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All Tomorrow's Parties

(Bridge #3)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  14,913 ratings  ·  399 reviews
Rydell is on his way back to near-future San Francisco. A stint as a security man in an all-night Los Angeles convenience store has convinced him his career is going nowhere, but his friend Laney, phoning from Tokyo, says there's more interesting work for him in Northern California.
Paperback, 284 pages
Published 2000 by Penguin (first published October 1999)
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Average rating 3.91  · 
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 ·  14,913 ratings  ·  399 reviews

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Nov 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The thing to remember when beginning and reading a William Gibson novel is to stay with it to the end.

I’m a Gibson fan but even I know he can be difficult to follow, especially in the first few dozen pages, or the first third, or half …

Anyway, Gibson’s 1999 summation of his Bridge trilogy, begun in Virtual Light and (sort of) continuing in Idoru, finds him winding things up nicely on the bridge in San Francisco in an alternate future where much of society has broken down and changed into an anar
Ian "Marvin" Graye
Elaborate Conclusion

“All Tomorrow's Parties" is the third and final volume in William Gibson's “Bridge Trilogy".

It elaborates on the two worlds that were introduced to us in the earlier novels – one in Japan, and the other the world of the bridge in San Francisco.

There are far more characters in this novel, even if we’ve met them in one or other of the previous works. Gibson pursues each of them to the logical limit, once again in alternating narratives (though they're not limited to two).

After a good, if a bit inconsequential start with Virtual Light, and a much more inconsequential, but promising, Idoru, the Bridge Trilogy finishes with All Tomorrow's Parties... and what seemed like it's going somewhere - and going somewhere big - failed to meet my expectations...

If somebody wants to see the worst things about Gibson's writing, this book is where to look for them. Tens of characters, many of them feeling like useless, pointless filler (Creedmore or Boomzilla, anyone?). Recurrin
May 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
A fabulously satisfying end to Gibson's Bridge trilogy and of the four Gibson novels I've read to date, the most enjoyable to read.

I think I knew the moment we are introduced to the character of Silencio that between the publication of Virtual Light (a book I found difficult and stilted) and this third instalment William Gibson had stepped his game up to a new level, that the readability of Idoru wasn't just a fluke.

As I mentioned in my review of Virtual Light, Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash made
Althea Ann
Jun 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gibson is just such a great writer. His imagery isn't distracting as one reads it, but has a way of transforming the most mundane things into the exotic and futuristic. His settings are often barely sci-fi - but the way he talks about them, they seem as if they are. Leads to philosophical musings about - it's all in how you look at the world....
'All Tomorrow's Parties' is a sequel to Virtual Light and Idoru, but works as a stand-alone as well. Not much actually happens in the book. It's more abo
Kristen Shaw
Slow to start and too quick to finish - the conclusion could have used some more development and clarity. The characters, as usual for Gibson, are really well drawn and make this worthy of four stars. What is most interesting here is the setting - the focus on the "interstitial" bridge area and its symbolic connection to post-industrial society and the effects of advanced capitalism and neo-liberalism on specific groups of the population.
Kara Babcock
Whenever I need a dose of the future past, I turn to William Gibson. I’m catching up. Soon I’ll be able to read The Peripheral. But first we need to return to Northern California, circa sometime in the near future that never was. All Tomorrow’s Parties definitely has a conclusive feel to it. The Bridge trilogy has always felt somewhat laid-back in its connections across books—characters in common, vague references to events, but each book has been very much its own story. This has a lot to do wi ...more
Rhodes Hileman
Jan 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is 'Future Noir'. That's what he does. Seems like he invented it. A crashing good read, but I came out wondering what happened.

Nice short chapters read as prose poems. Good book for waiting. For anything.

Leading the chapters with pronouns, without reference, keeps me puzzling for a while - "who's he talking about?" - sometimes I figure it out; sometimes I don't.

