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Idoru

(Bridge #2)

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  20,209 ratings  ·  532 reviews
Now in trade paperback from the author of Neuromancer comes a story that takes readers to 21st century Tokyo after the millennial quake, where something violently new is about to erupt.
Paperback, 308 pages
Published January 7th 2003 by Berkley Trade (first published September 4th 1996)
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Nat Stone you can read it stand alone! i read idoru then virtual light and it would have been same experience both ways

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Manuel Antão
Jul 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 1997
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.


Techno-Dystopia: "Idoru" by William Gibson



I think it's very telling - and promising, that this guy who thinks he can predict an apocalyptic future for Earth where 80% of people are killed has had at least the first part of his dystopian fantasy fall at the first hurdle. Just because you got it right on a few obvious ones - Cyberspace, virtual reality, reality TV, etc., doesn't guarantee that kind of thinking is going to take you much f
...more
Ashley
Aug 16, 2007 rated it liked it
You know, it seems like I would really like William Gibson, from what I've heard of him, but there's something about his writing that leaves too much out. This book is the first of his I've been able to finish. I still don't feel like I understood everything he was trying to say--something about a melding of science and nature, centered around the music star Rez and the idoru Rei. It was interesting, but I kept feeling like it was something I was reading out of the corner of my eye, and every ti ...more
Lyn
Nov 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Goodreads friend commented that William Gibson’s Bridge trilogy was underrated. I would agree and add under appreciated and under hyped.

Began in 1993 with Virtual Light, this continues with Idoru published in 1996. Bookended by his wildly popular Sprawl series and his later uber-cool Blue Ant trilogy, Bridge seems to be the Grunge 90s of his set, not as hip-flashy as the 80s nor as Ka-Ching as his Y2K writing. But as Grunge exhibited some refreshing and earthy revitalization of popular hard ro
...more
Kaethe Douglas
Jul 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: music, adventure, scifi
10/25/2012

Last night my daughter introduced me to one of her hot new things on YouTube: Hatsune Miku, a purely synthetic pop star. In return, I introduced her to this book in which Gibson predicts such a thing, twenty years ago. Then we checked out her other hot new thing, the PBS Idea Channel and among other things, we watched Mike Rugnetta talk about the connections between Gibson, Hatsune Miku, Lana del Rey, pop culture, technology and art. And then I told her about a show that used to be o
...more
Rob
Jun 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: jaded futurists in search of "that physical thing"
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ian "Marvin" Graye
Alternating Narratives

There are two alternating narratives in "Idoru". At the end, they merge and become one. "The job worked out."

Rez is the singer in a half Irish, half Chinese band called Lo/Rez, which has outstayed its welcome to (and embrace of) celebrity, and released 26 albums (not counting compilations) since their first Dylanesque-labelled "Lo Rez Skyline".

The Technology of Oneness

To the dismay of their obsessive (girl) fans, Rez has announced that he intends to marry Rei Toei, an idor
...more
Bodosika Bodosika
I really thought I will enjoy this but it seems too unrealistic for me barely able to finish this.
Thomas Strömquist
About half the way into this book I had a rough outline for this review in my head. It went somewhere along the lines of "if Gibson's stories sucked you in as his world descriptions do he would write the best books ever..." And that was when the story grabbed me!

So why did I rate it 4 stars and not 5? Well truth is, the hold did not last all the way through and another "problem" is the characterization. Even the main protagonists could be Idorus judging by their bleak impressions and I frequentl
...more
Maryana Pinchuk
Aug 31, 2015 rated it liked it
As with Virtual Light, the selling point of this book is the setting, not so much the story. Gibson's futuristic Tokyo is not too different from present-day Tokyo, but it's still fun to walk the streets of nanotechnology-enhanced Shinjuku and feel the uncanny thrill of a place that is at once familiar and wholly strange.

