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Spook Country | [William Gibson]

Spook Country

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, an investigative journalist, has been told to find him.
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Publisher's Summary

Tito is in his early 20s. Born in Cuba, he speaks fluent Russian, lives in one room in a NoLita warehouse, and does delicate jobs involving information transfer.

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.

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (635 )
5 star
 (179)
4 star
 (216)
3 star
 (137)
2 star
 (66)
1 star
 (37)
Overall
3.9 (178 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
 (16)
1 star
 (5)
Story
4.0 (169 )
5 star
 (65)
4 star
 (65)
3 star
 (26)
2 star
 (7)
1 star
 (6)
Performance
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  •  
    Brandon L Caldwell 07-04-10 Listener Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    1
    Overall
    "Terrible reading"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nathan 05-27-10
    Nathan 05-27-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    127
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "a mess"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin Tampa, FL, USA 09-30-07
    Robin Tampa, FL, USA 09-30-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    9
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Spookily brilliant"

    This book is lower key than Gibson's Neuromancer series, which created cyberpunk, but yet as well-written, creative, and perhaps more compelling because in the end, it becomes more Tom Clancy than Tom Clancy about current events. Gibson avoids moralizing and trusts his audience to "get it." When we finally figure out the heroes and the villains, we are left praying that there still exists Americans like that. A bit more Le Carre and Greene than Clancy, hard care techophiles bear with it, the high tech war of spies unfolds and then builds. For hard core literati, no fears, the tech never overwhelms the story.
    Art, as always, remains a major motif, and his take on virtual reality (the emerging locative art set) as the potential to be cluttered with a thousand uninteresting visions from mediocre artists is a strong contrast to the exuberant geekiness in Vinge's equally brilliant Rainbow's End. His bon mots on music are breathtaking.
    The narration is good, not outstanding, but the book is so good, heck I could probably read it out loud and people would still enjoy it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher Teaticket, MA, USA 09-22-07
    Christopher Teaticket, MA, USA 09-22-07 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    109
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    120
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Not Classic Gibson"

    Do not pick this one up if you are seeking a story that follows the Gibson of the past century because this is not him...

    Despite that glaring fact the story is, without putting too fine a point on the departure from genre, a very easy to listen to romp through classic spydom without the violence, car chases, secret pen guns or... Well... Any of the gadgets that make spies cool.

    In the end if you give this book a chance you will find an easy to digest story about people you just cannot really bring yourself to identify with or care about.

    I gave it 4 Stars because it is a proper story that was well executed by the narrator and despite its lack of depth retains its entertainment value. If it had not cost me an Audible Credit I might have given it five stars... Maybe...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ed Captain Cook, HI, USA 09-10-07
    Ed Captain Cook, HI, USA 09-10-07
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    "Disapointed"

    This book kept me just interested enough to then disappoint me whenever the story seemed to build into something riveting only to fall flat on its face with convoluted plot lines and unnecessary, bloated wording.
    Good premise, bad execution.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    T. Burlew 09-05-07
    T. Burlew 09-05-07

    Indy Jazz Fan

    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Booring"

    I found "Spook Country" so booring I could not finish it.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Shelton, WA, USA 08-28-07
    Paul Shelton, WA, USA 08-28-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    24
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "UGHHH 2 !"

    I'm in complete agreement with Cindy. Nowhere in the first three plus hours have I recognized anything remotely akin to a plot. From the very first sentence, I've been trying to get involved with someone in this dis-jointed amalgam of characters and have been thwarted at each chapters end. This may be the worst piece of writing I have ever laid down good money for. Just glad to see SOMEONE can put a value on it ! Though I hasten to think some people have too much spare reading time on their hands.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cindy victoria, BC, Canada 08-27-07
    Cindy victoria, BC, Canada 08-27-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "UUGGGHHH"

    Could not even get past 2 hours of this book, wishy washy, story line ALL over the place, don't recommend at all.

    4 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hunter St. Louis, MO, USA 02-17-08
    Hunter St. Louis, MO, USA 02-17-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Boring story, bad direction"

    This is certainly not Gibson at his best. I found the story boring, really. It meandered all over the place and eventually went nowhere of importance. The ending was a huge let down. I felt it was a waste of time and money.

    And what the hell is with audio directors these days? This is the second book I've listened to in the past two months that had mispronunciations all over the place. I can't totally fault the narrator as they're just actors who are reading the text of someone else and may not be familiar with all the words/terms. So all I can say is that the director must've not actually been there in the studio when it was recorded.

    I mean, who in the last 20 years would not know that Adidas should be pronounced "uh-DEED-uhs" and not "AHH-deed-dahs"?

    Skip this one and find something more intriguing to spend your time with.

    8 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Evan BIRMINGHAM, AL, USA 10-04-07
    Evan BIRMINGHAM, AL, USA 10-04-07 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    179
    1
    Overall
    "not great"

    had a very hard time paying attention. not what i hoped for. i felt like i had just listened to next by crighton, also a bad book

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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