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Mona Lisa Overdrive

(Sprawl #3)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  37,737 ratings  ·  919 reviews
William Gibson, author of the extraordinary multiaward-winning novel Neuromancer, has written his most brilliant and thrilling work to date... The Mona Lisa Overdrive. Enter Gibson's unique world - lyric and mechanical, erotic and violent, sobering and exciting - where multinational corporations and high tech outlaws vie for power, traveling into the computer-generated uni ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 308 pages
Published December 1989 by Bantam Spectra (first published June 1988)
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Eliot I did and it made reading Neuromancer afterwards easier for me. But there are some things I understand better now that I've read Neuromancer.

It doesn'…more
I did and it made reading Neuromancer afterwards easier for me. But there are some things I understand better now that I've read Neuromancer.

It doesn't "spoil" anything to read this one first and I followed it fine.(less)
Darrell I was thinking the same thing as I read Mona Lisa Overdrive. Then, late in the book, Mona described seeing Molly’s (Sally’s) hands and how they looked…moreI was thinking the same thing as I read Mona Lisa Overdrive. Then, late in the book, Mona described seeing Molly’s (Sally’s) hands and how they looked as though a set of artificial nails had been broken off. I think that was Gibson’s way of saying the blades weren’t in play any more. That’s how I interpreted it. Great stuff none the less. (less)

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Paul Christensen
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novels-and-sagas
The best of Gibson’s three ’Sprawl’ novels.

Dark laughter, cold beauty, hyperlight.
Manuel Antão
Jul 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 1990
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

Gibsonesque State: "Mona Lisa Overdrive" by William Gibson

Is there a Monalisa Overdrive future in the works? That's not to say that there aren't plenty of SF predicted futures for the world that involve a sort of Utopian society where experiences are increasingly shared and cooperative than individually ring-fenced and private, but it's very easy to discredit them on the grounds of communist and socialist critique and all the heavy bag
Oct 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love the way William Gibson writes. If I could imagine and set down the kind of books I want to read, his would be as near to the mark as possible.

Gibson is the literary heir to Philip K. Dick’s homey futurism – his is the messenger, the rent-a-cop, the retail appliance repairman in the grimy but tech advanced future – our blue collar, street wise guide to the mesmerizing world building.

Gibson’s 1988 conclusion to his groundbreaking Sprawl trilogy was a demonstration of some of his best writin

Following the resounding success of my Locus Quest, I faced a dilemma: which reading list to follow it up with? Variety is the spice of life, so I’ve decided to diversify and pursue six different lists simultaneously. This book falls into my FINISHING THE SERIES! list.

I loves me a good series! But I'm terrible for starting a new series before finishing my last - so this reading list is all about trying to close out those series I've got on the go...

A quick look back:
I said in my review of Co
Sep 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Sci-Fi Fans
William Gibson's "conclusion" to the Sprawl trilogy. Conclusion is in quotes because it's a loose trilogy.

Gibson does what he does best in this novel: takes three different story arcs and weaves them together into a wonderful story that comes together neatly in the end.

Kumiko is a young teenager who is the daughter of a powerful yakuza. She's sent to England to hide from her father's enemies, with only a "ghost," given to her by her father, to keep her company. The "ghost" is really an AI unit t
Graeme Rodaughan
Jun 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
One of the later books of Gibson that I read. It left me with the fundamental idea of warring corporations and states on the wane that still lives with me now.
Feb 04, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
“The world hadn’t ever had so many moving parts or so few labels.”
― William Gibson, Mona Lisa Overdrive


There is something about Gibson that keeps me coming back. Part of it is how, like PKD, he seems to always have a sense of what is around the next two corners. Not just the objects. No. The textures and smells and ambiguities too. It is like Gibson doesn't just have foresight, he has foresmell and foretaste. Anyway, even with that, this wasn't his best book and not in the strong half of the S
Ian "Marvin" Graye
Ghost in the Machine

I'd had this unit on the shelf for a while. I'd used earlier versions to jack into the matrix twice, once only recently, and enjoyed the experience. It was time I did it again.

The first two times, the matrix seemed to be all order and accord. I suppose all the chaos was on the outside. Each time I jacked in, I escaped the chaos and found some serenity inside for a while.

This time, though, something had changed. The Shape had changed. Or something had changed it. Maybe, even,
Jan 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Executive Summary: I've owned this book for years, and for some reason never picked it up and read it. Thankfully I participated in a "Secret Santa" book thing of sorts, and someone out there finally got me to read it.

