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1. Zero History
2. Spook Country
3. Pattern Recognition
4. Count Zero
5. Neuromancer
6. All Tomorrow's Parties
7. Virtual Light
8. Mona Lisa Overdrive
9. Idoru
10. A mass for the dead
11. Burning Chrome
12. Miracle Worker, The (Acting Edition)
13. The Miracle Worker: A Play
14. The Ware Tetralogy
15. The Difference Engine (Spectra
16. Darwin's Bastards: Astounding
17. The Church of England 1688-1832:
18. Johnny Mnemonic
19. Camp Life In The Woods and the
20. A Reenchanted World: The Quest

1. Zero History
by William Gibson
 Paperback: 416 Pages (2011-08-02)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$10.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0425240770
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Unabridged, 9 CDs, 11 hours

Read by TBA

William Gibson's first new novel since Spook Country. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (44)

1-0 out of 5 stars Search for Pants goes nowhere
A long term fan of Gibson, I found this to be a "one sequel too many" type of book. My impression is he is attempting to apply espionage type scenarios over the fashion industry which ends up leaving the reader puzzled as to the extreme reactions of the antagonists (the good and bad guys) over attempts to find out the source of blue jeans. And the scenarios are endlessly repeated with Mr. BigEnds "full english breakfast" scene being played out numerous times. I finally gave up after 75% of the book as it was not going anywhere with any believable story line.

5-0 out of 5 stars Tickled Blue

Every three or four years, for the last 26, a new William Gibson book emerges from the shadows to stand blinking in the light of day. Zero History has arrived, clothed in International Klein Blue. It's the third in his latest not quite trilogies... "not quite" as like its predecessors each book includes cross referenced characters, that may or may not reappear in the next book, and if they do, secondary characters become the main focus and past main characters may be glimpsed at a distance or have no more than a walk on part. Each book also follows in a vaguely sequential timeline, yet each stands alone, the narratives not necessarily intertwined, nor are the back-stories from each previous book more than obliquely referenced to.

Gibson likes oblique. He comes at the world from unusual angles, viewpoints looking up from sewer grates or down from security cameras. He again displays his fascination with the fringe elements of the worlds interwoven cultures and the people that inhabit them, be they cult status indie bands, military black ops, advertising visionaries, or the collectors of obscure ephemera. His writing style continues to engage a near pornographic fascination with details, a gritty awareness of the warp and weave of societies trappings, surfaces, and hardware, yet his characters are rarely given more than off hand personal descriptions, if at all, and usually by an outsiders casual reference that they looked vaguely like an obscure European model from the 70's or an actor more known for tabloid appearances then film, leaving you to either fill in the blanks or go a-googling.

His first trilogy was set not too far into the future, and brought us unearthly visions of the dark recesses of cyberspace... a truly prophetic vision, Gibson having coined the term that has become real since his first publications. He is credited as being the father of the Cyberpunk genre, and his worldly visions are steeped in silicon, drugs, violence and madness. His second trilogy reeled in the timeline, bringing us just ahead of current day happenings, but his observations and extrapolations of technology and society retained its grit and near hallucinogenic lucidity as well as its within reach quality. With this current trilogy, Pattern Recognition, Spook Country, and now Zero History, Gibson settled into Here and Now territory, essentially Contemporary Action and Adventure rather than anything more than vaguely Cyber or even Punk for that matter, with boutique hotels and stealth fashion design holding his fascination with the cutting edge, with the obscure reaches outside of the ken of most who walk this planet. He continues to dish up scenarios as filled with technical arcana and behavioral norms that still smack of amphetamine fueled Vernian flights of fancy, but however far removed from your day to day reality his tales are woven it seems assured that sufficient research will reveal fact far more prevalent than fiction, and as usual you will find yourself willingly lost in his worlds.

October 2010

4-0 out of 5 stars Reality check for this book
I marked up every page of this book as I plowed through it.

"Plowed," not because the concepts were so difficult, but because the writing is rather of opaque, and also because it reads like a Russian novel, with constant references to some person who was briefly introduced 213 pages ago, and my memory isn't good enough to keep them all in mind! It's such a hodge-podge of cutting edge real science and woo-woo guys without credibility.

My main complaint is that so much of it reads like "If we can for the moment assume..." and "Could it really be that...?" that I have to take it as a work of science fiction. And, as such a work, I enjoyed reading it very much.

Here are my comments on those of the main claims that I know anything about:

1) Optical cloaking is not a crazy idea at all. However, it's very recent that objects have been able to be cloaked, but it has happened. It's on the very forefront of optical physics, the last few years. I heard about it first in St. Petersburg at the Laser Optics Conference there in 2008. The Russians, as they often do, first did the mathematics about materials with negative refractive index, and then people began to see the implications of that in the laboratory - in the microwave regime. Still, only small objects and only at one wavelength. It works optically only on tiny objects at one wavelength of laser light - certainly not for a whole ship. I would love to think people did that sixty years ago, but I think the probability is very small. "Stealth" is a different concept from cloaking, in which a craft is designed with several flat surfaces with low radar reflectance so that what energy is reflected goes off as a beam that is unlikely to point in the right direction to be received.

2) Regarding "foo fighters" and so on, I keep an open mind. I've always thought the coincidence between the start of the work at Los Alamos and the first reports of zero-inertia flying objects deserved some thought, and that it is possible that the unique emanations from such tests, even in the lab, might have drawn to us observers with different technology than ours. Or, maybe, the fear and paranoia associated with war produced hallucinations that fulfilled wishful hopes that "the government" or "the Germans" were way, way ahead of what we ordinary people knew, in their secret projects. Having been a part of government science for so long, I'm a bit cynical about that, which leaves the other possible explanation.

3) Fleissiges Lieschen: great idea. The Germans seem to have originated the vast majority of great ideas with practical application (Vertical takeoff and landing planes, ICBM's, jet engines, inertial navigation, random key codes, organic chemistry, cruise missiles..) so I'm not surprised that a small version of the Jules Verne "Columbiad" was a German first. Then cameFreeman Dyson during the original "ORION" project down in La Jolla about 1958, when he envisioned propelling a 5-m diameter spaceship to the moon with a nitrocellulose driver in a cannon 3km long. Finally, Gerald Bull was killed in 1990, probably by Mossad, for actually building a 1-m bore cannon 156m long for Saddam Hussein.

4) T. T. Brown and "electrogravitic lift?" or antigravity for the B-2? No, I think not. Crazy people have been inventing new physics for decades - my job at Navy Electronics Lab back in 1963 was to answer letters from people who had, for example, invented "electrohydromagnetic" forces and demanded that the Navy fund them. A typical real result involved a spinning eccentric mass which, placed on a bathroom scale, reduced its weight by 5% or so when it was turned on. It could be explained by resonances in the workings of the scale, which was not designed to weigh a vibrating thing. Unfortunately, generals almost never had technical educations in those days, and were very vulnerable to the woo-woo guys, sometimes giving them undeserved credibility.

5) Avro Silverbug radial-flow gas turbine "flying saucer"-shaped aircraft? Great idea! The photograph of the design had me thinking for several days. If built, of course, it would not turn corners instantly because it has mass. If anyone had ever developed a way of annulling mass, we'd have a whole different world, not just rumors of super-secret projects.

6) German directed-energy weapons: maybe. No one had even thought how to make a laser yet, I'm sure of that. But a microwave beam that could generate a few kV at distance and mess up vehicle ignitions? Possible. The fascinating thing I learned from the book is how creatively organized and energetic the German weapons research effort was - many research projects funded in parallel to give the maximum probability of one useful result in the short time available.

7) Hal Puthoff and "remote viewing?" Yeah, well... I try to keep and open mind on Hal, whom I know,not for this stuff but for his ideas about zero point energy, the idea that the force of acceleration itself is "the wind of the zero point" in your face so to speak. He's not all crackpot. He began as a good semiconductor physics person. I used to call him up once a month or so in the early 70's to hear the latest on his ESP experiments, which he could only get published in Hungary at the time, where it was shown that polygraphs attached to plants responded dramatically to thoughts of, say, cutting down the tree, or approaching with a lighter. He managed to show that ESP thought transmission was possible in one experiment on two separated people that I find credible. The point that made the results believable to me was that he eliminated the effects of the conscious mind (which, I believe, will always screw up such an experiment by trying to "show off"). He did that by having the "transmitter" person watch a flashing strobe light while the "receiver person" simply sat there in a distant barn. Then the receiver's brainwaves were cross correlated with the strobe waveform to give a chance of one in a billion that he or she was not receiving information from the person who was watching the light.

8) Spinning superconducting disks, "torsion fields," "the Repulsine," etc.? This guy Marckus sounds a little quacky to me, making statements that don't sound like those of "an eminent scientist," but he makes a great character if you look at the book as a science fiction effort. I also know Mark Millis and through him NASA's breakthrough propulsion program, to which I've pitched a few projects that never were funded. He has funded lots of things, but to my knowledge nothing "breakthrough" in the sense of this book has ever come out of the program. Supposedly, he was hoping for a nonconservative gravitational field with nonzero curl, perhaps using "negative mass." The program was terminated in 2002.
Some of these fantastic claims about the possibility of tapping the vacuum energy for weapons seem to me most likely to have originated, as Nick Cook himself admits somewhere, as cold war disinformation.

9) Project Paperclip: hundreds or thousands of nasty Nazis imported into U.S. research programs up until the 1950's instead of being hung? That is interesting, and likely. Of course, it's easy for people in the U.S. to forget that Huntsville, Alabama spoke mostly German for quite a while! Von Braun became our hero. And Oberth and...

10) The Black world? Oh yes, it exists. According to the internet sources, $40B or more a year go into black programs in the U.S.

11) Finally, the "Blackbird": It indeed did what Nick Cook claims, flying to Paris and back to California in 2-3 hours. See the attached powerpoint, which I love! It was retired because satellite technology simply made fast, high reconnaissance planes redundant.

If you don't take every word seriously, you will enjoy this book!
The Hunt for Zero Point: Inside the Classified World of Antigravity Technology [HUNT FOR ZERO POINT] [Paperback]

4-0 out of 5 stars Best iPhone advertisement ever!
Great book!Now I really want to get an iPhone and shop for some vintage clothing.

2-0 out of 5 stars I'm just not the right audience for Gibson's novels, I think...
OK... I think Zero History by William Gibson will be the last book I attempt to read by the father of the cyberpunk genre.Looking back at his last four novels I've read, they've all ended up in the 2 - 3 rating area.I have no argument with Gibson's ability to paint a scene.From the first page on, Zero History paints a very detailed picture of the characters and surroundings.On the other hand, his story and plot leave me flat.If anyone else tried to tell that same story in 400 pages, I would have said it was about 325 pages too long.And even then I would have said it was a bit strange.

The novel revolves around an ad agency owner who is on the bleeding edge of fashion marketing psychology.He hires a couple of people to track down some unknown designer who he wants to know more about.Along the way, there's double-crosses, deadly competitors, and kidnappings.Without getting into the deeper "meaning" of what Gibson is trying to say along the way, that's about the core of what happens.And I'm still struggling with a lot of "so what" feelings now that I'm done.

My problem is that generally speaking, I don't read novels to analyze them for some significant and profound commentary on society by the author.I read them primarily for entertainment.Yes, I'm shallow... so sue me.This "quirk" of mine makes me the wrong audience for Gibson's work, no matter how much I can appreciate his ability to paint with words.So rather than beat myself up over spending hours only to be left wanting, I think I'll just scratch off Gibson's name from my list of authors I read, and we'll all be happier.

Obtained From: Library
Payment: Borrowed ... Read more

2. Spook Country
by William Gibson
Hardcover: 384 Pages (2007-08-07)
list price: US$25.95 -- used & new: US$3.86
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B001OMHU8I
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Tito is in his early twenties. Born in Cuba, he speaks fluentRussian, lives in one room in a NoLita warehouse, and does delicate jobs involving information transfer.

Hollis Henry is an investigative journalist, on assignment from a magazine called Node. Node doesn't exist yet, which is fine; she's used to that. But it seems to be actively blocking thekind of buzz that magazines normally cultivate before they start up. Really actively blocking it. It's odd, even a little scary, if Hollis lets herself think about it much. Which she doesn't; she can't afford to.

Milgrim is a junkie. A high-end junkie, hooked on prescription antianxiety drugs. Milgrim figures he wouldn't survive twenty-four hours if Brown, the mystery man who saved himfrom a misunderstanding with his dealer, ever stopped supplying those little bubble packs. What exactly Brown is up to Milgrim can't say, but it seems to be military in nature. At least,Milgrim's very nuanced Russian would seem to be a big part of it, as would breaking into locked rooms.

