Take a trip in a stranger’s head. Travel rain-shot streets with a gang of hip malcontents, hooked on the most powerful drug you can imagine. Yet Vurt feathers are not for the weak. As the mysterious Game Cat says, ‘Be careful, be very careful’. But Scribble isn’t listening. He has to find his lo ...more
It's more like a novelized poem, and the writing sure takes some getting used to. At times vivid and overwhelming, while others bland and paranoid, the style is somewhat reminiscent of Philip K. Dick or William S. Burroughs at their best and worst.
Maybe it's better to start with Noon's collection of short stories, titled Pixel Juice, to understand just how much fun he can have with breaking the rules of written language. It surely broadened my understanding of what magic can be created with mere words, and those who dare look inside the Vurt, will drunkenly stumble out on the other side, to find themselves augmented.(less)
Drugs are amazing plot devices and how Noon plays with the idea in a minimalistic setting, just using strange protagonists with weird ideologies keen on getting hooked on as hard and extreme as possible, possibly reflecting about stuff I don´t know or care about, and generally creating a disturbing and somewhat meta work that has no similar literary equivalent, it´s just so strange that one ...more
Vurt - novel as unending hallucinatory, wild, intense fever dream. Full Disclosure: I relished reading every single page.
How did Noon do it? In an interview, the British author recounts pouring fifteen years of personal frustration into his writing the novel, letting the burning and channeling just happen. Noon also cites reading lots of J.G. Ballard when he was young and being struck by Ballard's very personal, distinctive voice. When Noon read Ballard it was as if he entered Ballard's mind. A ...more
This isn't a book. It's an A1, tip-top, clubbing, jam fair. It's sandwich of fun, on ecstasy bread, wrapped up in a big bag like disco fudge...
Seriously. It's a technicolour concept album, existing somewhere between Alice in Wonderland, Akira and Trainspotting. It's sex and drugs and incest and feathers and dog-fucking; it's a fractal reality that I really, really wish I'd written.
I guess you have to have been there. If you have the right past - and if you've come past it far enough - ...more
A blue feather had landed on the stomach of the Thing-from-Outer-Space. One of his tentacles reached out for it His spiky fingers took a hold, and a hole opened up in his flesh, a greasy orifice. He turned the feather in his feelers and then stroked it in, direct, to the hole. He started to change. I wasn’t sure which feather he’d loaded, but from the way he was moving his feelers I guess he was swimming with the Thermo Fish.
So to be knocked down with a feather ...more
On the one hand, it's like a jazz festival that mixes Naked Lunch with Trainspotting.
Add an alien feast, nanobot robot cooks, robodogs, The New Weird, and a vast dreamscape that goes from heaven to hell, from arty cafes to cop busts, to licking feathers to get high, to an outright possible reference to Tammuz and Geshtinana with an incestuous bent, and I STILL don't know what to think about this book.
It has a clear jazzy style that jumps all over t ...more
Noon's cyberpunk drug-culture epic strives to describe a psychedelic future/alternate Manchester, but fails quite obviously - halfway through the book, his cast of characters have yet to spend more than a few moments in the eponymous cyber-drug-world. In addition, his characters are wooden and, despite their depressing hijinks-filled lifestyle, largely uninteresting. I didn't care about them, and th ...more
- It was recommended by a friend whose opinion I respect
- I feel like I've hated on all the books I've read so far this year
- It is highly rated among fellow Goodreaders (like all of the other books I've hated on lately)
Seriously, that last one really gets me. I've never had such a bad streak of books. Wool, Southern Reach, Casual Vacancy, and no ...more
One of the problems with the book is that vurt is vurt. Through the entire plot, we're left kind of fuzzy as to what it actually is. People take feathers, and ... well we're not exactly sure what happens. They see things differently, but sometimes act parts out in the real world. ...more
Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy it this time through - but I did have to put it down from time to time to wrap my brain around what I just read. Also, the disjointed nature of reality vs Vurt is sort of cool, but it caused me to start losing interest at a couple points because I was not sure what was going on.
I think a special type o ...more
Shared virtual realities induced by partially ingesting colored feathers?! So strange, and strangely compelling (and in parts repulsive). This has got some of the feel of A Clockwork Orange, with some Gibson-esqe cyberpunk vibes where, if you're not careful, you may lose yourself like Alice down the rabbit hole.
Fun, yet jarring and exhausting, with a disjointed narrative lucid one moment and untethered the next. ...more
Well, if most cyberpunk were more like this, I would be more enthusiastic about it. This was fun. And it reminded me of so many other books that I have read during my Science Fiction & Fantasy project. Like A Clockwork Orange, oh my brothers! I also kept thinking about Gravity's Rainbow, just because of the way things flowed and characters entered and exited, only to return at odd moments. But mostly, it was like going Through the Looking Glass with Alice, where Alice is actually Philip ...more
Female characters in this book are less than people and more like objects. Well actually everyone is pretty much like a game avatar with a minor blip of a back story before you go tripping down the rabbit hole.
It's a book where you need to just enjoy the visuals and the journey and not worry about anything else like, why and who and m ...more
Where in the shit do ideas like this come from?
I had an absolute blast reading this and was time after time amazed at how different this is than most everything else out there. I had read the description and had a pretty good idea it was going to be something I would like but I was in no way prepared for just how original and entertaining it turned out to be. Prevalent drugs and weird sex stuff and out there content throughout made this a winner for me from page one ...more
Vurt is one crazy weird and wild ride. A perfect setting for a David Cronenberg movie…Heck maybe even a little strange for him. This book is even more out there then John Dies at the End. The book is a blend of science fiction, the New Weird, and Cyberpunk.
This is not an easy read as I found it difficult to keep tabs at times and by the nature of the story itself things are not always clear. I applaud this novel and its vision, I just had problems with the characters themselves. I never b ...more
"A young boy puts a feather in his mouth..."
I found this book at random, which, for some reason, makes sense. It just feels right that my first introduction to Jeff Noon would be at completely random, a completely accidental collision with the insane genius behind...well, Jeff Noon books, as Noon lacks a genre he can be pigeonholed into other than maybe, say, science fiction. And since at its core Vurt is about a bizarre, sometimes ...more
Vurt is written in a very disjointed way, which gives you the impression that it is actually being written by Scribble. It is the story of his quest to find his sister who got ...more
first read 2009-DEC, second read 2011-DEC, third read 2014-SEP, fourth read 2022-JUN ...more
The first time I read it, a million years ago, proly around 1993 'ish when it was first published, I was so struck by its novelty that I kept buying more and more copies and I gave them to fellow partiers at raves.
Books, on the surface, they seem unlikely presents to hand out at parties of the rave variety. But when you connect with someone while E addled, magic ensues; magic, or perhaps more accurately you become consumed in a spiritual event.
E disintegrates your ego and it refo ...more
Man, that was good Bliss Wind. I took another gulp, full lungful this time, head was spinning and I loved everybody in the crush all of a sudden. Caressed my way to the bar and ordered a glass of Fetish. The dark spicy afternotes hit my palette, causing sparks, and I was floating, hot. Slithy Tove system was playing The Ace of Bones. Original pressing by Dingo Tush, but this was the hard (hard!) remix, cooked up by Acid Lassie, and it was dancing the crush to a frenzy. I turned around, leaning m
He studied fine art and drama at Manchester University and was subsequently appointed writer in residence at the city's Royal Exchange theatre. But Noon did not stay too long in the theatrical world, possibly because the realism associated with the theatre was not conducive to the fant...more