. Well Diamond Age killed it.
the half dealing with the "real" world i could handle. Its was fun and presented a stunning vision of the future where those of means can live a peacefull and wholesome existance off the likes of the super rich. and the poor continue to be dirt poor like they always will be. It expresses the limits of mans ability to mimic his own soul in silica.
This books got nano tech up the arse. But its also got a backbone of goopy filler that i could have done without. Unless your a HUGE FAN, skip it.(less)
It started with johnny mnemonic, that crap movie from 1995. Well a few years later (maybe 2000) i was over at Alex Bullas house and i was like, "this...moreIt started with johnny mnemonic, that crap movie from 1995. Well a few years later (maybe 2000) i was over at Alex Bullas house and i was like, "this is a book to?" Sure, well i borrowed it and then he gets sent off to italy and i never see him again. I suppose i could get his adress and mail it back.
whatever. its a nice collection of short stories and i totaly worth stealing from a friend. The stories seem magical in this 21st century world with 24hr torrents and Cybereverything. but if you were playing "find the whumpus" on a mainframe in college, this book was like jesus crapped a rainbow in your brain.(less)