Bobby Chombo is a "producer," and an enigma. In his day job, Bobby is a troubleshooter for manufacturers of military navigation equipment. He refuses to sleep in the same place twice. He meets no one. Hollis Henry has been told to find him.

Pattern Recognition was a bestseller on every list of every major newspaper in the country, reaching #4 on the New York Times list. It was also a BookSense top ten pick, a WordStock bestseller, a best book of the year for Publishers Weekly, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday, and the Economist, and a WashingtonPost "rave."

Spook Country is the perfect follow-up to Pattern Recognition, which was called by The Washington Post (among many glowing reviews), "One of the first authentic and vital novels of the twenty-first century."Amazon.com Review
Now that the present has caught up with William Gibson's vision of the future, which made him the most influential science fiction writer of the past quarter century, he has started writing about a time--our time--in which everyday life feels like science fiction. With his previous novel, Pattern Recognition, the challenge of writing about the present-day world drove him to create perhaps his best novel yet, and in Spook Country he remains at the top of his game. It's a stripped-down thriller that reads like the best DeLillo (or the best Gibson), with the lives of a half-dozen evocative characters connected by a tightly converging plot and by the general senses of unease and wonder in our networked, post-9/11 time.

Across the Border to Spook Country

For the last few decades, William Gibson, who grew up in Virginia and elsewhere in the United States, has lived in Vancouver, British Columbia, just across the border from Amazon.com's Seattle headquarters, which made for a short drive for a lunchtime interview before the release of Spook Country. We met just a few miles from where the storylines of the new novel, in a rare scene set in Gibson's own city, converge. You can read the full transcript of the interview, in which we discussed, among other things, writing in the age of Google, visiting the Second Life virtual world, the possibilities of science fiction in an age of rapid change, and his original proposal for Spook Country, which we have available for viewing on our site. Here are a few excerpts from the interview:

Amazon.com: Could you start by telling us a little bit about the scenario of the new book?

William Gibson: It's a book in which shadowy and mysterious characters are using New York's smallest crime family, a sort of boutique operation of smugglers and so-called illegal facilitators, to get something into North America. And you have to hang around to the end of the book to find out what they're doing. So I guess it's a caper novel in that regard.

Amazon.com: The line on your last book, Pattern Recognition was that the present had caught up with William Gibson's future. So many of the things you imagined have come true that in a way it seems like we're all living in science fiction now. Is that the way you felt when you came to write that book, that the real world had caught up with your ideas?

Gibson: Well, I thought that writing about the world today as I perceive it would probably be more challenging, in the real sense of science fiction, than continuing just to make things up. And I found that to absolutely be the case. If I'm going to write fiction set in an imaginary future now, I'm going to need a yardstick that gives me some accurate sense of how weird things are now. 'Cause I'm going to have to go beyond that. And I think over the course of these last two books--I don't think I'm done yet--I've been getting a yardstick together. But I don't know if I'll be able to do it again. I don't know if I'll be able to make up an imaginary future in the same way. In the '80s and '90s--as strange as it may seem to say this--we had such luxury of stability. Things weren't changing quite so quickly in the '80s and '90s. And when things are changing too quickly, as one of the characters in Pattern Recognition says, you don't have any place to stand from which to imagine a very elaborate future.

Amazon.com: Now that you're writing about the present, do you consider yourself a science fiction writer these days? Because the marketplace still does.

Gibson: I never really believed in the separation. But science fiction is definitely where I'm from. Science fiction is my native literary culture. It's what I started reading, and I think the thing that actually makes me a bit different than some of the science fiction writers I've met who are my own age is that I discovered Edgar Rice Burroughs and William Burroughs in the same week. And I started reading Beat poets a year later, and got that in the mix. That really changed the direction. But it seems like such an old-fashioned way of looking at things. And it's better not to be pinned down. It's a matter of where you're allowed to park. If you can park in the science fiction bookstore, that's good. If you can park in the other bookstore, that's really good. If people come and buy it at Amazon, that's really good.

I'm sure I must have readers from 20 years ago who are just despairing of the absence of cyberstuff, or girls with bionic fingernails. But that just the way it is. All of that stuff reads so differently now. I think nothing dates more quickly than science fiction. Nothing dates more quickly than an imaginary future. It's acquiring a patina of quaintness even before you've got it in the envelope to send to the publisher.

Amazon.com: So do you think that's your own career path, that you're less interested in imagining a future, or do you think that the world is changing?

Gibson: I think it's actually both. Until fairly recently, I had assumed that it was me, me being drawn to use this toolkit I'd acquired when I was a teenager, and using my old SF toolkit in some kind of attempt at naturalism, 21st-century naturalistic fiction. But over the last five to six years it's started to seem to me that there's something else going on as well, that maybe we're in what the characters in my novel Idoru call a "nodal point," or a series of them. We're in a place where things could just go anywhere. A couple of weeks ago I happened to read Charlie Stross's argument as to why he believes that there will never, ever be any manned space travel. It's not going to happen. We're not going to colonize Mars. All of that is just a big fantasy. And it's so convincing. I read that and I'm like, "My god, there goes so much of the fiction I read as a child."

... Read more

Customer Reviews (189)

2-0 out of 5 stars Everybody has a bad book in them
I love William Gibson's books, but this is the low point for me and I would not recommend it to anyone except completists.Even the language feels like someone "doing" William Gibson which was just sad.If you are on this page and thinking of reading Gibson for the first time, please click over to "Pattern Recognition" and read that.It is similar in a lot of ways, but a beautiful book.This one isn't.

2-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I'm an avid fan of Gibson's work.This was a huge disappointment. After 200 pages, I just couldn't finish it.

5-0 out of 5 stars What readers seem to be missing...
...and by 'readers' I mean all of the negative reviewers and possibly some of the positive ones, is how slyly, sardonically *funny* it is.(Deadpan funny, of course; I suspect a lot of people see many of Gibson's characters taking themselves terribly seriously and assume Gibson takes them seriously too.Wrong.)The denouement, or 'punch line' as it's known in the comedy biz, is hilarious...but there are dozens of perfect comic bits along the way, from the Helmut Newton installation to the Keystone Kops chase in NYC to the physical description of the hotels in Los Angeles.Anyone reading it solely for the paranoia and intrigue will doubtless be disappointed; if you read it for the comic and satirical elements as well, you'll be amply rewarded.

5-0 out of 5 stars Gotta grow up sometime-damn!
Gibson's characters were real cowboys back in the day. Now half a lifetime has passed and he's changed.His writing has changed too.He seems to be at the top of his game and is crafting stuff that I can read the second or third time and find more nuance and craft with each reading.He's not just a scifi writer anymore he's broadened and deepened to the point where I would recommend him to anyone that cares to probe more deeply into a fast moving world that is difficult to understand and even harder to appreciate.

5-0 out of 5 stars Held My Interest
At first I found it disconcerting to be reading a book which has a sort of futuristic tone/ambiance but which takes place a few years prior to now. Nevertheless, it's holding my interest and I'm glad I bought it. It may not be Gibson's master work, but the writing and characters are first rate. ... Read more

3. Pattern Recognition
by William Gibson
Paperback: 384 Pages (2005-02-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.52
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0425198685
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The accolades and acclaim are endless for William Gibson's coast-to-coast bestseller. Set in the post-9/11 present, Pattern Recognition is the story of one woman's never-ending search for the now.Amazon.com Review
The first of William Gibson's usually futuristic novels to be set in the present, Pattern Recognition is a masterful snapshot of modern consumer culture and hipster esoterica. Set in London, Tokyo, and Moscow, Pattern Recognition takes the reader on a tour of a global village inhabited by power-hungry marketeers, industrial saboteurs, high-end hackers, Russian mob bosses, Internet fan-boys, techno archeologists, washed-out spies, cultural documentarians, and our heroine Cayce Pollard--a soothsaying "cool hunter" with an allergy to brand names.

Pollard is among a cult-like group of Internet obsessives that strives to find meaning and patterns within a mysterious collection of video moments, merely called "the footage," let loose onto the Internet by an unknown source. Her hobby and work collide when a megalomaniac client hires her to track down whoever is behind the footage. Cayce's quest will take her in and out of harm's way in a high-stakes game that ultimately coincides with her desire to reconcile her father’s disappearance during the September 11 attacks in New York.

Although he forgoes his usual future-think tactics, this is very much a William Gibson novel, more so for fans who realize that Gibson's brilliance lies not in constructing new futures but in using astute observations of present-day cultural flotsam to create those futures. With Pattern Recognition, Gibson skips the extrapolation and focuses his acumen on our confusing contemporary world, using the precocious Pollard to personify and humanize the uncertain anxiety, optimistic hope, and downright fear many feel when looking to the future. The novel is filled with Gibson's lyric descriptions and astute observations of modern life, making it worth the read for both cool hunters and their prey. --Jeremy Pugh ... Read more

Customer Reviews (303)

3-0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed the book fine, but LOVED the protagonist...
Now, that's not to say I bought the idea of Cayce Pollard hook, line and sinker. If she's allergic to brands, to put it simplistically, then how can she walk down the street in New York or Tokyo? How can she use a cell phone? How can she buy food? There are certain elements of her character that require a suspension of disbelief beyond the usual SF constraints, and at times I found myself questioning how she could be such a girly-girl (the fact that she does Pilates - itself a 'brand' of exercise - bewildered) and yet reject the idea of labeling consumerism.

However, that didn't deter me from going into my closet and cutting off as many labels as I could find, or going online to the Buzz Rickson's website and pricing out a bomber jacket. Gibson nailed it when he created an unwilling style icon in Cayce. The rest of who Cayce is - her foibles, her relationship with her father - became kind of secondary to the obsessive detailing of what she wore, what she bought and what drove her nuts. Absolutely fabulous. I got the feeling her character could translate to a futuristic story, an alt-universe story, anyplace where her cool factor made her stand out.

As a story I enjoyed the now-somewhat-naive idea of a mysterious film on the internet causing a cultural revolution. Sadly, that concept wouldn't fly now, only 7 years later, what with the preponderance of homemade over-sharing YouTube films and the grotesquely cinematic way reality shows are executed; but it still provided a nicely subtle focus for Gibson's slightly-SF post-9/11 world.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Future is Here, We Caught it, or Rather it Caught Us
Cayce Pollard has the uncanny ability to see a new logo and at first sight know whether or not it will be successful, but she also suffers panic attacks when she see bad ones, especially commercial bad ones, like the Michelin Man for example. She is also hampered by the memory of her father's mysterious disappearance in New York on that fateful September day in 2001 that changed everything for America.

In her spare time she is an obsessive follower of the footage, an underground film that is being released piece meal and out of order on the internet, hidden in old archives or ghost sites where only those in the know will find it. The footage has gained a huge cult following, its devotees endlessly discussing it in chat rooms.

Cayce has been hired by the super rich Hubertus Bigend, head of Blue Ant, a very sleek and top of the line advertising agency, to pass judgment on a new logo for a popular footwear product. She arrives tired and jetlagged in London, sees Bigend's brand and says no, it won't go. Bigend, instead of crying in his beer, hires Cayce to track down the makers of the footage. As it turns out the man is a footagehead, too.

Cayce suspects Bigend wants to find the footage maker to exploit the marketing potential of its huge underground success, but she reluctantly agrees and is off on a quest to find what may be the best kept secret in the world. In a search that takes her to Tokyo and Moscow she discovers that the footage actually contains encrypted information and there is far more to it than anybody had imagined.

This thought provoking book is William Gibson at his very best. In this one, he's not writing about an imagined future, the future his here, we caught it, or rather it's caught us. These people on these pages are his best characters, so real I'm still thinking about them and it's been almost a month since I closed the pages, but I'll be starting it again soon. This book is a keeper, one I'll read over and over again. It's a detective story, a thriller and as I said, a thought provoker. It's outstanding.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Superb Change Of Pace
I have been a Gibson fan for many years, having cut my teeth on Neuromancer, following with the Bridge Trilogy and Burning Chrome. Gibson is a writer with a fascinatingly clean method of conveying his visions of the future, and for that reason I actually avoided Pattern Recognition for a long time because I didn't believe he could translate that sense into the present.

As often happens to me, I made the wrong call. I decided to break in my Kindle with Pattern Rec, and what a great way to test the readability of the device. I burned through the book in about 3 days.

What made this novel so compatible to my needs as a writer are as much accidental as intentional. I have a fierce streak of OCD, not to the extent of washing my hands all day but still a cut above the average person. I'm also a bit of a cinephile, so the subject matter driving the protagonist here was a very natural hook to myself as reader, and the need to discover the origin of the footage for Cayce became my need as a reader as well.