And, as with Virtual Light, I found myself far more engrossed in the coming-of-age side-story than the hardboiled noire backbone on which the novel rests. Chia, the plucky teen w
...more
Browland
Mar 11, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: cyber-punk
Gibson is an ideas man: big on 'what', not on 'why' or 'how'. It's been said enough times that his predictions are spookily accurate. This book - written in 1996 - features many foreshadowings of the current time. A time where we hide behind an avatar, led around by geo-aware goggle-boxes. Social networks, always-on broadband, CGI pop stars (nearly).

Gibson's writing has distance. The (lethargic) characters seem behind a transparent wall; you can see but not touch. Laney - one of two protagonists
...more
Mike
Feb 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone
Now this book I remember better than its immediate predecessor, "Virtual Light". One might guess that it is because I liked "Idoru" better than VL, but I think it is another subjective factor. From the early to end of the 90s I did a fair amount of traveling and East Asia, including Japan was where I went often. So, I suspect that familiarity with the locations and real-world culture and people helped make a stronger impression on me than people living in San Francisco (which city I have only se ...more
Wealhtheow
Aug 10, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: cyberpunk
A fast-paced, exciting story about the intersections of realities and identity. This is also one of the rare books that gets the mindset behind fandom. An impressive piece of cyberpunk.
Marija S.
Dec 31, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I re-read it (even though there are about 50 new books that stare at me from shelves) and got reminded why I love cyberpunk and this book in particular. Why hasn't anyone filmed this yet??
Cathy Douglas
Jun 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
The fact that some of the "futuristic" detailing of this story is already here and old hat wasn't lost on me, but didn't bother me either. The story world of this book is a believable take on the not-too-distant future. I loved the fantastic worlds people create together to interact online, and the way their avatars have morphed into fully-loaded alter egos. People create elaborate virtual sets and props for their meetings, parties, escapist fantasy, musical sessions, and just about everything e ...more
Will Ransohoff
Aug 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
After a few of Gibson's cyberpunk novels, I'm starting to see a pattern in the structure of his plots and the composition of his worlds. But they're enjoyable patterns and settings that I'd love to see more of, so I can't really fault him for that.

His vision of Tokyo scarred by a massive quake ("Godzilla"), and rebuilt by emergent technology is probably the most glaring similarity between this and the first book in the trilogy, Virtual Light; without having read the third, it seems like they cou
...more
serprex
Jun 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Not as good as Virtual Light. Tokyo setting yet the plot feels less like jap cyberpunk than Virtual Light. The VR content is cringe. One of the characters is some 14 year old girl who never actually does anything but ride around in taxies & chat with some harlot. The nodal stuff was obvious bullshit but at least on that front the author clearly understood that & subsequently used it merely as a device

WHICH REMINDS ME. I had planned out a review of this a couple weeks ago in a drunken stupor. So
...more
Dennis Costa
Dec 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
After a dip in quality with Virtual Light, Gibson returns to fine form in Idoru, with some of his most fully realized characters and a plot that speeds along quite nicely, although the novel still suffers from some of the quirks I've come to associate with Gibson.
Derek
May 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, cyberpunk
As good as anything I've read by Gibson. I can't get enough of his vision of the future of cyberspace.
Rob
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I think this is my favorite Gibson novel so far. Or it's tied with "Virtual Light." It's the combination of a fun and engaging plot, and two main characters in Chia and Laney that are easy to root for. I also found myself liking "Keithy" Blackwell. I'm not sure what it says that I like him, but there it is. LOL

