This was the genesis of the "Cyberpunk" sub-genre of Sci-Fi, so I'm told. Well, to me this book was reminiscent of Philip K. Dick's more mediocre stuff. Think "Martian Time Slip" or "Valis", It wasn't great, but it wasn't bad either. As far as cyberpunk is concerned, the sub-genre has taken off and is world's beyond this stuff. Most recently "Ready Player One" has taken kiddie-cyberpunk to a whole new level. For hardcore cyberpunk no one can top Neal Stephenson and "Snow Crash", or some of that dudes other stuff. But considering where this book originated from and when it was written, it deserves credit for being the forerunner of the cyberpunk.
Now the reader is another matter. The book probably would have been a whole lot better with another narrator. This guy was not very good, and I think he kind of ruined it.
I didn't follow the story at all. It didn't pull me in or anything like that. The performance was bad in Audible standards, why not bring more readers instead of changing the vioce now and again...next time!
I finished only part one. However, this is one the big classic books, maybe it is just me.
If you want to gain understanding of how culture can be affected by literature, read this book. If you want to be dazzled by one of the most prescient writings of our times, read this book. If you just like sci-fi, AI, space ships and artificial gravity, read this book. Even if you're a 'none of the above', you should probably read this book.
I think the cyberpunk subgenre is just not for me in a book format. Movies I can do but it was hard for me to follow in this book.
I find a lot of classic science-fiction is over rated. I didn't read the whole thing. While vaguely interesting from a literary and sub-genre perspective the story just didn't capture my attention and I moved on to other books.
In general, I avoid science fiction more than a few decades old, and this book is why. If you love classic and genre defining SCI-FI from decades ago, the book might be okay.
I read books, fix computers, read books, fix my truck, read books, enjoy time with my wife and kids, and I read books.
I listened for the first 4 hours, and I was getting upset, because I just don't get it. I read the other reviews and was starting to think it was me. I finally figured it out, I don't care for this kind of science fiction. I like space wars, strong lead characters not idiots. I like Honour Harrington, Prince Roger, Jack Black. I only wish I had listened to it sooner so I could get a refund on it. However Audible doesn't let you do a review on book you no longer own. I think that is a real weakness of the audible system. There is probably a few people out there who are like me, but have sent the book back. Good for you.
I am not a SF fan. In fact, this is probably the only SF book I read or listened to in the past 10 years. This writer's prose is so good that I felt I was right "there" in each scene, and often, I felt like I was listening to a series of great songs.
I have to start out by saying that I didn't cross the finish line on this one. After four agonizing hours, it's time to cut and run. It's hard not to compare this to Snow Crash, which I think was better in every way - plot, characters, narrator, etc. I can live with the fact that these two books are similar, and of course one will be better. My biggest gripe is how rushed it all feels. It's like the macro version of a paragraph with no punctuation. He's in his house, suddenly it's the next day, suddenly he's on the other side of the world. Maybe it's just me, but I found the descriptions of...well, everything...to really be lacking. Most of the time, I'm left wondering what the heck is going on, and then I realized that I don't even care. And that was when I knew it was time to move to another book.
It's hard to say where the blame lies with my general confusion in this book. It was terribly hard for me to follow - taking way too much concentration to be driving my car and listening at the same time. Maybe it's the writing, but maybe it's the monotone of the narration. There are a lot of great audiobook narrators - Scott Brick, Roy Dotrice, etc. Maybe one of them could take this lump of coal and crush it into a diamond, or maybe you can't get blood from a stone.
I was mainly irritated by this book. It was just such a strain to follow. It seemed like every character was called something different by every other character, so that every time a new one comes along, you need to puzzle out everyone's identity all over again. How is that useful to the narrative?
A very interesting story with compelling characters. The images suggest to me what an acid trip must be like. Really bizarre.
Science fiction, fantasy, world war 2 buff. Audible member for almost 8 years now. Patiently awaiting the inevitable zombie apocalypse.
One of the holy scriptures of cyberpunk. If you dig the Matrix, or cyberpunk in general, this is a must listen. Well read, and lo these many years later, the tech still holds up pretty well. I consider Neuromancer and Snow Crash to be two of the cyberpunk genre's must reads.