Full Review
I've always been more of a Snow Crash person than a Neuromancer person. I found it the easier read, and enjoyed the lighter nature/faster pace of the story. It took me quite a few years to circle back and read Count Zero and later Burning Chrome. I enjoyed them all,
Kara Babcock
It’s common to accuse a writer of writing the same thing over again. In many cases this merely means the writer sticks to variations on a theme. Sometimes, though, it feels like each novel is another installment in an iterative process designed to get at a central idea. As I continue to read William Gibson’s novels, I continue to get a better idea of the novel he is trying to write. Mona Lisa Overdrive mixes the legacy of the previous two Sprawl books with a corporate espionage–fuelled plot wort ...more
May 21, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
A much more accessible version of Gibson's cyberpunk stylings, Mona Lisa Overdrive is a pretty straight forward espionage thriller in comparison to what came before, and as such I found it that much more enjoyable.

Instead of technical information and a sentient AI point of view or endless discussions about what makes us human, the effects of technology on society and freewill we're treated to the lives of four characters in sequential chapters whose lives are on a fateful collision course plotte
Jan 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction, 2009
Mona Lisa Overdrive is the third book in Gibson's Sprawl trilogy, and it's the most fully-realized of the three. The plots of Neuromancer and Count Zero followed the same pattern, and Count Zero really only served as a bridge between the first and third books. Mona Lisa Overdrive flips back and forth between four subplots which weave together nicely, both with each other and with the previous two books. The characters start to matter a little more and feel more like real people than 2D plot-pupp ...more
Kat  Hooper
Aug 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

In Mona Lisa Overdrive, the third and final novel in William Gibson’s Sprawl trilogy, it’s been seven years since Angie Mitchell (from Count Zero) was taken out of Maas Biolabs and now she’s a famous simstim star who’s trying to break her designer drug habit. But a jealous Lady 3Jane plans to kidnap Angie and replace her with a cheap prostitute named Mona Lisa who’s addicted to stimulants and happens to look like Angie.

In a dilapidated section of New Jerse
David Gau
Mar 10, 2017 rated it liked it
I love this series, The Sprawl,. I really get immersed in the story. It's likely I'll be reading this trilogy again soon. ...more
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"Thinking of the other's dreams, of corridors winding in upon themselves, muted tints of ancient carpet...An old man, a head made of jewels, a taut pale face with eyes that were mirrors...And a beach in the wind and dark."
William Gibson, Mona Lisa Overdrive

This story pulled me into an emotional involvement with the characters like the first two did not. I felt an admiration for the characters in the first two. Some of those characters came back in this one, fifteen years older, or dead and as AI
May 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
And this is where it has taken us. Again, we have a new assortment of characters (the Yakuza boss' daughter; the robot-builder psychologically damaged by his prison time; the girl from the wrong side of the tracks), plus a few who seem oddly familiar, all caught up in seemingly disparate events that eventually begin to overlap. Again, the world is effortlessly cool (although the characters themselves, this time, are very much not; or at least not as effortlessly stylish as Case or Molly or the C ...more
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction-series
Somewhat better than the second book, takes the standalone elements of the previous two books and combines them. Originally read in the 80s, I didn't recall these books set so far apart in time. Part heist, part thriller - good characters, great ending!

This series defined cyberpunk, and while that concept was mostly a dream while the author pecked out the first novel on a manual typewriter, it was much closer to reality in 1988. The same year this novel came out, an adventure video game was rele
Oleksandr Zholud
This is the last, third volume of the Sprawl trilogy. I read is as a part of Sprawl Challenge reading in December 2019 at Hugo & Nebula Awards: Best Novels group.

While the first two books were connected only by the shared universe and minor characters, the third actively borrows from the previous ones. The author’s style became more mainstream, easier accessible, but still quite distinct.

There are three main new protagonists: Kumiko, a daughter of Yakuza boss, sent to London, while there is a ga
Aug 26, 2008 rated it liked it
So my friend John commented that, given the fact that I was "currently reading" Mona Lisa Overdrive and had Count Zero marked as "to read", it seemed like I was reading the trilogy backwards. To which my only response is "Trilo-what-now?"

The edition of MLO that I read is the exact same one as the cover scan in the GoodReads database. Yes, I know, it's too small to make out any small details. So you'll have to trust me when I say that there is no indication on either the front cover, back cover,
Alexander McNabb
Nov 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
If Neuromancer was debut brilliance, Count Zero was a continuation that lacked the punch of the first in the Sprawl trilogy, yet still packed enough crowd pleasing swagger to make it a top class read (with, perhaps, the lack of purpose that greatness demands).

In hindsight, this is perhaps the way a great trilogy should go, because one's expectations are set perhaps a tad lower by the time you get to Mona Lisa Overdrive. So you're nicely set up for the rabbit punch when it comes.

Gibson has broug
Third in William Gibson's Sprawl series, we are looking at classic William Gibson prose. High tech and high volume prose. Technological, detailed, dense prose that sometimes you really need to pay close attention to.

