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Neuromancer | [William Gibson]

Neuromancer

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

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  •  
    Sage 11-11-14
    Sage 11-11-14
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    "Story? Classic. Narrator? Ugh."
    Any additional comments?

    I've loved this book for decades. "Neuromancer" is nothing less than a classic, and a story I've enjoyed re-visiting every five years — it's always a new experience. That said, narrator Robertson Dean was utterly wrong for "Neuromancer." His voice is flat and without joy, he clearly does not understand quite a bit of the "lingo" he is reading (and thus puts emphasis on the wrong words, which makes following the dialog a trial), and — most tiresomely — this is yet another clueless dude who just CANNOT deliver dialog for female or non-white characters.Molly Millions, one of the most stone-cold women ever put to print, gets a generic, high-pitched whispery voice with just a hint of a nagging whine. That's right — the narrator thought that a half-cyborg killer should sound like a teenage boy impersonating his little sister. Good news — all the rest of the female characters sound like that, too.Asian characters get an unironic "chingchong"-style Chinese accent. An Armenian character gets a VERY poor Russian accent. The black characters sound like a parody of Beatniks from a Looney Tunes cartoon.I'd love to hear this book re-performed by someone like Jonathan Davis, the narrator of Snow Crash, who gave his characters authentic and unique voices. "Neuromancer" deserves a narrator as good as its story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janis Fremont, NH, United States 09-12-14
    Janis Fremont, NH, United States 09-12-14 Member Since 2013
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    "neurozzzzzzzz"
    What did you like best about Neuromancer? What did you like least?

    Hard to follow storyline. Space gangsters. Good guys - bad guys.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul 05-27-14
    Paul 05-27-14

    A Sci Fi junkie who occasionally goes slumming to read other literature.

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    "One of a kind !"

    Wow. Talk about a book ahead of its time. The concepts, terminology, and cultural references make this book one of a kind.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim Hess 05-04-14
    Jim Hess 05-04-14 Member Since 2015
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    "Classic Sci Fi - witness the birth of cyberpunk"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Neuromancer to be better than the print version?

    So cool to go back and read something that took shape in a very real way


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Doug D. Eigsti Colorado Springs, Colorado United States 04-23-14
    Doug D. Eigsti Colorado Springs, Colorado United States 04-23-14 Member Since 2013

    Increasing my ops tempo by allowing storytellers to whisper in my ear(buds).

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    "…I prefer situations to plans…"

    This book required two listenings for me; not that it is that difficult a book, just that I needed two tries to get myself plugged in to the literary and media gestalt that is audiobook listening. On the first pass I was evaluating it only on the level of the cool lingo and techno-noir dialog. Gibson’s terminology is so ripe that I wish I had a glossary to help me remember it all. If I could talk like his characters do I might even be cool. This is the way I first appraised it reading the paperback version years ago, and this is the only memory I had about the book. For me this book was seen as a sort of prose poem, the words were the thing. I just let them wash over my mind like a babbling brook over a moss covered rock. I never concerned myself with the story. It is the same way I engage with the movie Blade Runner: the visuals and the milieu are so convincing that I don’t mind that the story is thin. This was a mistake, for as cool as Gibson’s lingo is there is a story here. And, as I am intent on listening to the two sequels immediately after this, COUNT ZERO and MONA LISA OVERDRIVE, maybe, I thought, paying attention to what is going on in the first novel will enhance my enjoyment of the other books in the Sprawl series.