Colorful, greasy, mechy-techy, always a lower class view of world changing, and unclear, events. Cultural textures are true and
Michael Battaglia
Titling your novel after a hip for a newfangled piece of future technology? That'll get the attention of the cool kids. Naming the second book in the trilogy with some funny sounding Japanese name will bring in the people who like exotic stuff or think its some weird ghost horror story. But naming your third book after a Velvet Underground song intoned by the never less than serious sounding Nico? Now we mean business.

As a writer, Gibson is often accused of crafting interesting settings and desc
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
I hadn't read any of William Gibson's works for many years, so it was a pleasure to find that All Tomorrow's Parties gave me the same sense of delight that Neuromancer did. Gibson understands the world-changing impact of digital media and creates a series of delightful riffs on the subject. A number of characters are in play, from Tokyo to the Bay Bridge ghetto in San Francisco. One of the nodal points of history is about to happen involving Rei Toei, the Japanese Idoru, a digital being who is a ...more
Jun 30, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love William Gibson’s work, and I love the characters in this novel, but this one kind of fell flat for me. It lacked that usual William Gibson magic for some reason. There were glimmers of the oomf you usually get, but that was about it. I can only recommend this to people who’ve read the first two novels in his Bridge trilogy - and I recommend it being read relatively soon after reading Idoru. This was a rare miss from Gibson.
Sandi (Zorena)
While the final book didn't hold it's end up well it was at least more cohesive with the first book than the second one was. Gibson continues to flesh out the anarchical society that has developed on the now damaged and abandoned bridge. Which makes for the best part of the book as he seems to have let his characters fall to the wayside.

I'm really wondering what happened to Chevette and Rydell as they now seem more like caricatures. All their self possession and ability to use decisive action s
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, 2019, series
Oh dear.

As a conclusion to Gibson’s Bridge Trilogy this was a disappointment. Virtual Light was OK and better than I remember. Idoru was markedly better than I recalled and stands up well to a contemporary reread. All Tomorrow’s Parties falls just a little flat in comparison.

This is Gibson tying up his loose ends and plot points. We have a cast of characters returning from the previous two books in the series, and as usual there’s a MacGuffin involved. Here Gibson engages with nanotech and 3d pr
Jun 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well this is the first William Gibson book I’ve ever read and I’ve got to say I loved it. I really like the style of writing and the way in which the story took place. Gotta love me a good realistic dystopia! I’ll definitely be looking out for more William Gibson books in future I don’t know how it took me all this time to find him!
Sep 18, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading this but unsure about any purpose or point. The whole thing seemed to hint at other things that might have been more interesting. Not even sure this could have made a 5 page comic strip for 2000AD.
Shane Lewis
Feb 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
20 years after it was written, the cyberpunk future of the bridge still holds up. The future he creates is vibrant and alive. This book builds like water flowing over the falls; fairly calm and serene until you take the plunge at the end.
Anthony Hillman
Apr 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure I have any idea what happened in this book. But I enjoyed reading it anyway.
Nov 22, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who enjoy cyberpunk novels.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kat  Hooper
Jan 17, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

When he was a child in an orphanage in Florida, Colin Laney participated in a research study in which he was given a drug that allows him to visualize and extract meaningful information from endless streams of internet data. Laney now has the ability to see nodal points in history — times and places where important changes are occurring. Even though he doesn’t recognize what the change will be, he “sees the shapes from which history emerges.”

