Monk's Reviews > Neuromancer

Neuromancer by William Gibson
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Dec 08, 07

bookshelves: sci-fi, required_reading
Read in October, 1992

This book is one of the relatively few 5-Star books I can rate. On a scale of 1 to 5, one means stay away from this book. Five is something that changes your life after you read it. Gibson's Neuromancer is a definite five.

Neuromancer is the story of a burned-out hacker named Case. Having performed the one unforgivable crime of his shadowy business - stealing from his employer - he has literally been burned out. A Russian mycotoxin has destroyed his nervous sytem so accutely that he is no longer able to make the man-machine interface necessary to his particular brand of hacking. He's offered a second chance though by means of a mysterious employer with even more bizarre motives. The job is multifaceted and difficult, but the fixer Armitage makes all of Case's dreams come true when he reverses the damage done to his body and sets him down the path of cyber-crime again.

The real rating five stuff comes from two sources. The first is the most obvious: style. I have yet to come across another author who can bring this particular kind of setting alive. Gibson practically invented cyberpunk fiction when he wrote this novel. Read a couple pages and you'll come to understand the visual gift of words Gibson has.

The second, more subtle reason for the five is that it goes over a very interesting point with a major character, an AI system named Wintermute that pulls Armitage's strings. 'What does Wintermute want?' Case asks at one point. His dead friend Paulie (a personality recording of a long dead hacker) answers, ‘Real motive problem, with an AI. Not human, see?'

Reading that when you're a kid in high school will blow your mind. Opens up some perspective.

Anyone looking for a good novel in a world just a few decades out from tomorrow, filled with dead men, AIs and future-noir crime should give this one a good once over. I've already read it six or seven times.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Catherine Well said!! Can tell who the hardcore cyberpunks are by the way they rate this book. High five to you for making the case!


message 2: by Ruthie1983 (new) - added it

Ruthie1983 Hi there, I'm writing from the BBC World Service Book club in London. We are interviewing William Gibson about Neuromancer and I wondered if any delightful Goodreaders might have a question about the book which they would like us to ask him? If anyone is interested please email me at ruth.sanderson@bbc.co.uk thanks! R


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