Twenty years ago, it was as if someone turned on a light. The future blazed into existence with each deliberate word that William Gibson laid down. The winner of Hugo, Nebula, and Philip K. Dick Awards, Neuromancer didn't just explode onto the science fiction scene - it permeated into the collective consciousness, culture, science, and technology.Today, there is only one science fiction masterpiece to thank for the term "cyberpunk," for easing the way into the information age and Internet society. Neuromancer's virtual reality has become real. And yet, William Gibson's gritty, sophisticated vision still manages to inspire the minds that lead mankind ever further into the future.
©1984 William Gibson (P)2011 Penguin Audio
This was a book that I had to read twice. It was so packed with descriptive passages that I just couldn't seem to absorb them all at once. Also, the world being described was both similar to our present world as well as totally alien. It was a unique blend of science fact and science fiction.
The story takes place sometime in the not to distant future, and the main character is named Case. Case was a man with a troubled past. He had been a computer jockey, similar to what we would today call a hacker. Case was hired to break into computer systems, usually owned by corporations, and steal specific data. But when he "jacked in" to the web, he was actually in it - a la the movie TRON. He would move around cyberspace through his mind as people move through the physical world.
Case was doing well. He was one of the best at what he did and was making a good living. But then he made a mistake. He decided to steal from his employer, and they injected him with toxins that damaged his nervous system, making it impossible for him to jack in. He went to Japan for surgery to repair his nerve damage, but all were unsuccessful. After running out of money, he turned to hustling to survive and support his burgeoning drug habit.
Enter Armitage, a wealthy man who did not technically exist. Armitage offer Case a cure in exchange for breaking into a highly secure structure. Case is skeptical, but the surgery is a success. Accompanied by Molly, Armitage's security expert, and a motley group of unforgettable characters, Case takes on the nearly impossible task.
This was a great read, science fiction fan or not. The most amazing thing to me was that William Gibson wrote this in 1983! It almost perfectly describes the internet during a time when it wasn't even a concept yet. Many things in this book have come to pass already. How many more will be reality in our future? This is a truly groundbreaking work and a must read for anyone interested in seeing what the future may be like.
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.
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.
Incredible World Building
The entire last third of the book is a constant build, with a satisfying ending, even as some of it is left vague.
The last sentence.
I love science fiction, and I am constantly disappointed in the schleck that gets published, and occasionally even what wins awards. Neuromancer defy's that. If anything, the problem that I had was that I spent most of the listening time lying on my couch so I could focus on the images being created. Its an excellent book.
Oh, and about the cyber punk thing? Gibson may be the father of it, but thats because he created something fantastic and unique, and as is mentioned in the intro, it was then copied poorly by thousands. Don't assume because they were bad that you wont like this.
If you like thrillers, sci-fi, and/or enjoy a book that may make you think, then this is an excellent choice.
The reading is well done.
This book is well written and the narration is pretty good as well. While it can seem a bit dated at times the story holds true to some of our fears about the future and nature of reality. While I do feel that the technical jargon was a bit much at times, forced even, it didn't detract from the story. If your a fan of this genre, this is a must - listen for sure. You can hear the modern versions throughout the story. I don't think it's a five star but I'd give it a 4.5 for sure.
A really interesting piece of work that requires your undevided attention when listening (so may not be ideal if you are multitasking) due to the complexity of the narrative.
Which brings us to the main con of this particular audiobook... the narrator is terrible. He sounds extremely monotone and disinterested, to a point where it feels like you are listening to a math problems book. It's especially bad at the start when the plot moves at a really slow pace.
This becomes especially evident when compared to the other two books in the series, which are much better narrated.
So yeah, I would suggest you skip the audio version and just get a regular book, it'll be a much better experience.
A friend of mine has been on me for years to read or listen to this book. He was not wrong about me enjoying this story immensely. There is something about science fiction in general that works emotions in a different way, as if the story is the character and the characters are the emotions or mode of being.
My only hiccup in all that I find fascinating about this novel is the language. While it definitely gives the setting a specific feel, it's very confusing to try and translate what's going on sometimes.
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