Philip Bowser, September 1, 2011 (view all comments by Philip Bowser)
Set in a post-September 11 time period, this novel does a great job of setting an anxious mood. Everybody is suspicious of everyone else. Many are spying on each other or wondering who is spying upon them. Other than that, there are relatively few bursts of action and even fewer well-turned phrases (which is what originally attracted me to Gibson's work.) If you can endure the quivering mood long enough, you will be rewarded a couple of times.
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Mark Durst, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by Mark Durst)
Superbly creepy beginning, with expert plotting taking one through to the satisfying, though surprisingly quiet, finale. Excellent character studies, lively, detailed images of American urban scenes, and fascinating just-around-the-corner tech. Gibson's commentary on our current social trends gets steadily better as it hits closer to home.
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Berkley Publishing Group -
by Jill Owens,
Spook Country is Gibson at the top of his game, with gorgeous detail, page-turning suspense, and fascinating characters. If you've never read this author in the past because his work was categorized as science fiction, pick up this book, which is all too eerily close to home.
by Jill Owens
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"Set in the same high-tech present day as Pattern Recognition, Gibson's fine ninth novel offers startling insights into our paranoid and often fragmented, postmodern world. When a mysterious, not yet actual magazine, Node, hires former indie rocker–turned–journalist Hollis Henry to do a story on a new art form that exists only in virtual reality, Hollis finds herself investigating something considerably more dangerous. An operative named Brown, who may or may not work for the U.S. government, is tracking a young, Russian-speaking Cuban-Chinese criminal named Tito. Brown's goal is to follow Tito to yet another operative known only as the old man. Meanwhile, a mysterious cargo container with CIA connections repeatedly appears and disappears on the worldwide Global Positioning network, never quite coming to port. At the heart of the dark goings-on is Bobby Chombo, a talented but unbalanced specialist in Global Positioning software who refuses to sleep in the same spot two nights running. Compelling characters and crisp action sequences, plus the author's trademark metaphoric language, help make this one of Gibson's best. 8-city author tour. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
by Library Journal,
"Part thriller, part spy novel, part speculative fiction, Gibson's provocative work is like nothing you have ever read before. Highly recommended."
by Seattle Times,
"[T]he pleasure of Gibson's prose would be enough inducement for most of us to immerse ourselves in this book the way Tito longs to immerse himself in the rich warmth of a bowl of duck soup."
"Spook Country is beautiful, clever, timely and dead-on ironic."
by Los Angeles Times,
"[A] puzzle palace of bewitching proportions and stubborn echoes."
by San Diego Union-Tribune,
"Spook Country is a thriller discernible only by its thin vapor trails; determining the precise paths followed by its various threads is probably impossible and most assuredly beside the point."
by Kirkus Reviews,
"Readable and mildly engaging, but not the kind of cutting-edge work we expect from Gibson."
The latest New York Times bestseller by the author of Pattern Recognition offers the story of an investigative journalist who is assigned the task of finding a spook — an intelligence agent who refuses to sleep in the same place twice.
The New York Times bestselling author of such high-tech dystopian thriller[s]”* as Neuromancer and Zero History presents his first novel since 2010.
Flynne Fisher lives down a country road, in a rural near-future America where jobs are scarce, unless you count illegal drug manufacture, which shes trying to avoid. Her brother Burton lives, or tries to, on money from the Veterans Administration, for neurological damage suffered in the Marines elite Haptic Recon unit. Flynne earns what she can by assembling product at the local 3D printshop. She made more as a combat scout in an online game, playing for a rich man, but shes had to let the shooter games go.
Wilf Netherton lives in London, seventy-some years later, on the far side of decades of slow-motion apocalypse. Things are pretty good now, for the haves, and there arent many have-nots left. Wilf, a high-powered publicist and celebrity-minder, fancies himself a romantic misfit, in a society where reaching into the past is just another hobby.
Burtons been moonlighting online, secretly working security in some game prototype, a virtual world that looks vaguely like London, but a lot weirder. Hes got Flynne taking over shifts, promised her the games not a shooter. Still, the crime she witnesses there is plenty bad.
Flynne and Wilf are about to meet one another. Her world will be altered utterly, irrevocably, and Wilfs, for all its decadence and power, will learn that some of these third-world types from the past can be badass.
*New York Magazine
William Gibson returns with his first novel since 2010s New York Timesbestselling Zero History.
Where Flynne and her brother, Burton, live, jobs outside the drug business are rare. Fortunately, Burton has his veterans benefits, for neural damage he suffered from implants during his time in the USMCs elite Haptic Recon force. Then one night Burton has to go out, but theres a job hes supposed to do—a job Flynne didnt know he had. Beta-testing part of a new game, he tells her. The job seems to be simple: work a perimeter around the image of a tower building. Little buglike things turn up. Hes supposed to get in their way, edge them back. Thats all there is to it. Hes offering Flynne a good price to take over for him. What she sees, though, isnt what Burton told her to expect. It might be a game, but it might also be murder.
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