Mstation Book Reviews
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Mon, 04 Jul 2005

Gibson, Pattern Recognition

William Gibson, Pattern Recognition, Penguin

This is newish in paperback but has been out for a while in hardback. Also, the publisher is different in the USA I think. Our copy came from the UK.

William Gibson first surfaced in a big way with 1984's Neuromancer, with big thoughts and concepts with punk sensibilities. Since then there really haven't been ideas with the scope of Neuromancer's (the Net!) but more an examination, usually in a near dystopian future, of some way in which things aren't working too well.

In this novel we're right in an undefined present (Putin is the only head of state mentioned) and we scoot around between NYC, London, Tokyo, and Moscow while on a mission. The mission involves cult video footage, spys and demi-gangsters, and a cool and very likeable female protaginist.

The flow is nice and the descriptions, just as in other Gibson books, occasionally inspired. Characters are getting more fully developed these days and aren't just attitude on a stick or plot handholds.

I like the quote from one of the characters towards the end "I think it's all actually about the money for him." He grimaces. "Ultimately I find that that was the whole problem, with most of the dot-com people ..."

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