Adam's Reviews > Spook Country

Spook Country by William Gibson
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Sep 03, 2007

it was amazing
Recommended for: sci-fi fans and conspiracy theorists
Read in September, 2007

No matter when or where it is set, all the best science fiction is really about the present day. William Gibson takes this idea to its logical conclusion and writes about the present day as if it were science fiction.

Gibson seems mostly concerned with how our (real) technologies are transforming us. His main character, Hollis Henry (love the strong female characters that are always present in Gibson's work), the lead singer of a defunct band from the '90s, who is now trying to make it as a journalist. The start-up magazine for which she works has given her an assignment that's really little more than a cover. They hope that as she investigates locative technology in art, she'll also uncover the where-abouts of a mysterious cargo container. Without her knowledge, of course. There are two other characters we follow in the course of the narrative, neither of whom know the whole story either.

By keeping the characters and the readers in the dark about the narrative thread, Gibson creates a paranoid feeling that mimics that of the world we find ourselves living in. A world where, as one of the characters says, "America had developed Stockholm syndrome toward its own government, post 9/11."

This is the second novel set in the "real world" by Gibson; a sort of follow up to Pattern Recognition. These two novels share one character between them: Advertising magnate, Hubertus Bigend. While not a huge presence in either book, he is the force that motivates both narratives. Again, Gibson is telling us something about the world we live in.

Gibson's writing here is bare-bones spare, but beautiful. He has the ability to turn a phrase that can stop the reader dead for a moment, but that then compels you to continue. To race to the completely satisfying conclusion.

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