I have just always loved W. Gibson's writing. His characters are gritty, damaged amd very human. Thougn I appreciate his more recent creations, I must say that the Sprawl Trilogy is still my favorite.
I'm 22 minutes into Part II of this book and I'm lost. I'm just letting the story drone on, thinking at some point I'll be able to figure out what's going on. The plot summary from the Wikipedia page for Neuromancer is much easier to understand and way cooler than the actual book. I can't see what's going on in this book. There's a lot of cool cyberpunky lingo and street slang and great ideas, and I really want to like this book. I'm trying to like it, but I can't stay focused on it, and I can't see anything. I can't visualize the story like a movie in my head the way I can with other novels like Stephen King's The Shining or Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game. It's not that Gibson is a bad writer, but the way he writes reminds me of James Joyce's Portrait of an Artist where you're so deep inside the character's head that he doesn't ground you visually. Kind of the same deal here, though you're really not inside his head as much as assuming the protagonist's familiarity of the world around him, except you can't because he's in a strange future world and he doesn't bother explaining what he's seeing or thinking to help ground you. I can't see what's going on. The characters are cold and flat too. When I read the Wikipedia page, Neuromancer sounds like an awesome book that I want to read, but when I try to actually listen to it, I can't pay attention at all. My mind keeps drifting away from the book and I have to try hard to focus on it. I don't think it's the narrator's fault. I think the lingo's cool, but the descriptive imagery is virtually non-existent, the setting skips around from one place to another before you have a chance to figure out what's going on, and the motivations of the characters aren't clear. It's really not that coherent a story, and it's not an easy book to follow. The movie The Matrix borrowed a lot of ideas from this novel, including "The Matrix" itself and the idea of "jacking in" or "jacking out" of the Matrix. If William Gibson wrote his story more clearly, this book would have been the original Matrix movie. But instead, The Wachowski brothers got there first. I'll probably exchange this book for another. I just don't feel like working hard to study a novel the way I have to study a physics textbook. I'll definitely look forward to watching the movie when it comes out in theaters though--producers wouldn't dare make a movie as disjointed and hard to follow as this book.
I knew the book was a cult classic. Started Cyber Punk SciFi. Did not know that the writing style is very abstract. You need to listen carefully. May be a better read. I listen in the car and at times got lost. Overall was able to keep the story line in place. Narration great. I will definitely go onto the next book.
Will need a mental break to recuperate from the mental focus that was needed for Neuromancer. An easy five star though.
I've loved this book for decades. "Neuromancer" is nothing less than a classic, and a story I've enjoyed re-visiting every five years — it's always a new experience. That said, narrator Robertson Dean was utterly wrong for "Neuromancer." His voice is flat and without joy, he clearly does not understand quite a bit of the "lingo" he is reading (and thus puts emphasis on the wrong words, which makes following the dialog a trial), and — most tiresomely — this is yet another clueless dude who just CANNOT deliver dialog for female or non-white characters.Molly Millions, one of the most stone-cold women ever put to print, gets a generic, high-pitched whispery voice with just a hint of a nagging whine. That's right — the narrator thought that a half-cyborg killer should sound like a teenage boy impersonating his little sister. Good news — all the rest of the female characters sound like that, too.Asian characters get an unironic "chingchong"-style Chinese accent. An Armenian character gets a VERY poor Russian accent. The black characters sound like a parody of Beatniks from a Looney Tunes cartoon.I'd love to hear this book re-performed by someone like Jonathan Davis, the narrator of Snow Crash, who gave his characters authentic and unique voices. "Neuromancer" deserves a narrator as good as its story.
Hard to follow storyline. Space gangsters. Good guys - bad guys.
A Sci Fi junkie who occasionally goes slumming to read other literature.
Wow. Talk about a book ahead of its time. The concepts, terminology, and cultural references make this book one of a kind.
So cool to go back and read something that took shape in a very real way
Increasing my ops tempo by allowing storytellers to whisper in my ear(buds).
This book required two listenings for me; not that it is that difficult a book, just that I needed two tries to get myself plugged in to the literary and media gestalt that is audiobook listening. On the first pass I was evaluating it only on the level of the cool lingo and techno-noir dialog. Gibson’s terminology is so ripe that I wish I had a glossary to help me remember it all. If I could talk like his characters do I might even be cool. This is the way I first appraised it reading the paperback version years ago, and this is the only memory I had about the book. For me this book was seen as a sort of prose poem, the words were the thing. I just let them wash over my mind like a babbling brook over a moss covered rock. I never concerned myself with the story. It is the same way I engage with the movie Blade Runner: the visuals and the milieu are so convincing that I don’t mind that the story is thin. This was a mistake, for as cool as Gibson’s lingo is there is a story here. And, as I am intent on listening to the two sequels immediately after this, COUNT ZERO and MONA LISA OVERDRIVE, maybe, I thought, paying attention to what is going on in the first novel will enhance my enjoyment of the other books in the Sprawl series.
