Tfitoby's Reviews > All Tomorrow's Parties

All Tomorrow's Parties by William Gibson
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Mar 06, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: sci-fi
Read from March 05 to 06, 2012

A fabulously satisfying end to Gibson's Bridge trilogy and of the four Gibson novels I've read to date, the most enjoyable to read.

I think I knew the moment we are introduced to the character of Silencio that between the publication of Virtual Light (a book I found difficult and stilted) and this third instalment William Gibson had stepped his game up to a new level, that the readability of Idoru wasn't just a fluke.

As I mentioned in my review of Virtual Light, Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash made it hard for anyone to seriously write something in this genre without accepting that it would pale in comparison but with this novel Gibson seems to have risen to the challenge of both Snow Crash and the release of the idea stealing, genre defining, Wachowski sibling created movie The Matrix.

The pace and tension are quite relentless, with the combination of short chapters alternating character perspectives and a prose that is often poetic AND grubby but specifically designed to be labelled as tense. I found it hard to stop reading this one as chapter after chapter flew past, the narrative and the characters being swept forward in a tide of pre-determined social change. The only character that seemingly knows what's happening is a half-crazed, half dead Laney (from Idoru) who has been hiding in a cardboard box city and who quite happily admits from the start that he doesn't know WHAT is going to happen only that SOMETHING will.

If you can accept this kind of storyline, that blends social commentary with near future science fiction, action, thrills, suspense then William Gibson is the man for you and the Bridge Trilogy as a whole may well be worth consideration for comparison to Snow Crash. (Yes I know it's one book versus three and yes really SNnow Crash still wins, but still you can't just keep reading Snow Crash forever.)
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