Hollis Henry is an investigative journalist, on assignment from a magazine called Node. Node doesn't exist yet, which is fine; she's used to that. But it seems to be actively blocking the kind of buzz that magazines normally cultivate before they start up. Really actively blocking it. It's odd, even a little scary, if Hollis lets herself think about it much - which she doesn't. She can't afford to.
Milgrim is a junkie. A high-end junkie, hooked on prescription antianxiety drugs. Milgrim figures he wouldn't survive 24 hours if Brown, the mystery man who saved him from a misunderstanding with his dealer, ever stopped supplying those little bubble packs. What exactly Brown is up to Milgrim can't say, but it seems to be military in nature. At least, Milgrim's very nuanced Russian would seem to be a big part of it, as would breaking into locked rooms.
Bobby Chombo is a "producer" and an enigma. In his day job, Bobby is a troubleshooter for manufacturers of military navigation equipment. He refuses to sleep in the same place twice. He meets no one. Hollis Henry has been told to find him.
©2007 William Gibson; (P)2007 Penguin Audio, a member of Penguin Group (USA), Inc. and Books on Tape. All rights reserved.
"Gibson's fine ninth novel offers startling insights into our paranoid and often fragmented, postmodern world....Compelling characters and crisp action sequences, plus the author's trademark metaphoric language, help make this one of Gibson's best." (Publishers Weekly)
Gibson, well known as the founder of cyberpunk style of science fiction writing and as the person who coined the term "cyberspace" now is writing novels set in the present. As with Pattern Recognition, Spook Country is set in the present, with New York, London, Los Angeles, and Vancouver as locations. I liked the book for its use of very current language. For example, a character says to another something like, "I read your Wikipedia entry and googled you before I came to see you." Or, when the main character, Hollis Henry, turns on turns on her PowerBook, she gets a screen that says, "None of your trusted wireless networks can be found."
The war in Iraq plays a role in the background of this book, and even Vice Presidents accidentally shooting friends while quail hunting is mentioned.
The book involves three different stories that come together in the last third of the book. All of the novel's characters are trying to locate a certain shipping container, the contents of which are unknown to the listener and many of the characters until near the end of the book.
The narration is competent and unassuming.
I recommend Spook Country
not a good listen. hard to follow and seems like it goes noware. i would not recomend this listen
I write very few reviews, but felt compelled to do so on this book. I really enjoy Gibson's writing, even if this work is not as "out there" as some of his earlier cyberpunk.
The people that he created and situations were so real and very common that it made the book very believable. It was not some far off idea that you could see on the scifi channel. The story line was so detailed that I decided to listen to it again to see if I missed anything.
For me it was a wise purchase.
Oh and the person who did the reading, excellent.
I can only give this book 3 stars. It is written in a too flowery way. Describing unimportant facts in minute detail and length such as a fluorescence light.
I find my selves while listening to the book drift away ignoring major passages of the book until an important fact is coming up. I believe I would have enjoyed the abridged version more.
A truly memorable audiobook.
Gibson paints scenes so expansive in concept, I've thought about them for months afterwards.
I hadn't heard of Roberston Dean. He's now on my favorites list.
Dean's calm, even voice delivers humor and sarcasm with perfect subtlety.
Gen-Xer, software engineer, and lifelong avid reader. Soft spots for sci-fi, fantasy, and history, but I'll read anything good.
Part techno-thriller, part future prognostication, and part examination of the weird intersections of media, post-9/11 paranoia, reality, artifice, and cyberspace, Spook Country is a thought-provoking book, if not as compelling a one as I might have hoped. It's interesting to absorb the bemused viewpoint of the author who coined the word "cyberspace" twenty-five years ago, who seems to understand the concept now less as a trippy second reality and more as an extension *of* reality. Into this gestalt, both Gibson and his characters seem to come as wandering spirits from twentieth century orders, trying to remap a world that shifts beneath them as a new century gets underway.
Gibson is a good writer, with a dry, understated wit, and the ability to write characters who feel like inhabitants of today living in tomorrow without being an overbearing hipster about it. Unfortunately, though, some of the characters feel like sketches and the "thriller" aspect of the book is a bit of a snoozer. Though it begins involvingly enough, the novel doesn't shake the impression of being a set of loose ideas not fully fleshed out. The underlying conspiracy is too fuzzy to be gripping, and the end feels rushed.
Still, I'd like to read Pattern Recognition and whatever Gibson writes next.
I had a hard time caring about any of the characters until about half way through... then it got interesting. From the beginning you know that these people are inter-twined but the author doesn't reveal any clues until the half way point.
I'm a huge Gibson fan and am quite excited to read his new series. Unfortunately, I won't be listening to it until a new reading is done.
The actor for this book overemphasizes all sentences, with understandable volume modulation, and it's near impossible to distiguish different characters in the book. His meter is also quite strange. Because of all this, I couldn't get through more than 60 minutes of the book, constantly being distracted by the actor, unable to focus on the story.
I'm quite upset that I've wasted a book credit on this, and even more upset that I won't be able to listen this book from my favorite author.
I found this book to be a mess. The different characters seem to live in different worlds and it never comes together into one sensibility. Parts of it are set in real places (though the places are not really described - just a lot of brand-name/store-name/hotel-name dropping). A lot of the plot feels like a an internet startup that is taking it self too seriously as Art or as the center of a "DiVinci Code" conspiracy. The sections that are supposed to be about high end hotels, design and art seem particularly thin and unreal. I would give it a miss.
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