The essence of the story, just for people new to the book, is that the main character has a server allergic reaction to well known marketing icons, most notably the Michelin Man. Even so, she is exceptionally good at forecasting whether a logo will hit big in the advertising world. Privately, she is a member of a forum that is dedicated to analyzing mysterious film segments that are being posted on the internet, from an unknown creator and for unknown reasons. Her career profession ends up interacting with her private obsession when one of her frequent employers charges her with finding the maker of the footage.

This is basically a good old detective yarn, imbued with that signature Gibson style. It's drastic change of setting from his previous works makes no difference in quality, as he expertly draws the reader in to the life of Cayce and her notably unusual life. His ability to convey a different view of a common thing, in many cases clothing and brands, is a thing to behold.

Bottom line, if you dug Gibson before and were on the fence about the new stuff, dive in. It's classic Gibson in modern context. A fantastic read.

2-0 out of 5 stars Like refreshing a travel blog for the first 120 pages, then decent, then fizzels
My take may not be quite the same as many other similarly starred reviews- this is my first Gibson book and as he is generally so well reviewed and clearly thinks big thoughts I might give him another try but this was a pretty lackluster plot that fizzled at the end with a bunch of amateur plot closures.

For me the first 120 pages nearly did me in- I ended up skimming endless descriptions of London, apartments, markets, coffee houses, etc.The heroine was just compelling enough to stick with it until it gained some momentum with the introduction of an interesting character... only to lose it again and stumble into a rambling face plant. One particular scene involving effigies of the Michelin man had me doing double takes as the least believable, most melodramatic literary moment in recent memory.

I stumbled though but largely because I was trapped in China with nothing else to read (or buy.

3-0 out of 5 stars A casual read
Pros: The marketing and advertising concepts are interesting in Pattern Recognition. Cayce is a really interesting character who was fun to read about. The book reads casually and fluently which I found to be enjoyable.

Cons: There wasn't anything epic or life changing in this book. I was mislead to thinking this was going to actually be sci-fi or at least a little more fictitious. Seemed more like a real story currently happening to someone.

Other Thoughts: I think Gibson writes so well that this book was enjoyable just because of the way it reads. Don't let the cons of this book keep you from reading it. It most likely wont be the best thing you'll have ever read, but it is thoughtful and engaging. I also suggest you read it to get to know the character Cayce whom is easy to relate to and has stayed with me after finishing this book. ... Read more

4. Count Zero
by William Gibson
Paperback: 320 Pages (2006-03-07)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$4.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0441013678
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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A corporate mercenary wakes in a reconstructed body, a beautiful woman by his side. Then Hosaka Corporation reactivates him, for a mission more dangerous than the one he's recovering from: to get a defecting chief of R&D-and the biochip he's perfected-out intact. But this proves to be of supreme interest to certain other parties-some of whom aren't remotely human.Amazon.com Review
Turner, corporate mercenary, wakes in a reconstructed body, abeautiful woman by his side.Then Hosaka Corporation reactivates himfor a mission more dangerous than the one he's recovering from:Maas-Neotek's chief of R&D is defecting.Turner is the one assignedto get him out intact, along with the biochip he's perfected.Butthis proves to be of supreme interest to certain otherparties--some of whom aren't remotely human.

Bobby Newmarkis entirely human: a rustbelt data-hustler totally unpreparedfor what comes his way when the defection triggers war in cyberspace.With voodoo on the Net and a price on his head, Newmark thinks he'sonly trying to get out alive. A stylish, streetsmart, frighteningly probable parable of the future and sequel to Neuromancer ... Read more

Customer Reviews (71)

4-0 out of 5 stars Pretty awesome story
Kudos to Gibson for inspiring computer sci majors to lift his material. Did Gibson get $$$ for the Matrix films? I don't know, but Gibson kept me on the edge the whole way through this book. It's believable, mysterious, and very interesting. Lots of action here too.

5-0 out of 5 stars almost time for the ball to drop



the end is here.

Jamaican warriors, that's what Gibson's trilogy was about. & virtual reality. & viral art projects released by cyberpunks too pure for money.

A true blue patriot: william gib son.

esoteric memory games.

a bit intimidated by all the indentifications triggered upon the hacker populous. but they'll have fun reading

two clicks: name t
A. dress

one of the best books I've ever read, all I can do is attempt


5-0 out of 5 stars Gibson's Best
Let me be clear.I read Gibson for atmosphere, not plot.On that basis, this is his best book by far.He writes so well that you can almost feel and touch his near-future world.If you like reading about ninjas raised in vats with thumbs that pop off to reveal micro filament which can cut through you like a knife, dead space stations with robots that make small boxes filled with detritus that are high art on earth, images of rain-soaked Paris, and digital avatars dressed in Victorian garb whom you meet in lonely parks, then Gibson is for you.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Father of Cyberpunk...
It is interesting reading from the authors that sparked a new generation and quite possibly influenced a burgeoning technology.William Gibson is certainly one of those unique authors who have certainly earned their place in their genres.Count Zero is a continuation of a place, both online and in the physical place called The Sprawl.There is but one character found in both, The Finn, who played but a minor role, so the trilogy is a series only loosely.

The narrative style is a little flighty.Gibson focuses on three characters, with each represented by successive chapters: three chapters, three narratives, then loop again and again.It works in some ways because the reader isn't drowned in too many characters and can focus on the storyline, but at other times you are left wanting for of a specific scene or character, only to know that you now must wait.In the end this narrative style is only a minor nuisance that doesn't detract too much from the story.

I wish the book were longer, or that the Sprawl was described more, or that the "religious" deities were explained a little more, but who knows, maybe this will all come in the final book in the trilogy.Nonetheless Count Zero is a definite recommend.

4 stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars Cyberpunk the way it ought to be (plus, voodoo!)
Gibson writes the genre better than anyone else. It isn't about glorified street samurai or ultraviolent/high-tech combat, it's about a tone - a gritty, future-noir feel that's not cinematic, but entirely evocative. There are explosions a-plenty, but really it's about the way the protagonists struggle through between explosions - that's what separates Gibson from the rest of the pack.

The second book in Gibson's seminal Sprawl sequence also posits an intriguing mix of cyberspace and voodoo.

Gibson makes an impassioned argument that voodoo, as a religion and as a way of thought, is perfectly adapted for the mercantile, dog-eat-dog world of the cyberpunk future. Gibson's cyberspace is filled with 'thrones and dominions' (a slightly mixed religious metaphor) - powers that do deals, take riders and move in mysterious ways.

This future is filled with sinister, machiavellian, self-interested powers - trading and politicking between them. The result is a fascinating, intricate novel from start to finish. ... Read more

5. Neuromancer
by William Gibson
Hardcover: 384 Pages (2004-11-02)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$13.53
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0441012035
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Twenty years ago, it was as if someone turned on a light. The future blazed into existence with each deliberate word that William Gibson laid down. The winner of Hugo, Nebula, and Philip K. Dick Awards, Neuromancer didn't just explode onto the science fiction scene--it permeated into the collective consciousness, culture, science, and technology.

Today, there is only one science fiction masterpiece to thank for the term "cyberpunk," for easing the way into the information age and Internet society. Neuromancer's virtual reality has become real. And yet, William Gibson's gritty, sophisticated vision still manages to inspire the minds that lead mankind ever further into the future.Amazon.com Review
Here is the novel that started it all, launching thecyberpunk generation, and the first novel to win the holytrinity of science fiction: the Hugo Award,the Nebula Award and the Philip K. Dick Award.With Neuromancer, William Gibsonintroduced the world to cyberspace--and science fiction has neverbeen the same.

Case was the hottest computer cowboy cruising the informationsuperhighway--jacking his consciousness into cyberspace, soaringthrough tactile lattices of data and logic, rustling encoded secretsfor anyone with the money to buy his skills. Then he double-crossedthe wrong people, who caught up with him in a big way--and burned thetalent out of his brain, micron by micron. Banished from cyberspace,trapped in the meat of his physical body, Case courted death in thehigh-tech underworld.Until a shadowy conspiracy offered him a secondchance--and a cure--for a price.... ... Read more

Customer Reviews (490)

4-0 out of 5 stars The cyberpunk gospel.
This is the gold standard for anyone interested in vintage cyberpunk.If Gibson didn't officially start the genre, he definitely gave it a huge kick in the pants.The energy and panache of the first half is second to none, though it eventually slows to become uncomfortably abstract and minimalistic by the end (in my humble opinion, of course).It's "art," sure, but it seems as though Gibson's style itself evolves throughout the book as you read, almost in tandem with the evolution of "art" itself.He opens with traditional flash-bang brilliance, but then winnows everything away until by the end, we're left with this strange husk of avante-garde modernity--rather like the evolution of almost any classical art form.(Can you tell I'm biased?)Well, regardless, I still have to give it a big thumbs-up for the style of the first half alone.

1-0 out of 5 stars Total and Utter GARBAGE
I first tried Neuromancer back when I was a Sophomore in college as it was required reading for an English class I was taking. I got about 35 pages into it and gave up, not understanding the writing, the story, or hardly anything. And still, I feel the EXACT same way after FINISHING it. There are 3 main reasons I absolutely hated this book.

1.Neuromancer was slow (even though it is only 271 pages it feels 10 times as long)

2. It is far too descriptive Can someone please translate this next passage for me? "His mouth filled with the aching taste of blue. His eyes eggs of unstable crystal, vibrating with a frequency whose name was rain and the sound of trains, suddenly sprouting a humming forest of hair fine glass spires"

3. The story line SUCKED, making little to no sense throughout the entire book. I Still can't figure out how Case could hack into computer networks, read viruses, talk to brain dead "constructs", travel to some exotic super posh space station, let an intelligent computer system boss him around, and jump into another human being.

I think Neuromancer proves (to me at least) that even though a book can win many awards (in this case the Hugo, Nebula, and Philip K. Dick awards) the book can be total garbage.

5-0 out of 5 stars Every page is just pure art.
This book is phenomenal. Neuromancer is part of the Sprawl Trilogy. The book was written in 1983 and has influenced and shaped the world of today and perhaps scores of computer scientists who have worked on building the frame work that is cyberspace and the world wide web. Cyberspace, matrix, and microsoft by the way were words created and coined by William Gibson. Much of the book you can tell has had a major influence on the theory that the writers/directors used for The Matrix movie. The reason it is so ahead of it's time and ground breaking is because none of this at that time had been realized yet.

The books protagonist is Case. A computer hacker who was caught stealing from his employer and subsequently crippled by that employer so he could no longer `jack' into cyberspace. A man named Armitage gives Case the ability to jack in once again but also has a slow acting poison installed in Case's body as a means to get Case to do a job for him. The rest of the book details the job that the group goes on, including Molly who is also in William Gibson's short story Johnny Mnemonic.

The writing style can only really be described as art for each page. The writing directly leads to a visual that is amazing, deep, and layered all at the same time. The style has been said to be a turn off for many that could not wrap their heads around the ideas presented and that was one of the reasons that I waited so long to read this book. It turns out I had nothing to worry about because the style totally flows so easily into the imagination and it was one of my most enjoyable read's to date.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent, Incredible, Niche Book
Neuromancer is a very niche novel.If you like hackers, cyberculture, bio-computing, science fiction, and an awesome blend of high-tech and "low-tech", I don't see how you could dislike this book.If you are not interested those topics, it's easy to see how this book may be of no interest.

It doesn't include "warp travel" or hyperspace or a lot of concepts of physics that many sci-fi novels include (which is neither good nor bad, just noteworthy),and indeed this genre is cyberpunk.I think the best description of the ambiance of Neuromancer is dirty, gritty, technology.

I very much related to the protagonist and enjoyed the crisp, cutting fast-paced plot development.Gibson is possibly the foremost cyberpunk author and indubitably defined the genre.It's also interesting to envision a lot of bio-computer implants and biological-technological ideas.I loved and very much related to the "living in a computer" effect of the matrix.If you have an interest in the origins of the internet, I think this book is fairly important.The word "cyberspace" was coined by gibson in this book.It's easy to see how Neuromancer directly influenced many other cypberpunk-like genres including the Matrix.

1-0 out of 5 stars Forced myself to finish.
Like a lot of other reviewers, I was unable to really get involved with this book. I couldn't care less what happened to any of the characters and was most relieved when I finished the book.

The jargon is way out of my league (this coming from an Engineering graduate with a fair background in computers) and it is never explained. Gibson should have used a similar style to Michael Crichton's Great Train Robbery where he explains the mental sentiment of the time and helped the reader understand the setting. Instead he assumes the reader knows what he's talking about, and crams a lot of the jargon into a dense mess that was mostly incoherent to me.