It helps me to know that this is William Gibson’s first book. That explains some of the passages where the action is hard to follow and the characters not fully realized. It does not help me to understand how Gibson could conjure up such a holographic vision of the future. I always hate it when outsiders, looking into the realm of Science Fiction, keep a scorecard on the prognostications made by various writers, as if that was the purpose of writing SF: to predict the future. Sure Gibson manages to foresee the coming internet computer age. It was predictable; many others have done the same. No, Gibson’s contribution is in melding the obvious computer age with cool techno-crime operators and the noir street sub-culture, and giving the resulting mélange a vocabulary that at once defines the culture and allows no room to question its validity. Gibson’s cyber-land has many of the technological advances we are now experiencing, but our world is nothing like the Sprawl. In NEUROMANCER we are presented with the gritty underbelly of the clean-room silicon-enabled technological culture that sometimes seems indistinguishable from magic. The Sprawl is populated with the criminal element that naturally would opportunistically arise to take advantage of the weak links in the system. Organized crime is fascinating if for nothing else its ability to capitalize on the weakness in any system. That, I believe, is Gibson’s great contribution to SF. He has extrapolated the advances technology would make like any good SF writer, then layered that future with a culture that is nothing like the modern actual cyber-culture, but one that seems far more interesting and strange while all the while maintaining a sense of inevitability, almost as if it were a sort of alternate parallel universe. If this is his first book, let’s discover how much clearer his vision has improved in his subsequent works.
The main reason I decided to listen to NEUROMANCER is that the two sequels are narrated by one of my favorites, Jonathan Davis and I wanted to review the first before tackling the others, having read it nearly twenty-five years ago. Robertson Dean’s reading of NEUROMANCER is conducive to appreciating the beautiful cyber-space prose in this novel. He has a wonderful somnambulistic voice; deeply intoned and well articulated, but with scant variation between the different characters. The female characters are particularly hard to make out sometimes. When this happens I know that I have not managed to fully see through the narrator and get inside the text. That is another reason I first approached this book on only the word level. His is not the most emotional rendering, but then the emotions of the book are below the surface level as well, so it is appropriate. On the second listening I decided to pay closer attention and extract all that I could from Dean’s voice. I still found myself drifting away from the plot unless I was able to focus on the story. But I did enjoy the second pass more than the first. Robertson Dean reminds me of another similar narrator, John Lee, who has a voice that I find so soothing that I tend to tune out the actual words and need to make an extra effort to stay tuned into the story. This audiobook can be experienced on purely the word level, but do strive to stay engaged to the plot; there’s a story in there somewhere.
This presentation features an introduction by William Gibson written in 2004, and an excellent afterward titled “Some Dark Holler” by Jack Womack. Both help give historical context to this very influential novel.
I am a grower. A tangle of vines weaving round myrtle branch fences. Rusty metal, soft stone, and worn wood. Unkempt curls and knees covered in clay. I listen.
I don't own the print copy, but I can say that the narration is quite good.
Razor Girl AKA Molly. She is strong independent and kicks ass!
That is hard to say. I like many scenes and these books unfolds as and interracially woven tale. All parts together make an amazing whole. Although on that note if you like the Matrix there were many moments that had me thinking that the guys who wrote the Matrix stole half their material from this series. There are wonderful characters and description of futuristic cities.
I'm not good with tag lines, but I can say that if you have been experiancing pop culture/sci-fi television and movies that have come out since these books publications you have seen the impact that this series had on the collective. This is the seed. It is a must read in my mind.
You will love this series!
To enjoy the book, you probably have to be on some sort of trip.
My science fiction is usually confined to movies, and Neuromancer certainly hasn't convinced me that I should read it more :(
That computers and AI are far from what Gibson imagined can be excused, although it can be irritating to read. However why he feels the need to throw in more and more abbreviations, names and places is beyond me. Most of them have no bearing on the story and only serves to frustrate anybody trying to have it as a casual book
The book left me feeling like I have wasted time and effort in getting through it.
Robertson Dean narration is probably good, but since you keep having to rewind to catch what happened last paragraph you can get somewhat annoyed at his voice.