port22's Reviews > Spook Country

Spook Country by William Gibson
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's review
Aug 10, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction, science-fiction

The minimalist style and understated wit of the writing is what pulls you in. The book is not science fiction but part of the plot revolves around an interesting form of art based on spacial technology -- locative art. It is viewed via location-aware helmets that obtain coordinates from GPS. The art is projected on the visual field when helmet is at a precise geo location. In character the art could be abstract or could, for example, recreate a famous scene that took place at that precise place.

The book tells three disconnected stories in parallel.

Hollis Henry is a former punk-band musician who attempts to break into art reporting. The investigation of locative art is her first foray into journalism. She is hired by a magazine that doesn't yet exist, this is used as a ploy by its owner to engage her in finding some answers he needs. The database that hosts the locative art is also a place where secrets of interest are hidden.

Tito comes from a Cuban crime family, he speaks Russian, lives his life within the confines of KGB's rule-book, and relies on a fighting technique based on Latin American religious trance. He is hired for an operation of information smuggling where data is passed on the hard drive of an iPod.

Milgrim, an addict who is held on a leash by a mysterious intelligence agent called Brown, is required to translate anything intercepted from Tito.

The story converges on one central object, a shipping container sought by people in the three different story lines. This objective is vague during most of the book, a subtle sense of disconnect comes out of the pages. It is a masterful way to instill some mild paranoia; and to keep you interested until the end. I liked it very much.

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