If possible find an excerpt of this book and read it. You will hopefully be deterred from buying this book. ... Read more

6. All Tomorrow's Parties
by William Gibson
Mass Market Paperback: 352 Pages (2003-02-04)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.64
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0425190447
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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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. And there is, although it will eventually involve his former girlfriend, a Taoist assassin, the secrets Laney has been hacking out of the depths of DatAmerica, the CEO of the PR firm that secretly runs the world and the apocalyptic technological transformation of, well, everything. William Gibson's new novel, set in the soon-to-be-fact world of "Virtual Light" and "Idoru", completes a stunning, brilliantly imagined trilogy about the post-Net world.Amazon.com Review
Although Colin Laney (from Gibson's earlier novel Idoru) lives in acardboard box, he has the power to change the world. Thanks to anexperimental drug that he received during his youth, Colin can see"nodal points" in the vast streams of data that make up the worldwidecomputer network. Nodal points are rare but significant events inhistory that forever change society, even though they might not berecognizable as such when they occur. Colin isn't quite sure what'sgoing to happen when society reaches this latest nodal point, but heknows it's going to be big. And he knows it's going to occur on theBay Bridge in San Francisco, which has been home to a sort ofSoHo-esque shantytown since an earthquake rendered it structurallyunsound to carry traffic.

Colin sends Barry Rydell (last seen inGibson's novel VirtualLight) to the bridge to find a mysterious killer who revealshimself only by his lack of presence on the Net. Barry is alsoentrusted with a strange package that seems to be the home of Rei Toi,the computer-generated "idol singer" who once tried to "marry" a humanrock star (she's also from Idoru). Barry and Rei Toi areeventually joined by Barry's old girlfriend Chevette (from VirtualLight) and a young boy named Silencio who has an unnaturalfascination with watches. Together this motley assortment ofcharacters holds the key to stopping billionaire Cody Harwood fromdoing whatever it is that will make sure he still holds the reigns ofpower after the nodal point takes place.

Although All Tomorrow'sParties includes characters from two of Gibson's earlier novels,it's not a direct sequel to either. It's a stand-alone book that ispossibly Gibson's best solo work since Neuromancer. In thepast, Gibson has let his brilliant prose overwhelm what were oftenlackluster (or nonexistent) story lines, but this book has it all: agood story, electric writing, and a group of likable and believablecharacters who are out to save the world ... kind of. The ending isnot quite as supercharged as the rest of the novel and so comes off abit flat, but overall this is definitely a winner. --CraigE. Engler ... Read more

Customer Reviews (134)

4-0 out of 5 stars best of the bridge series
a pleasure of a book to read. it pulled the previous to books in the series together, and kept steady amd engaging pace.

4-0 out of 5 stars A plausible, disturbing, but ultimately hopeful near-future world populated with interesting, familiar characters
Inside a cardboard box in a Tokyo subway station, Colin Laney sees the end of the world.

Or, perhaps, the beginning.

What do a down-on-his-luck rent-a-cop, a sentient Artificial Intelligence construct, a wealthy power broker, a global chain of convenience stores, and a faceless assassin have in common? Not even Colin Laney knows for sure, but somehow, they're all intimately connected to a turning point in human history-a massive paradigm shift that's going to begin in San Francisco, and after it happens, nothing will ever be the same.

In All Tomorrow's Parties, William Gibson picks up where he left off in Idoru, bringing us back into the tortured mind of Colin Laney, a man with a singular ability to gather threads of cause and effect in the infosphere and anticipate when important things are about to happen.

The story skips through multiple points-of-view and tenses past, present, and future. A lesser writer would get an editorial dope-slap for shifting POVs so much, but in Gibson's hands, it works, and there's a method to his madness. Time and reality are malleable and, ultimately, illusory in Gibson's world, and the narrative reflects this sense of fluid existence-always moving, always changing, a river that is never experienced the same way twice.

As with Idoru, it was the puzzle at the heart of the story, the "what the heck is going on here?" factor that drew me in and kept me reading, along with Gibson's intriguing and very credible descriptions of a near-future society poised on a razor's edge between disintegration and transformation. The characters are interesting and accessible, but they're swept along by forces beyond their comprehension toward a destiny that, in the end, seems unavoidable. It raises questions about the reality and scope of human free will in a world that, while governed by "the synthesis of all human desire," frustrates the effort of any individual to enforce his or her own desires on that world or shift its momentum.All Tomorrow's Parties brings John Brunner's The Shockwave Rider to mind, a story in which the key to survival was riding the waves of continual change, understanding how to move and when to jump in order to be carried along on that eternal surf without wiping out.

Gibson ends his story on a note of optimism about people's ability to do that, which is probably the best outcome available in a worldview where God is absent, and organized religion is a relic, useless at best, deceptive and exploitative at worst.Gibson's future is visionary, but utterly rational, existential, and deterministic. There are lots of clocks and watches in this story, and I don't think that was an arbitrary choice.

All Tomorrow's Parties moves quickly and evokes a plausible, disturbing, but ultimately hopeful near-future world populated with interesting, familiar characters. If you enjoyed Idoru and want to find out what happens next (well, sort of), you'll like All Tomorrow's Parties.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Cocktail With Subtle Flavors
Gibson tells a story here about some people caught up in a conspiracy bigger than themselves and, I know, some folks think books should be about storytelling.Well, in some cases, they're wrong.The story here plays second fiddle to the details of the near-future world Gibson creates.It's in the details of this world that the reader gets her kicks and tastes the images that Gibson conjures -- in a way, this is a painting, it's poetry.Where else will you encounter the imaginary "Russian Chain Gun":"Disposable. Can't reload it.Caseless:this long square thing's the cartridges and barrel in one.No moving parts to it:ignition's electrical...Thing's packed with four hundred two-foot lengths of super-fine steel chain, sharp as razor wire."Indeed, Gibson's world is full of sharp edges but also of humanity:"The girl who drowned so long ago has settled now, swept down in a swirl of toffee hair and less hurtful memories, to where his youth turns gently, in its accustomed tides, and he is more comfortable that way."If this guy isn't one of our best writers, I don't know who is.I give this 4 stars instead of 5, only because Gibson has done better in Count Zero.

2-0 out of 5 stars How the mighty have fallen...
First of all, don't get me wrong: the "Sprawl Trilogy" (Neuromancer/Count Zero/Mona Lisa Overdrive) is 5-star stuff and still holds up 25 years after it was written. That said, I can't believe this is the same author, because All Tomorrows Parties is a mess on multiple levels.

I read this one cold and with no context, not realizing it was the third part of its own trilogy. Apparently several of the characters in this are also in the other two, but the book gives enough hints of their back-story that I wasn't at (too much) of a loss. **Maybe** I would have liked this book more if I had been more familiar with them, but I honestly doubt it -- my major problems were the plot and prose.

Plot-wise, the first half of this book was, quite simply, uninteresting. Nothing really happens. There are actually three or four sub-plots interwoven, only one or two of which even approach being interesting. When things start coming together in the final third of the book, it's too little, too late... and grinds to a halt almost as abruptly as it starts. I didn't FULLY understand the ending -- which may be because I'm unfamiliar with the first two books -- but even then I suspect the "um, what just happened!?!?" ambiguity/confusion is intentional on the author's part. I don't mind things like that if they are well-executed, but this one just wasn't.

My biggest complaint about this book, though, is the writing style. Other reviewers have called it "almost poetic" or even "Hemmingway-esque" but I think both descriptions are either incorrect or at best generous stretches. This book is a collection of sentence fragments, and it's exceedingly awkward to read. I have a hunch this was a style experiment, but it's one that just doesn't work.

I actually gave up on this about half way through, but ended up going back to it out of desperation (not having anything else handy that I'd rather read.) By that point, I was consciously aware I was finishing it just to finish it, which is NEVER a good sign. Admittedly, it does pick up a bit in the last act, but not enough to redeem itself.

Recommended for die-hard Gibson fans only. Casual fans (such as myself) or initiates who're unfamiliar with his work will be frustrated and/or disappointed.

4-0 out of 5 stars "And what shall she do with Thursday's rags / When Monday comes around"
Flash back to 1911, the last time there was a nodal point in history, when the world ended as people knew it. What happened in 1911? "I'm still not sure," the plugged-in beadsman Laney admits. "Madame Curie's husband was run over by a horse-drawn wagon in Paris, in 1906. It seems to start there." Four years later, of course, Curie isolated radium, and in 1911 she received her second Nobel Prize.

Just as the world transitioned--quietly--from the Industrial Age to the Nuclear Age, so too will arrive the next era, that of nanotechnology, whose nodal point the cyberprophet Gibson sets in the third decade of this new millennium, changing "human history is some entirely new way." Whether for good or evil provides the thriller-like plot for "All Tomorrow's Parties."

The final installment of Gibson's Bridge Trilogy features many of the characters of the first two ("Virtual Light" and "Idoru"). It probably helps to have read them first (I hadn't), but the work does stand on its own. Still, several of the major characters cannot occupy the reader's imagination as effectively as they probably would have if I had been more fully introduced to them--particularly Laney, the hacker who hunts for evidence of the nodal point, and Rei, the Japanese cyber-superstar who exists only as code and hologram.

Gibson excels at weaving several fast-paced plots that converge on the Bay Bridge, spanning between San Francisco and Oakland, closed to traffic after the "Big One," and piled deep with shops and dwellings like the London bridges of old. There are at least a dozen memorable characters, both heroes and villains, although none strikes me quite as prescient and visionary as Silencio, the child savant whose ability to absorb the data-stream makes Laney look like an old Commodore 64.

But--in the same way the import of Madame Curie's discovery leaves Laney befuddled--the chase scene, melodramatic contrivances, and fiery conflagration that conclude the novel (and that resemble, more than anything, a Michael Bay-directed extravaganza) will leave one wondering, "What just happened?" Neither scientists nor society a century ago fully understood the earth-shattering significance of radioactivity, and--perhaps fittingly--Gibson leaves to the reader's imagination this trilogy's sequel, the Nanotech Age. ... Read more

7. Virtual Light
by William Gibson
Paperback: 368 Pages (1994-07-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$2.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553566067
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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2005: Welcome to NoCal and SoCal, the uneasysister-states of what used to be California. Here themillenium has come and gone, leaving in its wakeonly stunned survivors. In Los Angeles, BerryRydell is a former armed-response rentacop now workingfor a bounty hunter. Chevette Washington is abicycle messenger turned pickpocket who impulsivelysnatches a pair of innocent-looking sunglasses. Butthese are no ordinary shades. What you can seethrough these high-tech specs can make you rich--orget you killed. Now Berry and Chevette are on therun, zeroing in on the digitalized heart ofDatAmerica, where pure information is the greatest high.And a mind can be a terrible thing to crash...Amazon.com Review
The author of Neuromancer takes you tothe vividly realized near future of 2005.Welcome to NoCal and SoCal,the uneasy sister-states of what used to be California. Here themillennium has come and gone, leaving in its wake only stunnedsurvivors. In Los Angeles, Berry Rydell is a former armed-responserentacop now working for a bounty hunter. Chevette Washington is abicycle messenger turned pick-pocket who impulsively snatches a pairof innocent-looking sunglasses. But these are no ordinary shades.What you can see through these high-tech specs can make you rich--orget you killed. Now Berry and Chevette are on the run, zeroing in onthe digitalized heart of DatAmerica, where pure information is thegreatest high.And a mind can be a terrible thing to crash. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (66)

5-0 out of 5 stars Gibson' future vision
I fear, may be more accurate than one would like to admit. Well written and paced an excellant read

2-0 out of 5 stars Talented author, weak book
Gibson has obvious literary talents and raw skill at writing, but reading much of his opus it seems that he's applying them in the wrong way. Certainly that's my feeling after reading Virtual Light. Ultimately it's a story with a flimsy plot (I always find with Gibson's stuff that a month later I can never remember the plot), unlikable characters and a dirty setting where people do seedy things. As a dystopian novel it fails to adequately commit to its setting, to explore root causes, or to showcase essential dysfunction. In technology is feels unimagnative, a projection of today's conventional tech wisdom and cliches magnified by ten. The failings in the setting makes the weak characterization a deal breaker in enjoying this novel, when I'm not able to care at all about the cast's danger, failure and triumph I'm faced with an ultimately unappealing and unentertaining novel. I'm aware that at at a certain level I'm criticizing Gibson for not writing the book I would have liked him to, but his dirty already-obsolete cyberpunk scenario doesn't offer enough to leave me satisfied.

If you want to read something from one of the contemporary top scifi authors try Greg Egan, Vernor Vinge, Iain M. Banks or Alastair Reynolds. Gibson leaves me empty, less from his bleakness than from his methodology in presenting that bleakness.