Laney is now a
Martin Fossum
This was the first Gibson book I've read, and I realized, late, that I've been reading the "bridge trilogy" out of sequence. This helped to explain why I was having such a difficulty in following the narrative. To be honest, I think I'm done with the "bridge trilogy" for now. After finishing this, the final book in the sequence, I don't have the energy to go back to the beginning. Now, hold on... I'm not done with Gibson, if that's what you were thinking. I'm merely done with this series. I have ...more
Apr 01, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of William Gibson, fans of future tech
Shelves: recently-read, own-it
3.5 stars

This is the third book in the very loose “Bridge” trilogy. (The first two are Virtual Light and Idoru.) Despite the connection among these books, it’s not really necessary to read the first two before reading this one. While I have read the first two, it’s been decades since reading them, and I don’t remember many details, but I still thoroughly enjoyed this book. That being said, reading this one has made me want to reread those two, and maybe I’ll find more links among them than I rem
Oct 31, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
William Gibson's novel All Tomorrow’s Parties brings together characters from his novels Virtual Light and Idoru and places them into an apocalyptic event in San Francisco that is meant to mean a new beginning for the world.

The novel begins with the fact that Colin Laney has gone insane, the inevitable result of being used to test an experimental drug in a federal orphanage. He's living in a cardboard city in a Tokyo subway, living off stimulants and blue cough syrup, obsessed with an approachin
Kelly Spoer
"The past is past, the future unformed."

"Something at once noun and verb.
While Laney, plunging, eyes wide against the pressure of information knows himself to be merely adjectival...."

"Is a world within the world, and, if there be such places between the things of the world, places built in the gaps, then surely there are things there, and places between them, and things in those places too."

"All his life Laney has heard talk of the death of history, but confronted with the literal shape of all
Saskia Marijke Niehorster-Cook
A sci-fi story about future homeless living on a now defunct Golden Gate Bridge and their survival skills. One of the bridge's inhabitants comes back home with a friend to shoot a documentary at the same time that a time conglomerate world-wide event that will shift life as we know it, is about to take place. This is being predicted by a mental man hiding in a cardboard box in the subways of Japan because as an orphaned boy he was chemically experimented on and the side effects give him powers t ...more
Oct 12, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cyberpunk
Gibson's deliberately cool, crisp writing--it conjures using an intense _specificity_ and delectable word choice--conflicts with the frequently grubby and detritus-laden settings of his stories.

This is the end of something. The "interstitial" society of the Bridge is becoming contaminated by the larger culture, in the form of tourists and commercial/media observation and outside investment and involvement. The counterculture is becoming the culture and being absorbed or at least encroached upon
Ben Wilson
I... I've got something to admit. I love Law & Order, the long-running TV show. It's pretty much the same show over and over, but it's got guts and grit, archetype characters and grubby scenescapes. The pattern is familiar, but endlessly entertaining. Upon repeated viewings, characters deepen, the well-worn grooves become familiar, making the viewer all the more aware of differences. In many ways, it's like the best of serial comic fiction. The comfort of the canon, the excitement of the "twist" ...more
Feb 09, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A four star book that he couldnt finish properly and thus is a 3 star book.

Theres a lot to love here. Characters you have known and grown to love. The same mysterious interesting universe presented in Idoru and Virtual Light. Beautiful writing - Gibson definitely improved in his prose. Its still full of slang and stylistic grammar, but the flow is much better.

I loved the plot, the setting, etc, but the ending is too ambiguous and too fast. So much time was spent on characters like The Suit, whic
May 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
This book accomplishes with Gibson aimed for and didn't quite reach with Virtual Light, both conceptually and tonally. The nodal point concept was pretty well done and pulled off a nicely subtle ending, and the world he invested time to build (particularly the Bridge, but also many of the characters) pays off nicely. ...more
Possibly my favorite of the "Bridge" trilogy. Chevette and Barry return, changed but still very much themselves. The characters we meet throughout the book are interesting, except Laney, who took bland to new levels. The plot was easier to follow, though I'm hard-pressed to remember it. (I'll give this review a re-write after I re-read the book.) This is a great prequel, bridging (har har) the modern (well, '80s) world and the future of "Neuromancer."
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Goodreads Librari...: All Tomorrow's Parties 2 17 Sep 17, 2015 03:13PM  

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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

Bridge (3 books)
  • Virtual Light (Bridge, #1)
  • Idoru (Bridge #2)

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