Jenelle's Reviews > Distrust That Particular Flavor

Distrust That Particular Flavor by William Gibson
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Jan 23, 12

bookshelves: sci-fi, semiotics-essays-theory
Recommended for: emotional nerds, boys I crush on
Read on January 22, 2012 — I own a copy, read count: 1

I haven't had such an immediate, pressing desire to read a book in a long time, but from that NY Times Review, I knew this book nestled perfectly into my life-as-sci-fi imagination, esp. travel-as-time-travel. This is a collection of Gibson's published "nonfiction" essays, although he admits early he's uncomfortable relating anything as pure nonfiction, and each essay is footnoted by his present-day critique. Somehow I haven't read a single thing by Gibson before, and I wonder if I had this would just feel like a less perfect version of what he'd accomplished in those novels. Anyway, this was great. I bought and read it cover-to-cover in one day, something I haven't done in years. It was a slow start: I had a really hard time getting through the first essay Rocket Radio, like how I can never watch Sans Soleil all the way through, even after all these years, without at least getting up to walk around the room once or twice for fear my head will explode: too good. The comparison to Sans Soleil is right, especially since they both occupy the space between documentary and narrative, and of course they both get interested in futuristic 80's Tokyo. It turns out some chapters are better than others, and some themes (Tokyo, the Internet, all "futuristic" sci-fi is only about today) are re-worked several times over, so it didn't conclude as scarily brilliant as it had begun. I had a good time! The most beautiful chapter is Shiny Balls of Mud, which looks at this obsessive trend that spread amongst Japanese pre-schoolers of creating perfect spheres from mud as metaphor. One of the most succinctly touching was about Skip Spence's jeans ("the gift of his brave elegance"), you may not have guessed. Wm. seems like such an appreciator, everything moves his imagination so sincerely, and he doesn't seem to get caught up in any cult of things... I mean he somehow isn't even dorky.
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message 1: by Peggy (new) - added it

Peggy He's brill - I love the way he 'notices'.


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