2-0 out of 5 stars Seek your VR story elsewhere
This book has almost nothing to do with virtual reality, and left me feeling somewhat ripped off. All dystopia, no VR. And he named it Virtual Light!

If you're interested in a good VR read, check out Tad Williams's Otherland series instead. Much, much more entertaining. Gibson is sadly overrated.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not Free SF Reader
Your future may not be bright if you are wearing these shades.

Gibson's technological level regresses from that of the Sprawl books.No cybernetic implants here, but old fashioned gear like googles and gloves for connections.

A lowly courier gets into trouble when lifting the wrong pair of glasses - a super advanced gear prototype with some startling abilities.

Through in a down on his luck investigator and another shady, seedy tale follows.

3 out of 5

4-0 out of 5 stars Bridge series
The first in the bridge series it introduces two central players, Berry Rydell a out of work cop and Chevette, a San Francisco bike messenger. Throughout the story the Golden gate bridge that was made unusable by a earthquake and now functions as a squatters paradise/no mans land looms in the background. This novel is Gibson's first tenative steps toward contemporary fiction. It works, just cutting edge enough to feed the tech heads with solid story and plot lines.
Even though I still yearn for razor girls and console cowboys Vitural light was a great read.think of that..Gideon's Fall: When You Dont Have a Prayer, Only a Miracle Will Do ... Read more

8. Mona Lisa Overdrive
by William Gibson
Mass Market Paperback: 320 Pages (1989-12-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.59
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553281747
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
The award-winning William Gibson goes beyond science fiction to the broader mainstream fiction audience. His unique world features multinational corporations and high-tech outlaws vying for power, traveling the computer-generated universe. HC: Bantam.Amazon.com Review
Into the cyber-hip world of William Gibson comes Mona, a younggirl with a murky past and an uncertain future whose life is on acollision course with internationally famous Sense/Net star AngieMitchell.Since childhood, Angie has been able totap intocyberspace without a computer.Now, from inside cyberspace, akidnapping plot is masterminded by a phantom entity who has plans forMona, Angie, and all humanity, plans that cannot be controlled...oreven known.And behind the intrigue lurks the shadowy Yakuza, thepowerful Japanese underworld, whose leaders ruthlessly manipulatepeople and events to suit their own purposes.

An over-the-top thrill ride sequel to Neuromancer and Count Zero. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (52)

2-0 out of 5 stars Needs to be on Kindle
Come on publisher.This novel needs to be available on the Kindle.I don't buy novels any more unless I can get them in Kindle format so I will not be starting this trilogy until I can get them all on the Kindle.How can you have 2 of the 3 available in digital format.

1-0 out of 5 stars Don't bother, you'll just be annoyed
The story was completely disjointed and unbelievable.The characters weren't compelling in the least.

5-0 out of 5 stars Kindle this one PLEASE!
Straight Simple, reading this on after Neuromancer and Count Zero is a must.Gibson strings this all together nicely and does an amazing job of predicting future technologies we are a just now realizing today.A TRUE Visionary.From the person that coined the Matrix, Cyberpunk, and "Jacking In".

5-0 out of 5 stars "Mona Lisa Overdrive"
I always forget how much I enjoy Gibson until I actually sit down and read his work. "Mona Lisa Overdrive," a sequal of sorts to "Count Zero," is full of techno junkies, junkies, call girls, and a very imaginative world. This is still one of my favorite Gibson stories.

2-0 out of 5 stars Choppy and unfocused
I was annoyed by the shortness of each chapter, with very little progress being made in each one.I have lived in Japan for 11 years.Kumiko doesnt seem Japanese (or half Japanese), she seems autistic.All descriptions of anything Japanese were mistaken, over done or just weird. ... Read more

9. Idoru
by William Gibson
Paperback: 400 Pages (1997-09-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$2.22
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0425158640
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
In twenty-first century Tokyo, Rez, one of the world's biggest rock stars, prepares to marry Rei Toe, Japan's biggest media star, who is known as the Idoru and who exists only in virtual reality. Reprint."Amazon.com Review
The author of the ground-breaking science-fiction novelsNeuromancer and Virtual Lightreturns with a fast-paced, high-density, cyber-punk thriller.As prophetic as it is exciting, Idoru takes us to 21st centuryTokyo where both the promises of technology and the disasters ofcyber-industrialism stand in stark contrast, where the haves and thehave-nots find themselves walled apart, and where information and fameare the most valuable and dangerous currencies.

When Rez, the lead singer for the rock band Lo/Rez is rumored to beengaged to an "idoru" or "idol singer"--an artificialcelebrity creation of information software agents--14-year-old Chia PetMcKenzie is sent by the band's fan club to Tokyo to uncover the facts. At thesame time, Colin Laney, a data specialist for Slitscan television, uncoversand publicizes a network scandal. He flees to Tokyo to escape the network'swrath. As Chia struggles to find the truth, Colin struggles to preserve it,in a futuristic society so media-saturated that only computers hold the hopefor imagination, hope and spirituality. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (142)

4-0 out of 5 stars Exploring the nature of celebrity in the Information Age
Lo/Rez is the hottest rock band on the planet, but their fan club is horrified by rumors that Rez, the band's lead singer, intends to marry Rei Toei, a Japanese idoru, an "idol singer." The problem is, this isn't your run-of-the-mill Tokyopop princess-Rei Toei is a software agent, a complex amalgamation of computer code that simulates a human being. The Seattle branch of the Lo/Rez fan club is disturbed enough to send one of its members, fourteen-year-old Chia McKenzie, to Japan to investigate. Enroute, a strange woman gives her a package to carry through Customs, and Chia soon finds herself in a whole lot of trouble.

Meanwhile, data analyst Colin Laney is losing his job at Slitscan, a company that gleans, manufactures, and spins news about the rich and famous. Laney has a singular gift-he can intuitively spot trends developing within masses of seemingly-unrelated data. He tried to thwart the suicide of a celebrity's girlfriend, an incident only he could foresee, and that action wasn't in Slitscan's financial interest. To make matters worse, Laney's been offered a new job by a menacing representative of the conglomerate that manages Lo/Rez. Slitscan would like nothing better than to destroy Lo/Rez with the scandal of the century. If Laney accepts the job offer, he risks much more than the loss of Slitscan's goodwill, and if he rejects it...well, let's just say that's not really an option. He's caught between two powerful forces that covet his talent, an ability even Laney doesn't completely understand.

Something earth-shattering is about to happen, and Laney is the only one who can see it coming. He doesn't know exactly what it is yet, but Rez and the idoru are at its heart. Is Rez just an eccentric rock singer who's fried his brain with recreational drugs? Is Rei Toei something more than a fancy computer program? What's inside that mysterious box in Chia's purse? Inquiring minds want to know, and they're willing to kill for the information.

In Idoru, William Gibson, the acclaimed father of cyberpunk and author of Neuromancer and Mona Lisa Overdrive, takes us once again to a near-future world where the line between the real and the virtual blurs. This time, he explores the nature of celebrity in the Information Age, a phenomenon not fully explained by either reality or illusion. In the world of Idoru, celebrity is a commodity, and its creation and destruction are a profitable business. Fans create a living mythology that shapes both the object of their adulation and themselves. Virtual reality and telepresence create autonomous societies within the infosphere invisible to the outside world and wielding enormous power. True artificial intelligence hovers just beyond the limits of technology, composed, as one character says, of the "aggregates of subjective desire." When, and if, it emerges, Gibson asserts it will be in a place and of a form that no one would have expected.

Idoru is a gripping story, intriguing and suspenseful. My one disappointment was that all the characters, even the ones who were ostensibly pulling the strings, seemed to be wandering in a fog, pushed about by forces they couldn't control or fully comprehend. Yeah, I know, life can be like that-a lot-but the story builds up an overwhelming sense of some guiding intelligence orchestrating events from the shadows that ultimately devolves into randomness. Remarkable and frightening things happen, but like Laney, who manifests his analytic gift without understanding how or why it works, I felt like Gibson never quite got around to telling me why these things were happening, or why they were so important and inevitable. There are hints aplenty, but I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, even at the end of the story.

On the other hand, I loved Gibson's foray into the world of image brokers, fangirls, mafioso of various flavors, and a virtual world that seemed just as real and surreal as the physical world.The characters were interesting and memorable, especially Rez' security chief, Keithy Blackwell, a Tazmanian ex-con and one of the smartest and scariest hired goons I've encountered in a long time. He's a complex character, and his ethics are, to put it mildly, ambiguous. Another character remarks that the most frightening thing about Blackwell is that "sometimes I find myself getting used to him," and that's a pretty good assessment.

Idoru was published in 1996, but it still feels fresh and plausible to me. Some of Gibson's projections are very close to becoming reality, and a few are already here.

I'd rate the material at an R overall, for a few stretches of raw language, a couple of non-explicit adult situations, and some violence, mostly implied, but perhaps more frightening because it's implied.

2-0 out of 5 stars Don't Bother...
Talk about cardboard characters and no plot and you've got William Gibson down to a T!!! The only thing that saves this book - a thought that applies to almost all his work - is the near-future background. That's all! AND it is NOT enough. Having read Neuromancer and loved the pace I have been consistently disappointed since. Idoru made me finally decide never to try another of his works.

2-0 out of 5 stars Absurdly dated
I had the misfortune of being a teenager in the 90's.I picked this book up in a used bookstore without realizing when it was published.Then again, I've read many, many books written in the 90's that didn't have this problem.

This book is DATED!The phrases used.The slang.The description of bars.The clothes.The teenager's attitude (very, very Seattle grunge/goth 90's). The references.I mean, Geiger?Really?It is irritating to think of this being set in some vague distant future when I feel like I'm stuck in the past.This all likely wouldn't bug me so much if I wasn't, as I said, a teen in those 90's.

One of my biggest pet peeves in writing is when a character is telling a long story.It is a crappy way of telling a story.Also, a story like that would take an hour or two - it wasn't that long! - yet they're wandering around for hours drinking coffee, drinking alcohol, and eating at two different restaurants.It's absurd.

The book is readable, but... it's vision of the future is just absurd.The guy has no vision.He's got us stuck in the 90's with crappy "future technology" that is worse than what we have only 10yrs later.

5-0 out of 5 stars Gibson's Idoru Revisited
I'm a big advocate of re-reading favorite books - after all, who listens to a favorite CD just once? For many years (until the movies came out) I looked forward to re-reading The Lord of the Rings during Christmas vacation, and some years I prefaced it with The Hobbit. I have enjoyed re-reading many other authors - including William Gibson.

From my all time favorite, Mona Lisa Overdrive, to the rest of the Neuromancer trilogy, the short stories collected in Burning Chrome - and his famous book about the Bay Bridge, Virtual Light, I have enjoyed revisiting Gibson's vision of the near future.

I just finished re-reading Idoru, which was first published 13 years ago, after reading comments by Gibson from the book's wikipedia page saying he related to his character Colin Laney, who sees intuitive "nodal points" when data-mining the same way the author sees clues or indicators about the future that he incorporates into his books.

Over the years I loaned Idoru out several times, mostly to Japanese friends whom I thought might appreciate Gibson's vision of near-future Tokyo - but they weren't necessarily science-fiction fans and I don't think any of them read it. At least I managed to get it back each time, and finally picked it up the other day myself, somewhat apprehensive that "current events" might have overtaken it in the intervening decade. I needn't have worried.

Gibson excels at plotting, and in Idoru he alternates the Laney and Chia chapters until the characters climactically meet, each chapter propelling them through future Tokyo from one cliff-hanger to another. His characters are attractive, including Chia's angry and protective friend Zona, Laney, Rez and his bodyguard - and the amazing title character: Rei Toei, the Idoru.

What has protected Gibson's vision of near-future Tokyo from the passage of time since Idoru was published? Part of the answer is,
his future still a long way off. In a recurring vision spanning many of his books, humans will eventually be able to enter convincing three-dimensional virtual worlds that will surround us while we are wearing ear- and eye-phones and fingertip sensors. At the same time, human-seeming realistic holograms driven by artificial intelligences will be able to interact with us in the day-to-day world, blurring the distinction between "real" and virtual.

That is quite a leap forward from where we are today. From reading e-mails and tweets on the tiny screens of our phones and Blackberries, to becoming fully immersed in intense and believable multi-sensory "consensual hallucinations" with others. Of course, you'll want to be jacked-in in a secure location when visiting these virtual worlds, where you can't be disturbed!

Another technology which we are probably still decades away from commercially exploiting in the manner presented in Idoru is nanotechnology, shown rebuilding Tokyo after a devastating earthquake: buildings constructing themselves in a disturbingly unreal fashion, which Gibson describes poetically using spare metaphors. His Tokyo is still recognizable, a place where you can enter the lower sub-levels of a damaged building to catch a train, but with surreal touches,like the bizarre frozen, odorless piss in the unlicensed nightclub.

