Shovelmonkey1's Reviews > Neuromancer

Neuromancer by William Gibson
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's review
Jun 26, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: 1001-books, read-in-2011, my-my-its-myth-and-sci-fi, bookcrossing-books
Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by: 1001 books list
Recommended for: people who really like geometry

This book should be so covered in shiny, spangly stars to indicate all the sci-fi awards it has received that the cover should look like the milky way and possibly be shinier and brighter than the sun. I just had the plain old paper back version with no spangles. Very sad. I like a nice bit of shiny.

Any goodreaders who have already perused my shelves will note that I am not someone who has read a great deal of science fiction. Is this a glaring oversight on my part? Hmm maybe.

I was persuaded to read Neuromancer because it is one of the 1001 books to read before you die and therefore is probably worth a punt, although that said, some of the books on that list are god-awful (Kathy Acker's Blood and Guts in High School being a case in point) but no pain no gain and it all feeds into my OCD book list reading so whatever.

If anyone came up to me and told me that they could explain definitively what Neuromancer was all about I would not believe them. Not for one second. Gibson rockets right off at the deep end with this one and you are left trailing in the wake of a spew of what amount to descriptions of geometry while trying to figure out what the hell is going on. (Hint: it's something to do with being in cyber space and stealing information by making yourself into some sort of human mass storage device in a post-modern industrial espionage way).

Does this make this a bad book and a piss poor read? No, actually it doesn't. It makes it a confusing read, but then Gibson chucks in a few sentences which do make sense and that sort of fortifies the nerves and allows you to plough ever onwards. Overall it was oddly jarring, too full of geometrical jargon and tricky to focus on in place - like reading while jumping on a trampoline - but Gibson should be awarded top marks for daring to be different and for churning out future-fabulous phrases such as cyber space, microsofts and the matrix when even Bill Gates and his future megacorp were still in metaphorical short pants.
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Reading Progress

June 26, 2010 – Shelved
June 26, 2010 – Shelved as: 1001-books
October 11, 2011 – Started Reading
October 11, 2011 – Shelved as: read-in-2011
October 11, 2011 – Shelved as: my-my-its-myth-and-sci-fi
October 11, 2011 – Shelved as: bookcrossing-books
October 11, 2011 –
page 50
18.45% "Got this through bookcrossing as part of a bookring and don't want to hog it so have bumped Titus Groan for now. Fear not Titus I will return!"
October 11, 2011 –
page 100
36.9% "this book already seems to be a veritable scifi puree of many other things."
October 12, 2011 –
page 130
October 13, 2011 –
page 170
October 13, 2011 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Bloodshy about a third through the book... i agree with your trampoline analogy. the hardest part about reading this, for me, is how he is always describing furniture details and specifics of an item, but never the general layout. i don't know where i am when i'm reading. i'll feel better finishing the book knowing that other people feel the same way.

Shovelmonkey1 Bloodshy wrote: "about a third through the book... i agree with your trampoline analogy. the hardest part about reading this, for me, is how he is always describing furniture details and specifics of an item, but..."

Persevere with it, you're not alone. It is a confusing book in many ways but i think the ideas behind it pull it through !

Shovelmonkey1 It's true, it's true! There's more geometry described in this book than my year ten maths book.

Shovelmonkey1 OK but watch out for all the pointy corners

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