When I first started reading this book, I found myself feeling a bit overwhelmed after the first couple of chapters. This might be off-putting if you'...moreWhen I first started reading this book, I found myself feeling a bit overwhelmed after the first couple of chapters. This might be off-putting if you're reading this review and trying to decide if Neuromancer is worth checking out; the short answer, in my opinion, is yes.
I put the book down and re-read those first chapters the next day. It isn't down to any flaw that this book can be a bit hard to absorb at first - it's just that, being one of the first books of the cyberpunk genre (and the first one I ever read), Gibson is creating a whole new world, one with new technology and new situations.
Luckily, after a quick re-read, things made much more sense and I was able to carry on through the book.
I've read some other reviews of this book that criticise the lack of character development. While the characters are certainly not developed in a more typical way, I actually really grew to like them and found the developing relationship between Case and Molly interesting.
I found Molly to be quite an intriguing character, and this book left me wishing more stories with her existed.
What impresses me most about this book is how little it's dated - for a book published in the 1980's and dealing with computers and the internet, it could easily just seem cheesy today. Thankfully it doesn't and, for the most part, could easily be passed off as being written more recently.
I'd recommend this book to anyone interested in cyberpunk - it certainly made me a fan of the genre. My advice, to any other readers who find themselves a bit confused at first, would be to just go back and re-read the first couple of chapters. I did, and don't regret it at all, as this is now one of my favourite books.(less)
Normally, I consider characters to be the most important part of a book/story - if I don't care about or like anyone, I'm not going to be interested....moreNormally, I consider characters to be the most important part of a book/story - if I don't care about or like anyone, I'm not going to be interested. There are exceptions to this of course, The Invisible Man being one of them.
The Invisible Man himself, who we later find out is called Gibson, is not a likeable character. He's an unpleasant man, interesting, but not fascinating. We are told some of this backstory, but it serves more to further the story than to make him endearing.
This is quite a simple story, I found it quite easy to read - it's well written and, even though there's a good chance you're already familiar with the story, it's still fun and interesting.
I liked that, while not strictly realistic, HG Wells uses science to explain how Gibson achieved invisibility. This gave the story more weight than it would have had if, say, he'd just drunk some kind of invisibility potion.
I also really liked the detail in his experience of being invisible, especially when it came to the problems he faced. Wells clearly thought about this from a very practical view and the story is all the better for it. It was enough to convince me that, should I be offered a superpower, invisibility probably wouldn't be my first choice anymore!
It's interesting to read about Gibson's actions while invisible too. While he's not the nicest man to begin with, you have to wonder, how moral and honest would you really be if you were invisible, if you knew you'd get away with it?
Overall, this was actually a lot more fun than I was expecting it to be, but that isn't a bad thing. I genuinely enjoyed reading it, and will definitely read it again sometime.(less)