Ultimately, the most impressive character is the Idoru herself, who is already so far beyond a "software agent" when we meet her - and grows before our eyes until she becomes almost a godlike presence in both worlds. Her love for Rez and affection for Chia makes her human, but she is the AI equivalent of nanotech, building the edifice of her persona by accumulating enormous amounts of data at an exponential rate.

It's a suspenseful and thought-provoking book, a quick read that nonetheless offers stimulating insights that will reward a second or third visit. When the Idoru says the key to her attaining the next stage of development is "plectics," the same might be said, at least metaphorically, for all of us.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sci-Fi Globalization, Convergence Between Asia and the West
In my experience William Gibson never disappoints and Idoru is perhaps his best work.Blasphemy I know to say that it is superior to Neuromancer but I'm gonna call it like I see it.The main reason I feel that Idoru is his best is because of his unparalleled vision of what the world may look like in the future, as Western and Asian cultures and influences continue to converge, mesh and intertwine.It is perhaps the most compelling vision that I have read, ranking up there with the book Chung Kuo: The Middle Kingdom and the movie Blade Runner.Additionally, it is well worth highlighting that Gibson's writing is brilliant, his characters entrancing and each scene intricately crafted.Let's not forget to mention his entirely accurate predictions of the convergence between "real" & digital life, as one of the central ideas is the marriage of a rock star with a Japanese virtual being, an "Idoru."

Is it a dark, dystopian future that Gibson envisions?Yes, in some respects.But, as in all of his novels, there is also a great deal of hope and endless possibility.Idoru is the second book in William Gibson's Bridge trilogy, but it was the first of the series that I read (accidentally) and it truly stands alone, even if you haven't read the first book.Finally, Gibson is able to create realistic female characters, unlike many of his sci-fi peers. ... Read more

10. A mass for the dead
by William Gibson
Hardcover: 431 Pages (1996)
-- used & new: US$25.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1888173017
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (8)

3-0 out of 5 stars Paperback "A Mass For the Dead".
The seller sent the book earlier than promised and it is in 'okay' condition.Since it's a paperback it is far from being new.

It is an old book and I am not really enjoying it very much.However, the woman who recommended it to me said it's her favorite book of all time.I guess it would be up to the reader to judge the text.

I have not read other books by William Gibson so am not an expert on his writing.I find that it drags.He is writing about his family, so from a historical perspective it gives a great picture of that era.(The Depression years).Hus writing is excellent, but I am finding the story line boring.It is not in the same caliber of 'The Grapes of Wrath' in my estimation.

5-0 out of 5 stars William Gibson creates a journey never to be forgotten.
I read Mass for the Dead several years ago and continue to be amazed each time I re-read it. It is a wonderful mix of prose and poetry.I am not particularly interested in poetry but within this masterpiece it works.

It is impossible for me to do this book justice.Gibson's soul permeates the very pages of the book.When you turn the final page you feel a sense of desolation as though you now have lost something.You ask: Why can't I live in this book forever?

It isn't easy to write a masterpiece such as this that guides you through a man'sbirth family, his growing years and his adult years with all the permutations that are a part of life. But somehow, Gibson has succeeded in skillfully taking us along that winding road and not only that but allowing us to fully enjoy the trip.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Mass for the Dead
A marvelous book, immensely affecting, too little known. It is a work to be read and reread through all the stages of mature life.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
If I could own just one book, this would be it.William Gibson's simple story about his family is written in elegant prose.The love he describes is palpable.This is truly a literary work of art.

5-0 out of 5 stars Mass for the dead
I was thrilled to see this on Amazon.I had read it many years ago and loved it so much I not only wanted to read it again, but I want to own and keep this book forever. ... Read more

11. Burning Chrome
by William Gibson
Paperback: 224 Pages (2003-07-01)
list price: US$13.99 -- used & new: US$4.43
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060539828
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com Review
Ten brilliant, streetwise, high-resolution stories from the man whocoined the word cyberspace.Gibson's vision has become a touchstonein the emerging order of the 21st Century, from the computer-enhancedhustlers of Johnny Mnemonic to the technofetishist blues of BurningChrome.With their vividly human characters and their remorseless,hot-wired futures, these stories are simultaneously science fiction atits sharpest and instantly recognizable Polaroids of the postmoderncondition. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (69)

5-0 out of 5 stars An SF stylist in his element
When William Gibson burst onto the SF scene with Neuromancer in 1984, he immediately established himself as arguably the finest prose stylist in his genre since Roger Zelazny.Pioneering "cyberpunk," he channeled Raymond Chandler's zeitgeist and transposed it to a dystopian near-future.Thus began his "Sprawl" trilogy chronicling the goings-on in his dyspeptic vision of the new millenium.This collection of short stories is best suited for readers who've already digested Neuromancer (at the least) and are interested in fleshing out Gibson's world.And Gibson, stylist that he is, excels in this format, changing mood, setting and voice while exploring various aspects of his genre.The title story steals the show, with the classic elements of a tragedy and the setting of Neuromancer, but "New Rose Hotel" and "Dogfight" both represent gripping short stories set arguably outside his Sprawl.Elsewhere in this collection, the reader is presented with whimsical (Gernsback Continuum, The Belonging Kind), more Sprawl stories ("Johnny Mnemonic," far more interesting and intelligent than the eponymous film) and "classic" stories ("Red Star, Winter Orbit"), all sparsely written and distinct in tone.Finally, it includes "The Winter Market," where Gibson adds an interesting character study and a tale that borders on the Gothic.

As others have said, one doesn't read Gibson for his deft characterizations or finely plotted stories.Rather, one reads Gibson for the mood and vision that he supplies.Just as the best of noir detective stories entertain with tales of dark doings, so too does Gibson.

5-0 out of 5 stars Burning Chrome Shines Bright
Adapted from [.....]

If the novel is a sojourn in a foreign land, short stories are trips to the municipal park. Much of their provinciality is a function of length. Long-form fiction has the space to luxuriate in detail, dwelling on tertiary characters, describing each bit of their surroundings and spawning hydra-headed plots that wriggle every which way. But while the novel remains the champion of the marketplace, it can seem downright clumsy when compared with the elegance of a well-written short. This is doubly true when it comes to the pieces collected in William Gibson's Burning Chrome.

If Gibson's first novel had a flaw, it was that the overgrowth of its imaginative setting choked out plot and character development. Burning Chrome pares back the speculative material, and the results are cleaner, better-ordered, even when they share the same world. The best-known of the bunch is "Johnny Mnemonic," a man-on-the-run tale that reads like a genre recombination of techno-thriller, hardboiled and dystopia. (Unfortunately, most of its fame is due to being made into an execrable movie starring Keanu Reeves.) "New Rose Hotel" takes a noir-ish turn, with a mercenary specializing in corporate defections narrating the final moments of his life, sweaty hands clasped around a cheap Chinese .22. The title story comes across as an early iteration of Neuromancer, all the archetypes of data thief and cybernetic heavy and unattainable beauty in play.

The remainder veer into different territory. In one, humanity comes in contact with a superior spacefaring species, the grim result being not exactly the stuff of Star Trek ("Hinterlands"). Another has a shy linguistics professor discovering a race of chameleon-like humanoids who can blend in with any social setting ("The Belonging Kind"). "Dogfight" and "The Winter Market" pivot on the idea of hamartia, the "fatal flaw" of classical tragedy. The former features a grifter desperate to win a championship in an underground gambling ring, the latter a wasted woman determined to become an artist in dreams before disease claims her life.

Yes, some of the stories have aged poorly ("Red Star, Winter Orbit") or feel more like ideas than proper narratives ("Fragments of a Hologram Rose"). But those intimidated by the breadth and density of Gibson's Nebula-, Philip K. Dick- and Hugo-winning work should try his stories. Don't judge them by their modest lengths. Chrome shines bright.

4-0 out of 5 stars A turning point
Gibson's writing marks a turning point in the mood and themes of contemporary Sci-fi (see "The Gernsback Continuum"). Some very interesting, and very dark, stories. A great, quick read.

4-0 out of 5 stars Solid, introductory selections
This is a short collection of some of Gibson's only short stories and provides a pretty solid glimpse into the cyberpunk genre. The stories themselves often seem a bit incomplete, a little fragmented at times, they were Gibson's early attempts at writing.Some of the other stories such as 'Dogfight' and 'Burning Chrome' are excellent in idea and execution.A good read overall.

4-0 out of 5 stars all wonderful but not all cyberpunk
While William Gibson IS a gifted writer with his original insights into post-modern technological cultural, these short stories don't all revolve around this theme. Only Johnny Mnemonic, New Rose Hotel, Winter Market and Burning Chrome. These stories are the of the same caliber as Neuromancer and Count Zero (the other two Gibson novels I've read). The other stories were not throwaways, but they were goodies thrown into the bag- all good, some exceptional, prosed with short yet deep stories. This is a definite addition to a Gibson collection, but would I go as far as saying that this is a definite addition to a cyberpunk collection... perhaps. ... Read more

12. Miracle Worker, The (Acting Edition)
by William Gibson
Paperback: 110 Pages (2010-03-26)
list price: US$7.50 -- used & new: US$7.44
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0573612382
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Drama / 7m, 7f / Unit setImmortalized onstage and screen by Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke, this classic tells the story of Annie Sullivan and her student, blind and mute Helen Keller. The Miracle Worker dramatizes the volatile relationship between the lonely teacher and her charge. Trapped in a secret, silent world, unable to communicate, Helen is violent, spoiled, almost sub-human and treated by her family as such. Only Annie realizes that there is a mind and spirit waiting to be rescued from the dark, tortured silence. With scenes of intense physical and emotional dynamism, Annie's success with Helen finally comes with the utterance of a single, glorious word: "water". "Interesting, absorbing and moving."- New York Post ... Read more

Customer Reviews (43)

5-0 out of 5 stars Thank you.
This was a favorite of mine as a small girl... came the day after Christmas, but was ordered very late during the holiday season.. so now its a birthday gift... thank you.
Book is in perfect condition.

2-0 out of 5 stars Aaaarrrrrrrrggggghhhhhhhhh!!!!!
An inspiring story, but a difficult book to trudge through.I never have enjoyed reading the scripts for modern plays - it's so much better to watch them being performed. I'm not sure that either of the Hollywood films has really captured the essence of the story, but watching them is certainly more enjoyable than reading this book.The only way we could get my daughter through it (for a 6th grade assignment) was by reading it out aloud and giving the characters ridiculous accents (for example, Captain Keller became a pirate).Only get this book from the library, and even then, only if you have an assignment to do !

5-0 out of 5 stars Thank you
Thank you very much/ this item was in perfect condition when I got it, it was received in a very timely matter, this was one of my favorite stories when I was little and I am glad to have it!
Thank you

5-0 out of 5 stars The miracle worker
I chose this book "The miracle worker" because I knew it was going to be about the adventure of Helen Keller and the way she learned to communicate with her hands because she was blind and deaf.My feelings about the story after I read it was that nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it you can accomplish anything.Yes, this book was what I thought it would be.I felt the same way about the book after I read it. My feelings didn't change because it turned out the way that I expected.

This story is about a teacher who had one of the same problems as the child she was teaching so she knew what her student was going through.The teacher and the child become the worst of enemies but then realize how much they really care about each other.They go through rough times but at the end everything falls into place.It is a true story of Helen Keller and Annie.The parents go through a difficult time watching the teacher, Annie, teach Helen as if she were a regular child. They think that the teacher is not a very good teacher.In the beginning, they want Annie to leave but later on they see that Annie is going to be the one who gets through to Helen.

Two reasons why I like this book is because it shows that anything is possible if you try hard enough and that you can get through to the most stubborn person in the world.

I think that this book is for the age of twelve years old and up. I chose twelve years old and up because you need to be able to understand what you're reading.Twelve year olds also have a good variety of vocabulary.So I suggest that you read this book because it will give you a great feeling inside!

I would give this book a five out of five rating because it is a very good book!!!

This book is about a girl who finds herself with the help of a teacher, everyone should read this book and I promise you that you will not waste your time!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars good book
This is a very good book about the truth of a little who is in bad shape and then made it throuth with help. And parents who are willing to give for their little girl who is having a hard time and can't see or hear and speak. ... Read more

13. The Miracle Worker: A Play
by William Gibson
Paperback: 128 Pages (2008-06-17)
list price: US$12.99 -- used & new: US$3.94
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1416590846
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Based on the remarkable true story of Helen Keller and her teacher Annie Sullivan, this inspiring and unforgettable play has moved countless readers and become an American classic.