Now it's on to "All Tomorrow's Parties"!
Oliver Wood
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
Gibson’s problem is that, like a lot of SF writers, he is more interested in things than people. This is why, as with all his novels, I gave up on Idoru half way through. Gibson is continually stopping to admire the view - the sheen on a metallic surface, the spires and landing pads of the skyline, the sumptuous tablespread of technical do-dahs. This isn’t too much of a problem for short stories (here in fact, Gibson is a master) but over the span of 300-odd pages, it soon becomes a drudgery. It ...more
Tom Ackerman
Oct 28, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a well-written and engaging techno-thriller. It has a kind of Coen Brothers quality to it, where all of the different characters are hurtling toward a dangerous climax that none of them fully understand. Some of the concepts have aged better than others of course. The themes of fandom and celebrity in the digital age are more relevant than ever. Gibson's Japanophilia is the most distracting part of the book though. He goes out of his way constantly to point out how modern Japanese life a ...more
Ali
Aug 31, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me a very long time to get into this book. I suspect that has a lot to do with the speed of technological advancement, as some of what is discussed no longer seems plausible or seems outdated somehow. Still, by the end of the book I was speedily reading as the plot had become more captivating.
Phil Brown
May 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Waifu would have been a more apt title.
David Fransen
Sep 05, 2015 rated it did not like it
I wasn't expecting this to change my life or anything, but wow, was this bad. I was looking for sheer dumb diversion in a highly stylized hacker/cyberpunk fantasy world. I guess I kinda got that, but I didn't need it to be quite so heavy on the "dumb" part. The characters are shamelessly cliche and 2-dimensional: the tech-savvy wise-cracking teenage girl who scraps her way out of trouble even though she seems like she should be in...something? way over her head, the salty no-nonsense anti-hero w ...more
Cameron Mulder
Nov 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michael Battaglia
For a teenager watching your favorite celebrity crush get married has to be heartbreaking. But then you find out that he's trying to get himself married off to a girl version of the holodeck dude from "Star Trek: The Next Generation"? Now things are going too far. Time to rally the troops!

For a series of books informally called "The Bridge Trilogy" there sure aren't a lot of bridge to be seen this time out unless he means the metaphorical bridges between the hearts of men and . . . girl computer
...more
Michael Brookes
Nov 16, 2016 rated it liked it
It must be hard for an author to write in a genre they've already written the defining novel for, and while this novel doesn't quite match the heights of some of his earlier work, it's still a good cyber-punk read. It's quite a deceptive read, as the style feels quite light. The technology is mostly assumed as part of the world, and there's no great effort to explain or justify it. The story also has a weird, almost subdued beat.

Those might sound like criticisms, but actually work in the book's
...more
Derek
Dec 03, 2008 rated it liked it
As much as I love Gibson's stories, and his prose as smooth and antiseptic as a stainless steel morgue slab, his books are difficult to read. The future he projects is frequently unsettling: brighter, louder, faster, and somehow more shoddy, with people who keep each other at arms length by means of technology.

There are some deep themes regarding authenticity of experience and the nature of data, celebrity, and personal contact.

The plot, unfortunately, falls into a pattern with his other works,
...more
S.
Jan 03, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: red-queen, alice
famously William Gibson never went to Japan, and if that worked for Neuromancer, where Japan's sleek cyberpunk aesthetic, blue LEDs, mirror-like black skyscrapers leaping into night skys, then it does not work for Idoru, where the characters are somewhat caricatures rather than fleshed-out individuals, and the Japanese Fan Club identical-bowl-cutted schoolgirls seem like some sort of bad joke rather than either (a) how they really are or (b) how they superficially can be.

authors are hit or miss,
...more
Lee
Dec 21, 2010 rated it liked it
Gibson writes well and convincingly. He incorporates the specifics of his futuristic world. The problem is, he has done it better before, and with greater detail, so fans are not likely to forgive him for a simpler world and story. Still, reading any Gibson book is a treat, especially compared with much of what's out there. His ability to incorporate near-future technology with an exciting story that fits perfectly inside this fabricated world is astounding even on this smaller scale.

Good job o
...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Correction 3 12 Sep 17, 2019 11:24AM  

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10,096 followers
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
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Other books in the series

Bridge (3 books)
  • Virtual Light (Bridge, #1)
  • All Tomorrow's Parties (Bridge, #3)

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