Pattern Recognition has made me take action, both by dumping it off my computer and writing this short review. "There's nothing more inconvenient than an old queen with a head cold", but this story blows right by that. It critiques its cars, food, television, its shoes, your shoes, and makes fodder of the characters. It does everything but contrive a story in the two miserable hours that I listened to it. Listener beware!!
I wished I had listened to the sample first. I loved the authors "Neuromancer" and thought this would be good as well. It took over 3 hours before the story got interesting and then it went nowhere. It was not an enjoyable listen/read. Only my dogged determination to get my "money's" worth made me finish the book.
After listening to at least 100 audio books, this is the first one that almost put me to sleep while driving. This books starts out slow and then goes nowhere. I knew I was going to be driving for about 4 hours, so I thought I would download a new book to make the time go faster. Wrong! After the first hour, I thought ok, the prose is a bit eclectic, but let's give it a chance. After the second hour, I still had no idea what was going on and then I started to yawn and kept on yawning until I reached my destination.
I know some people will think this is a good book just as I know some people are completely insane. I've read Neuromancer and although it was a bit tedious, there was at least a story there. What story there is here is bogged down in minutiae and mundania. Gibson seems to think that the protagonist is so deeply interesting that he forgets that something has to happen to make the read worthwhile. He sure seems to be having fun but there is almost nothing to make this one moving, interesting, or suspenseful nor is there anything that most people will relate to on any level other than mundane. I guess that excludes people who lost someone on 9/11. Mystery? Thriller? Don't make me laugh. When I got finished with this one I asked myself, "Who cares?" There is really nothing to care about in this entire book. There is no real conflict and the ending fades off into tedium. The reader was good when she wasn't using her own voice. Really. She had some good character voices and nice accents but her own voice was soporific to the extreme. I would give her another chance but Gibson is on my "Do Not Call" list. I gave it one star but only because the system won't allow a null.
According to my hard drive based music player designed by a major computer manufacturer that I have cleverly sandblasted the logo off of, I have only experienced 19:52 of this book. In that time I have swapped back to Krakatoa by Simon Winchester several times cause I was so bored and annoyed with the blase pretention of the main character. I will rephrase that last sentance, I found a British guy explaining plate tectonics more riviting than the "simple prose" of this book. Beyond the slow continental drift of the plot and nerotic attention to describing every detail of everything in every scene, this book offers very little in the way action. If you are trying to decide to d/l this book, first read at least two pages of the reviews and see who you identify with most. If you are looking for bleading edge cyberdrama this is not it, more like cyberpunk for AOLers. One high point I did enjoy so far is the way the main character gets hives from seeing Tommy Hilfinger products.
It was extremely difficult to listen to this book. The plot was very slow and as other reviewers have stated, too detailed and wordy, to the extreme it gets really annoying. The narrator's style doesn't help either. She doesn't seem to be successful in catching the listener's attention with the tone of her voice. I'll avoid this narrator in the future.
I've read books by Gibson and other cyberpunk fiction authors and enjoyed them. Unfortunately I found Pattern Recognition to be unpleasantly wordy and shallow. That said, I only slogged through the first hour of it, and another reviewer has indicated it improves to 'fair and middling' later on. I'm posting this review as a cautionary note, as I've been delighted with every other Audible purchase I've made.
Gibson has always been ahead of his time. His ability of combining philosophy, current trends, technology and the near future is unparalleled. Pattern Recognition is no exception. Tips to know if you'll enjoy this book:
- if you've thought about the relationship of advertising to self, you'll enjoy this
- if the names Baudrillard or Derrida ring some kind of bell, you may enjoy this book
- if you've though of the ways in which identity, globalism and branding link into each other, you may appreciate this book
- if you have a sense of why people might choose a Mac over Windows, Beta over VHS, RealPlayer over Windows Media, you may very well vibe with this book
- if you don't mind being thrust into dialog that assumes a lot of cultural opcultural knowledge, you'll enjoy this.