Young Helen Keller, blind, deaf, and mute since infancy, is in danger of being sent to an institution because her inability to communicate has left her frustrated and violent. In desperation, her parents seek help from the Perkins Institute, which sends them a "half-blind Yankee schoolgirl" named Annie Sullivan to tutor their daughter. Despite the Kellers' resistance and the belief that Helen "is like a little safe, locked, that no one can open," Annie suspects that within Helen lies the potential for more, if only she can reach her. Through persistence, love, and sheer stubbornness, Annie breaks through Helen's walls of silence and darkness and teaches her to communicate, bringing her into the world at last. ... Read more

14. The Ware Tetralogy
by Rudy Rucker
Paperback: 704 Pages (2010-06-01)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$15.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1607012111
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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An omnibus of Rudy Rucker's groundbreaking series [Software, Wetware, Freeware, and Realware], with an introduction by William Gibson, author of Neuromancer. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

2-0 out of 5 stars Derivative and shallow
Clearly a book intended to be borrowed from a library, indeed, most of the ideas seem to have been so borrowed -- so blatantly that I thought it might be satire or hoax.Consider Mr Rucker's key magic substance Imipolex-G, which first hit print in '73 under another man's name (T. Pynchon).Either Gibson and Rucker have never heard of Mr. P or are perpetuating an in-joke, but no credit is given in either foreword or afterword.Now I realize that few of those reading scifi also read "literature", but a rip is a rip. (Kids, the characters "Tashteego" and "Daggoo" are rips from Melville.)And, no surprise, Mr Rucker is not a stranger to literary hoax (viz. "Saucer Wisdom").With this "tetralogy", I believe we are looking at a hoax, perhaps it is some sort of collegially written satire?I feel *almost* able to put my finger on the sources of these characters, and most plot snippets *seem* familiar. (The flying to the moon bit is from Lovecraft, for example. In fact, the second two volumes feature slug-like Lovecrafty creatures called "moldies".)

Rucker's characters lack either of the features that seem to me essential: depth and development.They are shallow and one-dimensional, stereotypes, forgettable, uninteresting and insofar as they are defined, seemingly derived from some other author's work; some seem to be shadows of Pynchon characters, such as Pig Bodine. The characters seem all to be foils for a hero, but there is no hero.

There is no plot, no "story arc"; this book consists of 800 pages of half-anecdotes, situations which seem always resolved by dei-ex-machinarum, gratuitous perverted sex, and inexplicable human reactions, most typically what is called flatness of affect, adrenal exhaustion and inappropriate response.The language is wooden, the vocabulary stunted and unevocative, the sentences short and declarative; the author surrenders to the temptation to invent hipster "futuristic" slang; he also toys with English dialect, chiefly to mock "rednecks". In lieu of plot, the author attempts to "rollick", a literary technique usually described in favorable jacket reviews. He does not rollick.He has his moments, particularly in the earlier material, written long ago, before he became convinced of his genius.

The fourth volume is a decrepit exercise in banality, tedious to read, embarassing to possess, shameless to write, profitable to publish.

Gibson must have owed him big-time to write that glowing introduction, a eulogy reminiscent of a late renaissance dedication to a noble patron, in short, bogus.

I keep thinking, "this was some sort of hoax, there is some subliminal subtext here, some memetic injection."The alternative is that it is just bad.But, de gustibus non disputandam.

5-0 out of 5 stars What a fun ride!
I picked this up when I realized that I had a Rucker deficit--I knew about his novels, but hadn't read any. So I got this and it blew my mind with funky characters (yeah, for some of them, that seems literal), strange but straight sf, and occasional turns of phrase that tickle the pleasure center of the brain. Humor, weirdness, kinks and creativity abound in these pages--I suggest turning them!

4-0 out of 5 stars Rudy Rucker Writes Revelations
In the first three books of his `live robots' series, Rucker is so brilliant on so many levels it is sometimes hard to realize that he was writing to be read for fun.

In the first three books of his Tetralogy, Rudy Rucker shows himself to be one of the rarest and brightest lights that science fiction produces; a science fiction writer who knows what he's talking about in terms of the science involved; and one who makes it happen in prose that an adult will find entertaining-even, and perhaps especially, an adult who has read something other than science fiction.

His books are like looking at an onion in cross-section: you can stay close to the surface layers if you like, or you can look deeper and try to go to see what he does and how he does it. Rucker always lets you go deeper but no matter where you stop looking, it's still a wonderful onion.

Some highlights:

Rucker's central scientific premise works by getting around the limit of artificial intelligence established by Marvin Minsky's observation that a system cannot create another system as complex as itself.

Rucker's plots involve conflict between machines and machines and between machines and humans. What comes from it creates some wildly entertaining reading involving comedy, drama, war ("how about a nice laser-blast?") and intrigue-and sometimes all three at once.

Rucker's use of language is like no one else's. He's been compared to Phillip K. Dick, but only because too many people have read Phillip K. Dick. Rucker's language is all his own and it is just *better*-often better than mainstream fiction writers whose broader audiences allow them to be paid a lot more for a lot less.

The books are a breeze to read and Rucker comes up with gems of language that demonstrate not only that he can pound typewriter keys but that he has the rare gift of understanding that each member of his audience is another mind and playing with that fact with every word.

I am delighted that they are republishing the trilogy as an omnibus edition. I loved the first three books and it will be as if I'm getting the fourth one for free.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hysterical
I recently re-read the 4 books and the first 3 are just great. Clever, inventive and laugh out loud funny. Really great Science Fiction. The 4th book is a disappointment and very tedious. It was written years after the first 3 and Rucker didn't get better. However, the first 3 are FABULOUS.

5-0 out of 5 stars Essential Sci-FI
Though I own every book of this tetralogy, I think I'm going to buy them collected as they are here because out of any living author I can think of, Rudy Rucker deserves my money (plus at 16 bones this is a STEAL).

When I first read Software (the first book in this collection) I flipped: it has become one of my favorite books ever. The series follows the rise and development of artificial intelligence on Earth and the Moon. Maybe that sounds vaguely interesting to you or maybe you think it sounds stupid and boring or simply over done, but Rucker approaches the whole story with a playfulness and irreverence and creativity that has left me only ever wanting more. The 'ware series is educated and does speculative fiction in a refreshing, funny and even gritty way. Rucker tackles topics like mathematics and spirituality but you would be hard pressed to ever called him pretentious or contrived. Great characters like Sta Hi Mooney, a young drug frenzied loser punk, and Cobb Anderson, an alcoholic old man ex-scientist ex-human (!), color the story with Rucker's unique charm. This is a winner for Philip Dick and Stanislaw Lem fans, though I think even readers that don't like science fiction will enjoy Rucker. ... Read more

15. The Difference Engine (Spectra special editions)
by William Gibson
Mass Market Paperback: 429 Pages (1992-01-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 055329461X
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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With the computer age arriving a century ahead of its time--during the Industrial Revolution--politician's daughter Sybil, explorer and paleontologist Edward, and diplomat and spy Laurence race toward a rendezvous with history. Reprint. NYT.Amazon.com Review
A collaborative novel from the premier cyberpunk authors,William Gibson and Bruce Sterling.Part detective story, parthistorical thriller, The Difference Engine takes us not forwardbut back, to an imagined 1885: the Industrial Revolution is in fulland inexorable swing, powered by steam-driven, cybernetic engines.Charles Babbage perfects his Analytical Engine, and the computer agearrives a century ahead of its time. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (109)

5-0 out of 5 stars I was truly shocked...
...at the 2.7 average review this book received!So shocked, I first thought that maybe the rating had something to do with this (Spectra) edition!Or that I clicked the wrong link!I checked that I clicked the right link.I did.

Well, I liked this book a lot.I love books that make me think, or encourage me to learn more about things I may not be familiar with - this book had both qualities.

This is the process I used to really get into this book:

1.Read it first to get the story.
2.Looked up people, terms, events I was not familiar with.(I learned a lot! - Google "The Difference Dictionary" for a great one-stop resource that not only summarizes aspects of the real people, places and events of the book, but provides links for more in-depth study.)
3.Read the book again with my new-found knowledge that allowed me to appreciate the book more thoroughly.

I think "The Difference Engine" is a wonderful re-imagining of the people and places of Victorian-Era London.I feel that Mallory was the most well-developed character and I read his section (during my first reading) as fast as I could to find out what happened to him.I was literally reading "The Difference Engine" non-stop during a weekend.

Reading through slowly a second time, I noticed subtle things I missed the first time.Like how certain people who seemed to disappear, were in fact acting behind the scenes (Sybil, for instance).I was still left with questions at the end of my reading to ponder, and to me, books that leave me pondering are the best!

I do wonder about the purpose of the long sex scene, but I think that while Mallory was... occupied, and Fraser was recovering, and the police were dealing with the factories, these things together allowed London to become total chaos.Maybe Mallory needed a break from his grim reality...

I would recommend this book to lovers of all things Victorian, those who enjoy mysteries and intrigue, and to those who don't mind endings that can be a bit ambiguous, leaving the reader thinking.

I do not recommend this book to those who would dislike researching people, places, and events portrayed in a novel, or who need every loose end tied up in an obvious fashion.

3-0 out of 5 stars It is exactly what average rating says it is
A friend of mine recommended this book and I bought it despite mediocre average rating based on reviews. Well, it is exactly what you see on the average rating, a solid 3 star work which spans 420 pages. Absolutely no character development, and to tell the truth I can't really understand the idea of the whole book, for the cunning authors are too pseudo-smart to be understood, taking the steampunk shooting adventures aside and how-does-it-help-the-story treasures like page 228 'Then, with a crooked smile, she slid out of bed, and squatted by its side, hoisting the chemise to her waist. "That champagne runs right through you, don't it? Don't look unless you want to." Mallory looked aside politely and listend to the rattle of piss'.

After reading all the way through 420 pages I really feel tricked and would like to get my time back from the authors... alas that is not possible. On the other hand, I already suspected exactly that sort of quality by 1/4th of the book and should have stopped then.

3-0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
I thought I'd love this book. I really did. I mean, it's a classic of steampunk literature and alternate history! But, I didn't.

Except for a pretty good beginning, the plot moves slowly and a bit disjointedly. There are a couple of exceptions, but most of the characters are unengaging and uninteresting. The conclusion is so vague that I had to read it twice before I figured out what the 400+ pages had been leading to.

There are exciting bits, and I enjoyed the use of historical characters who have followed very different paths from what they did in real history. The description- the sights, sounds, smells- is such that one feels that one is really *there*. But the novel is as much- perhaps more- a political one as a fantasy one. The class riots are given as much attention as the main plot, leading one to wonder at the end if this were two books mashed together. Perhaps the two authors didn't quite agree where the plot should go, and this is the result. I feel a firm editor would have shaped this book up into a stunner, but instead it rather wanders.

1-0 out of 5 stars Unbelievably BORING!!!
The plot takes forever to develop. Characters not at all interesting. Endless English drivel. One saving grace - I would read about 20 pages each night when I had trouble falling asleep. Problem solved. I did throw this book in the trash about 200 pages in.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Alternate History Novel
This book is both entertaining and informative. Many, if not all, of the main characters are historical figures whose life paths have been altered by the authors to fit into their plausible alternate history universe.The plotting is brisk, the characters straight forward but interesting, and there are tidbits of fun facts sprinkled throughout (the etymology of vitriol, for example). In short, if you are a fan of William Gibson (I have not read any other book by Bruce Sterling), and plausible alternate histories, you will not be disappointed by this book. ... Read more

16. Darwin's Bastards: Astounding Tales from Tomorrow
Paperback: 416 Pages (2010-04-27)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$9.55
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1553654927
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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These 23 stories take us on a twisted fun ride into some future times and parallel universes where characters as diverse as a one-legged International Actuarial Forensics specialist, a pharmaceutical guinea pig, and a far-sighted fetus engage in their own games of the survival of the fittest. From a new short story by William Gibson in which a teen disassociated from his body haunts his neighborhood through the decades, to Douglas Coupland’s balls-out satire of a slightly futuristic Survivor, to Sheila Heti's meditative romp about beleaguered physicists and Oracle of Delphi-like Blackberrys, Darwin’s Bastards is a fast-moving, thought-provoking reading extravaganza.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars The future with a Canadian twist
What if fame was illegal?What if your Blackberry could predict the future?What if someone figured out how to clone Jesus?The best contemporary Canadian writers attempt to answer these questions in the new short story anthology, //Darwin's Bastards//.Edited by Zsuzsi Gartner, this collection of speculative and science fiction is as diverse as its authors, which include Douglas Coupland, Mark Anthony Jarman, and Yann Martel.
The more lyrically written selections tend to be hard to follow.Thankfully, there are enough exciting or scathingly witty stories to make up for it, the best of which reference current cultural or political issues.