Four threads come together in a unconventional way for the grand climax. We see Susan (Molly from Neuromancer), Angie Mitchell, a cyberspace celebrity, Kumiko is a young Japanese girl with a mobster father, and finally Angie, a trusting prostitute. Its a jumble at times but perfectly
Nate D
Jun 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
For all the increasingly high concepts in play here, the mostly liminal characters' personal arcs, histories, and hidden depths really holds it all together when abstraction threatens. Not that the strangeness and ambiguity over the overarching plot is threatening, it's actually fascinating, but it's allowed to be more so when grounded by the humans (and a few oddly memorable AIs) involved. ...more
Salman Mehedy Titas
Curious name - 'Mona Lisa Overdrive'. The name has nothing to do with the painting, but it's a nice name. Catchy. The kind of name that makes you think - "What kind of a name is that? I have to read this!" So I guess that's a win for the marketing sector.

Mona Lisa Overdrive is the sequel to both Neuromancer and Count Zero. Concepts introduced and threads left dangling from both books are dealt in this one, favourite characters make an appearance, and the story is so much better than Count Zero.
Mar 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone who was missing the heart and atmosphere of "Neuromancer," while reading "Count Zero"
A beautiful book.

Not as exciting as "Neuromancer," but absolutely on par in terms of atmosphere and characters. There are sections of narration that I enjoy reading just on their own, like Kumiko's dreams about the neon cranes "sailing the moonscape of her mother's madness," and especially Mona's "silver walks." It's also great to see Molly and the Finn (in a sense) again, and the way Gibson develops his returning characters fifteen or so years after "Neuromancer" is done fantastically.

This tim
Mar 28, 2008 rated it liked it
This review was written in the late nineties (for my eyes only), and it was buried in amongst my things until recently when I uncovered the journal in which it was written. I have transcribed it verbatim from all those years ago (although square brackets may indicate some additional information for the sake of readability or some sort of commentary from now). This is one of my lost reviews.

It all comes together. Fifteen years after Molly, Case and Armitage crash the Tessier-Ashpool party, SJane,
Feb 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Yes, that's not a mistake, I gave "Mona Lisa Overdrive" a full "5.0" when I left "Count Zero" at a theoretical smidge below (but used the "4" in goodreads stars). That's not because (as I explained in the "CZ" review) "Count Zero" was not good, it just didn't surpass "Neuromancer". Subjective as charged, but that's my version and my review :-)

I remember being surprised at how Gibson extended the "world" of his world with this book and being impressed by that. The writing stayed crisp, precise an
Anthony Ryan
Dec 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The conclusion to the Sprawl trilogy sees the welcome return of Molly Millions, the kick-ass mercenary from Nueromancer. Gibson crafts a multi-stranded narrative fusing such disparate elements as modern art and voodoo into a typically energetic plot. but, as ever with Gibson, there is brain food to be found amongst the killer robot sculptures and Yakuza warlords. The dangers of unfettered artificial intelligence and the human implications of perfected virtual reality are to the fore here; is it ...more
Nov 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: cyberpunk
I'm not sure what William Gibson was going for with these books. This is the third one in this series and I still have no idea what the plot is, who the characters are or what the motivations are for their actions. Has Gibson never heard of an introductory sentence? I mean, some of the chapters have a short introductory sentence, but there's far too much happening with far too few words to justify the utter lack of description. If I didn't already know this took place in a cyberpunk universe tha ...more
May 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-reads, favorites
“The Angie stims were sealed in plastic. She took one at random, slit the wrapper with her thumbnail, slotted it, and put the trodes on. She wasn’t thinking; her hands seemed to know what to do, […]. One of them touched PLAY and she slid into the Angie-world, pure as any drug, slow saxophone and limo-glide through some European city, ...” (p.143)

The third book in William Gibson’s Sprawl trilogy, Mona Lisa Overdrive continues the story of Angie Mitchell, one of the characters from the second book
Megan Baxter
Nov 11, 2015 rated it liked it
I think I actually read the three books that are all in this universe in order, although Count Zero was long enough ago that I remember very little of it, except that I liked it. Neuromancer I've always had a difficult relationship with - it just persists in keeping me at arms length. I get the story, I get the characters. I just don't...get it. Why it's so hugely popular. I don't dislike it, I'm just sort of baffled.

Note: The rest of this review has been withheld due to the changes in Goodreads
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

William Ford Gibson is an American-Canadian writer who has been called the father of the cyberpunk subgenre of science fiction, having coined the term cyberspace in 1982 and popularized it in his first novel, Neuromancer(1984), which has sold more than 6.5 million copies wor

Other books in the series

Sprawl (3 books)
  • Neuromancer (Sprawl, #1)
  • Count Zero (Sprawl, #2)

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