Overall, I thought this was a pretty decent Sci-Fi book.
When reviewing science fiction books, the two aspects I consider are the strength of the story and novelty of the ideas introduced and how well they are developed.
The story did a decent job of inter-weaving multiple plot lines, but the characters could have been stronger. Gibson does a good job of creating his own slang, but sometimes relies on this too heavily in his dialog. It can make the dialog sound cool and futuristic, but once undressed, many of the spoken sentences are pretty simple and uninteresting.
The book explores interesting ideas related to different forms of computing, stronger interfaces with computers, and a practical religion tied to many modern issues. He does this better than many authors, but there are times where I would have liked him to explore a bit deeper.
I know this review sounds negative and nit-picky, but I did still very much enjoy this book and am giving it 4 stars.
"The Road" follows the journey of a man and his boy walking through a post-apocalyptic America in constant search of food and shelter. While they do face some interesting ordeals along the way, the only developments happen within these limited episodes and are soon forgotten. The characters never seem to evolve, and always end up in the exact same situation they were in the day before.
Much of the book is dialog between the father and son, and (perhaps because the son is young) is very limited. I can't count the number of times I heard one of these: "okay", "alright", "I'm sorry", "I'm scared". While these can be used smartly to convey deeper meaning, there's a limit to how far that will go.
The narration combines with this repetitive dreary dialog to make a very dull and repetitive listen.
I understand that this book is trying to have a sad tone, and many of the things that bothered me about it might be considered its strengths by people who enjoyed the book. It's possible that I just don't "get" this book. Unless you know that you are a fan of Cormac McCarthy's writing style, I would take this review to be a warning to seriously consider if it's the kind of book you would enjoy before purchasing.
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