In "Sunshine City," for instance, Timothy Taylor envisions a future where all of society has become a network of luxurious gated communities, complete with golf courses. "Large Garbage" by Buffy Cram hypothesizes the fate of an intellectual middle class in our current economic crisis: clans of highly intelligent homeless people holding grand salons in empty McMansions across the countryside. The best of the group, "1999" by Pasha Malla, imagines the aftermath of Armageddon in the year 2000, when Prince is the only man alive.||S.F. fans and literary scenesters alike will find much to celebrate in //Darwin's Bastards//.

Reviewed by Katie Cappello

4-0 out of 5 stars Review
The opening story intrigued me as I read about a child wondering why some mutations are successful while others aren't?What parent hasn't had to have that conversation at one point with their curious little one? For me, while the first couple of pages grabbed my attention, all the footnotes and references in the first chapter were a bit of a drag.This thankfully changed as we moved on to the next chapter which became more fluid.

This book is a great read.I did find however, that once I put it down, I really had to be in a thoughtful, pensive mood in order to pick it up and enjoy it again. It's not a read that you can mindlessly enjoy, although at times this can be a good thing.

The book is described as being "An exploration of future times, ... acollection of social attire, fabulist tales and irreverent dystopian visions of the day after tomorrow."And let me tell you, it does not disappoint.Every aspect of social life is discussed in this book, from the rise of reality tv to the feelings that if we don't have our blackberries attached to our ears, the world will end. While some of the book really describes how humanity is going down the tubes, it backs up the claims and doesn't make the reader feel as if they are the cause for the end of civilization as we know it. The writers of these 23 short stories did a great job in really expressing their views without sounding elitist or "holier than though."That's difficult when writing a book on what is going wrong with humanity.

My feelings are if you are looking for something intellectual, that will really get you thinking about how humanity has and will develop (or break down), this book is for you.And while some of these stories are funny and really out there, they really help to open up an intelligent dialogue when speaking about social issues. ... Read more

17. The Church of England 1688-1832: Unity and Accord
by Dr William Gibson, William Gibson
Hardcover: 288 Pages (2000-11-02)
list price: US$120.00 -- used & new: US$107.60
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0415240220
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This book is a wide ranging new history of a key period in the history of the church in England, from the 'Glorious Revolution' of 1688-89 to the Great Reform Act of 1832. This was a tumultuous time for both church and state, when the relationship between religion and politics was at its most fraught. The Church of England 1688 - 1832 considers the consequences of these important events and the rapid changes it brought tothe Anglican Church and to national politics. ... Read more

18. Johnny Mnemonic
by William Gibson
Paperback: 164 Pages (1995-06-01)
list price: US$12.00 -- used & new: US$7.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 044100234X
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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The award-winning author of Neuromancer brings his acclaimed talents to the screen in a March movie release, starring Keanu Reeves. This special edition features his screenplay and the original story on which it's based. Johnny's a 21st century smuggler with a computer chip in his head--24 hours to complete his mission.Amazon.com Review
Johnny Mnemonicis based on a story published inGibson's collection of short fiction, Burning ChromeFans will have the opportunity to see Gibson'simagination morph from short story to screenplay. In this specialtrade edition, which includes both the screenplay for the film,starring Keanu Reeves, and the original short story, Gibson fans willbe allowed a rare glimpse at the evolution of the creative process.

Johnny Mnemonic takes readers into William Gibson'sdark, slick cities of the future. Johnny is a 21st-Century smuggler.Data is his contraband. And he's got plenty of it. In fact, he hasway too much.Caught in a situation he could not easily get out of,Johnny over-loads the computer-chip in his head. The data iswhite-hot and he has twenty-four hours to down-load or else he'sfried.As he rushes to his destination, he realizes that anarmy of Yakuza killers is on his trail; they want the data hepossesses--and they are willing to take his head to get it. In anon-stop, action-packed race against the time-bomb in his brain,Johnny's only allies are a cybernetic dolphin and a gorgeous girlstreetfighter with a hardwired taste for violence. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

3-0 out of 5 stars interesting
This was interesting, although I really rather liked the anthology "burning chrome" better (includes the short story.) I thought the screenplay was interesting because I really enjoyed the short story, and was curious to see how such a good short story became such a wretched movie.One item of note was the "rant" of "spider" (henry rollins) that seemed to have been lifted from dennis leary.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good short story turns into cliche-ridden screenplay
The short story Johnny Mnemonic is one of my favorite short stories, and Iwas very excited when I heard they were making a movie of it.This wasbefore I knew that good stories don't necessarily turn into good movies. The movie has several problems, including a screen-play that has a few toomany genre cliches.Hard-core fans of William Gibson may have enjoyedspotting elements from his previous work, and in my opinion it is thesehard-core fans who will enjoy this film the most.This book here has theshort story (good) and the screen-play (interesting for Gibson fans andpeople who enjoyed the film). ... Read more

19. Camp Life In The Woods and the Tricks of Trapping and Trap Making
by William Hamilton Gibson
Paperback: 184 Pages (2008-04-11)
list price: US$12.90 -- used & new: US$10.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1406870692
Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars
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Author of "Pastoral Days". ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

1-0 out of 5 stars Most Disappointing
I saw a copy of this on line and was impressed, so I ignored the other low rating, but the book I received was very disappointing; more so than any other book I've ever purchased.Don't buy this one, look at some of the other versions that have pictures and illustrations as this one is worthless with out them.

1-0 out of 5 stars NO ILLUSTRATIONS
Be forewarned...this hardback versions does NOT include the illustrations which are an instrumental component of understanding the text !!! ... Read more

20. A Reenchanted World: The Quest for a New Kinship with Nature
by James William Gibson
Paperback: 320 Pages (2010-03-30)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$5.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0805091483
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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“A fast-paced and highly rewarding account of the struggle to realize a deeper consciousness of the human relationship with nature—before it is too late.”—James Gustave Speth

For more than two centuries, as Western cultures became ever more industrialized, the natural world was increasingly regarded as little more than a collection of useful raw resources. The folklore of powerful forest spirits was displaced by the practicalities of logging; the traditional rituals of hunting ceremonies gave way to indiscriminate butchering of animals for meat markets. In the famous lament of Max Weber, our surroundings became “disenchanted,” with nature’s magic swept away by secularization and rationalization.

But as acclaimed sociologist James William Gibson reveals in this insightful study, the culture of enchantment is making an astonishing comeback. From Greenpeace eco-warriors to evangelical Christians preaching “creation care” and geneticists who speak of human-animal kinship, Gibson finds a remarkably broad yearning for a spiritual reconnection to nature. As we grapple with increasingly dire environmental disasters, Gibson points to this cultural shift as the last utopian dream, the final hope for protecting the world that all of us must live in.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Guide book to human/Earth healing.
Great book seeking to reintroduce the human enterprise to its matrix of well being: i.e. the interconnection between humans and the Earth.

Gardner's thesis is a simple one: in countless ways, many of us are returning to our matrix of well being by discovering anew our interconnections to the natural world.

In many regards the author is engaged in a narrative of the importance of discovering eco-psychology as an authentic font to human viability, wholeness-and perhaps most importantly-giving us an opportunity to claim our own wildness again. In contemporary terms, the human enterprise has long since succumbed to domestication that leads to a surreal ordering and disempowerment of our own Soul; the author suggests through his stories, narrative, and point of view that our ALIVENESS has been taken from us long ago, and if we want to reclaim it again, we need to go back to what our ancient ancestors understood about the healing matrix of the Earth.

For those who have been claimed by the forces of the corporate world, you will find no lasting value in this book; in fact, your ego will inhibite you from seeing any lasting value herein these pages. But if you are torn between these two worlds, then this book may be the medicine to awaken you again to wonder, mystery, and the pristine waters of healing. As with everything, the choice is your alone.

The author presents numerous examples of the feelings associated with this rediscovery along with the actions many are now taking to defend the natural world from continued human assault and disrespect by the corporate and political greed driven policies that have diminished the human/Earth connection.

Gibson suggests that these efforts to reclaim ancient wisdom found in indigenous cultures and world view may reverse the degradation that has brought the human species to the precipice of our own extinction.

I agree with the author's context upholding sustainability predicated on us learning to see with new eyes.

The rupture long created by the mechanical world view geared to profits, dysfunctional consumption/production will only be overturned by our reengagement of the natural world as a living source of well being capable of healing the rupture and awakening us to our own wholeness again.

This book is a must read for anyone reclaiming this connection and engaging a process of personal healing with the Earth.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Reenchanted World: The Quest for a New Kinship with nature
The best nonfiction of its type I've ever read. One of my all-time favorites. A Reenchanted World: The Quest for a New Kinship with NatureA "must read" for every lover of nature, wildlife and wild places.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Reenchanted World
As a citizen of planet earth, I believe Mr. Gibson's book gives a well considered and researched historical review, warning and ultimately, hope to the average layperson who is concerned, and quite often, frightened for the future of our natural world. Using the term "reenchantment" originally gave me a confused and uneasy feeling. Was this to be a book of science or new age rhetoric? Gleaning ideas, facts and history from many varied sources, the author manages to weave a story that is at once discouraging but hopeful. The final chapters, however, show one the difference even a single personal campaign for change can make to turning the tide of what seems eminent disaster. This is a very worthwhile and important book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable and Uplifting
This is one of the best books I have read on the interesting subject of meaningful relations between humans and other creatures. The author offers a plethora of stories about inter-species relationships that are both captivating and remarkable. He describes many current human activities and projects that are serving to bring us back in harmony with Nature. He is unremittingly hopeful as he foresees the emergence of a `culture of enchantment' - people who recognizes nature as sacred and alive...people who will MAKE Nature sacred. I especially like his words when he says that we can "renew communication and establish kinship (with Nature) through ceremony and ritual".

Gibson has surpassed most of the masculine-oriented environmental writers of the 20th century as he places emphasis on the relationship between humans and individual organisms (as opposed to relationships with species or ecosystems or with `Nature') -he realizes that specific connections to animals and particular landscapes are vital. He also says that if we lose grizzlies (or any other aspects of wild nature) then what we primarily lose is our ability to grow through relations with them. He really gets it!

On the down side, Gibson, like virtually all writers who are envisioning a human transition from `empire to Earth community' (David Korten's words), makes the mistake of identifying spirit and `making-sacred' as the foundation for the movement. In describing his vision of a culture of enchantment he says "More than an ideology, this quest for connection indicates a fundamental rejection of the most basic premises of modern thought and society". What he means is that we must reject the modern scientific vision of the world that gives us a machine-like, pre-programmed world made of dead, inanimate matter answering only to the vagaries of chance and the unyielding universal laws of Nature. We must have a new paradigm which transcends and includes the lifeless model that holds sway now. Gibson and others will not succeed in grounding the vital transition they envision by making an end-run around science...they must face it head on. Unfortunately, Gibson, at this point, is not doing it.

For an in-depth critique of the limitations of modern scientific methods and a fascinating explanation of the emerging holistic paradigm (scientific paradigm), not to mention an interesting evaluation of the forces that are holding it in check, you should read Beyond Male-Think: How Challenging the Dominator Model Can Open Our Minds by P.J.Tryon.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Introduction to the Subject
I strongly believe that whatever hope for the future we and other species have lies not with technology or the recovery of consumerism but with the subject matter of this book--a renewed emotional connection with the natural world. So I was greatly looking forward to reading this book and maybe as a result am a little disappointed.

Don't get me wrong. It's a good broad (if therefore somewhat necessarily shallow) look at the history of the subject. If you have a long-standing interest in this topic, you'll be reading about a lot of events you remember but there will probably be enough you missed that you should keep pen and paper nearby to jot down subjects for further investigation.

We get brief looks at a wide range of related topics: indigenous spirituality, famous authors, Gaia theory, earth photos from space, Earth First! and related groups, wildlife, positive and negative religious effects, land use law, motorized recreation, politics, and many more.

Some subjects seemed oddly missing. For instance, although arts are touched upon, there's no mention of musician Paul Winter who made many recordings on the exact subject of our relationship with the natural world.

In general, rather than having this read like well-researched recent history, I would have preferred more current examples of people talking about their attempts at connection with the earth. Let's hear from the wildlife rehabbers, and the organic farmers and gardeners, and the pagans, and the eco-warriors, and the conservation biologists.

But if you're new to the topic, this is essential history for you. It will help raise your interest and lead you on to more reading, experiences, and connections with the earth and like-minded humans. ... Read more

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