If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, A hoper, a pray-er, a magic-bean buyer. If you're a pretender come sit by my fire
This book, unfortunately, had a lot of hype. To a degree it lived up to it and delivered an unexpected story that made me, a child of the '90's, rethink some of the pop-culture I thought I knew (cough Matrix cough). That being said, I often felt like there was too much going on -- traditional sci-fi, cyberpunk, noir, etc.. -- and for the life of me couldn't shake a feeling of being disconnected from the story. Maybe that's part of the desired ambiance? I think that this is a must-listen if only to provide the appropriate pop-culture base for people who appreciate sci-fi, but, while this is a genre-defining story, keep your expectations reasonable going into it.
But I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - J.D. Salinger ^(;,;)^
Gibson reinvented the science fiction genre novel with his novel Neuromancer. A Verne-pitched, future novel that seems to have amazingly apprehended and captured much of the core and substance of the 21st century. The closest novel in both form and function is Stephenson's Snow Crash, but Gibson wrote this 8 years (an eternity in cyberspace) previous to Snow Crash. Gibson's prose (and clothing-fixation) is sometimes really REALLY annoying, but his style remains difficult to reproduce or replicate. Some writers can temporarily capture the asiangloss of Gibson's sprawl and cyberspace but lack the methgrit of Gibson's haunted prose clutter. Not a perfect SF novel, but still an amazing book.
After listening to this audiobook it's obvious that Neuromancer has been a source of inspiration to many other creatives in the field. Movies like the Matrix and also every cyberpunk anime in existence have borrowed heavily from this book. If you like those works this is required listening.
However, for all of it's landmark ideas, this book seems poorly written. I haven't read the book so perhaps its just the narration. Of the 30 some audiobooks I have listened to so far, this has by far been the most jarring, disjointed and hard to follow of them all. If you're not into the genre, or the concepts it spawned, I would avoid it.
An educator exploring the wonders of the world.
Console cowboys hold on to your seats. This classic scifi tale takes the reader of a roller coster ride across the sprawl as our protagonists find employment and a second chance. The story is excellent, but the reader's pacing seems off at first, but as the story ramps up, so does his rhythm.
I could not get into this book, even after reading a lot of science fiction. After about an hour I couldn't keep listening. The writing style is more difficult than many other science fiction books that I've read.
I love learning, teaching, and exploring!
I had a really hard time getting into this novel. The narration was really good but the storyline just didn't grab my attention like I thought it would. I thought I would really like it since I'm a science fiction fan, but perhaps this genre just isn't for me.
I first encountered and read Neuromancer years and years ago. I must have been, perhaps 19, or 20 when I first read the book, I wasn't too impressed. I had heard a lot about the book. Terms like "Game changing" And other hype buzzed around this book. It seemed like anyone into cyberpunk made this book out to be a bible or the master authority on anything related. At that time I was heavily into fantasy and science fiction and had only recently been exposed to the sub genre of cyberpunk. So I was eager, perhaps too naive, and wanted the book to fulfill, a space that I carved out and had pre-defined as to what I thought it should be.
When I first got the book, I was even unimpressed by the look of it. A small paperback, un-assuming blue-greyish copy that looked like it could have just as easily passed for some dime a dozen novel in a pharmacy rack. But I cracked it open and read and read. ...And boy was I disappointed. While I dug into the chapters, vague hints and allusions as to what I was expecting were made but it just didn't feel like "it". Surely this novel, which had been praised and cut to be such a great work, couldn't be what I held in my hands. I eventually dumped it, and never got passed chapter 5 or 6 or so, and moved on to flashier less subtle books.
I'm now currently 28. In eights years time, my tastes have changed (hopefully, and thankfully). I also am a very big believer in returning to your past. After discussing some popular science fiction on a forum, William Gibson's name inevitably turned up. I then decided to return to what I started, and see if the book held to my prior thoughts, or perhaps with age and temper, I would find something in it that I had missed....
I did indeed miss something. While I'm still (very) apprehensive to impart *too* much praise onto this book, I must also take into account when this book was released. I think that is the largest, and biggest point that I so clumsily missed. Surely, if someone watches the Wizard of Oz in 2015, with no prior context, they scoff and disregard it as a joke. But often, you must read or watch something with the varied lens of time. It really changes your perspective!
Also something else I learned very, very quickly, slang, and books with a lot of made up adages, words and terms are extremely hard to equate via audio. I found myself mis-hearing and having to actually pull out my old copy of Neuromancer (of course I still had it tucked away) just to make sure I kept things straight.
The world of Neuromancer wasn't what I had remembered. Now I returned to the book with a finer toothed comb...and boy did I catch a lot more. What a difference, everything seemed clearer and more defined. While I won't go so far as to say it was a complete 180, I could see even from the first chapter this would be a different ride. Unfortunately as I said, paired with a horrible narrator, it actually was a bit of a struggle in the beginning keeping the names and terms straight. (I had misheard 'the Finn' as 'the thin' and thought they were referring to some sort of description of an A.I.) My opinion is, if you want to enjoy this book and really dig into the background and "flavor"... get the print copy and read it. One of my gripes is that everyone has like 3 different monikers and when being read to, these all jumble up. It's far easier to read into the context when you have the text in front of you.
The main character, Henry Case is like a cliche of a bad cliche, which makes him a good character. (remember that lens of time thing) He's a down on his luck, two bit criminal, who's sort of a low life we gather. Definitely not evil or anything, but finds some unreputable methods to get by. Of course he's given a gritty, grim dark past, and has a checkered history. We're meant to feel sorry for him pretty much, but honestly, I don't. He can no longer hack or enter cyberspace. (ok...actually I do feel sorry for him..)
He's supported and countered by an array of other characters that all perform and fill different roles, but honestly, they all come off as blank slates. I'm not sure if this is intentional, but each character, seems to be more of a computer program than actually a personality. I feel like Case and perhaps Maelcum are two most relatable characters. This is countered by the fact that Gibson does an excellent job is giving us a far more "relatable" universe. By that I mean the world that he's built. Some area's, defined with extreme richness, others left to more vague suggestions.
The narration was pretty forgettable. Falls prey to the bad narration of female voices that plagues so many male narrators. While the narrator does a decent job at accents, it all sounds pretty forced, artificial and a bit bland. It doesn't detract *too much* from the story, but I've heard much better.
The themes and characterization of the places while, they now seem familiar through other sci-fi and cyberpunk, when viewed at the time, what a 'sprawl'. The idea of night city still seems so cool, and murky to me. And coupled with the most visual suggestions and images we're given in movies like "Blade Runner", it really helps set the mood for this book.
Something that I took away from this reading of Neuromancer is the idea of separation. I'm not 100% sure this was intended... (edit: I wasn't the first obviously to notice this :( ) but the book seems to play with the idea of separation, isolationism, and division. Even the plot of the book itself (uniting Wintermute and Neuro) suggests the two halves are separate beings. Case himself is an isolated figure, needing to be re-united with his lost ability to hack. Even Corto and "Armitage" are two distinct and split personalities.
This concept and idea would have been completely and utterly lost on me during my first reading.
I enjoyed my second attempt at this...I really did. I think the book provides something that wasn't seen much of and filled a space for the imaginative amongst us. I mean so few books can claim that they actually sport a real ninja assassin...
mad oz mcbrer
This book has had such weirdly widespread effects. Read it. Try to find which pieces have directly affected your life. It's like a game of ontological Where's Waldo.