    It helps me to know that this is William Gibson’s first book. That explains some of the passages where the action is hard to follow and the characters not fully realized. It does not help me to understand how Gibson could conjure up such a holographic vision of the future. I always hate it when outsiders, looking into the realm of Science Fiction, keep a scorecard on the prognostications made by various writers, as if that was the purpose of writing SF: to predict the future. Sure Gibson manages to foresee the coming internet computer age. It was predictable; many others have done the same. No, Gibson’s contribution is in melding the obvious computer age with cool techno-crime operators and the noir street sub-culture, and giving the resulting mélange a vocabulary that at once defines the culture and allows no room to question its validity. Gibson’s cyber-land has many of the technological advances we are now experiencing, but our world is nothing like the Sprawl. In NEUROMANCER we are presented with the gritty underbelly of the clean-room silicon-enabled technological culture that sometimes seems indistinguishable from magic. The Sprawl is populated with the criminal element that naturally would opportunistically arise to take advantage of the weak links in the system. Organized crime is fascinating if for nothing else its ability to capitalize on the weakness in any system. That, I believe, is Gibson’s great contribution to SF. He has extrapolated the advances technology would make like any good SF writer, then layered that future with a culture that is nothing like the modern actual cyber-culture, but one that seems far more interesting and strange while all the while maintaining a sense of inevitability, almost as if it were a sort of alternate parallel universe. If this is his first book, let’s discover how much clearer his vision has improved in his subsequent works.

    The main reason I decided to listen to NEUROMANCER is that the two sequels are narrated by one of my favorites, Jonathan Davis and I wanted to review the first before tackling the others, having read it nearly twenty-five years ago. Robertson Dean’s reading of NEUROMANCER is conducive to appreciating the beautiful cyber-space prose in this novel. He has a wonderful somnambulistic voice; deeply intoned and well articulated, but with scant variation between the different characters. The female characters are particularly hard to make out sometimes. When this happens I know that I have not managed to fully see through the narrator and get inside the text. That is another reason I first approached this book on only the word level. His is not the most emotional rendering, but then the emotions of the book are below the surface level as well, so it is appropriate. On the second listening I decided to pay closer attention and extract all that I could from Dean’s voice. I still found myself drifting away from the plot unless I was able to focus on the story. But I did enjoy the second pass more than the first. Robertson Dean reminds me of another similar narrator, John Lee, who has a voice that I find so soothing that I tend to tune out the actual words and need to make an extra effort to stay tuned into the story. This audiobook can be experienced on purely the word level, but do strive to stay engaged to the plot; there’s a story in there somewhere.

    This presentation features an introduction by William Gibson written in 2004, and an excellent afterward titled “Some Dark Holler” by Jack Womack. Both help give historical context to this very influential novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kirstin Atlanta, GA, United States 04-22-14
    Kirstin Atlanta, GA, United States 04-22-14 Member Since 2010

    I am a grower. A tangle of vines weaving round myrtle branch fences. Rusty metal, soft stone, and worn wood. Unkempt curls and knees covered in clay. I listen.

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    "This series blew me away!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Neuromancer to be better than the print version?

    I don't own the print copy, but I can say that the narration is quite good.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Razor Girl AKA Molly. She is strong independent and kicks ass!


    Which scene was your favorite?

    That is hard to say. I like many scenes and these books unfolds as and interracially woven tale. All parts together make an amazing whole. Although on that note if you like the Matrix there were many moments that had me thinking that the guys who wrote the Matrix stole half their material from this series. There are wonderful characters and description of futuristic cities.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    I'm not good with tag lines, but I can say that if you have been experiancing pop culture/sci-fi television and movies that have come out since these books publications you have seen the impact that this series had on the collective. This is the seed. It is a must read in my mind.


    Any additional comments?

    You will love this series!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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    Svend Copenhagen S, Denmark 02-15-14
    Svend Copenhagen S, Denmark 02-15-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Rubbish as entertainment"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    To enjoy the book, you probably have to be on some sort of trip.


    Has Neuromancer turned you off from other books in this genre?

    My science fiction is usually confined to movies, and Neuromancer certainly hasn't convinced me that I should read it more :(


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    That computers and AI are far from what Gibson imagined can be excused, although it can be irritating to read. However why he feels the need to throw in more and more abbreviations, names and places is beyond me. Most of them have no bearing on the story and only serves to frustrate anybody trying to have it as a casual book


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    The book left me feeling like I have wasted time and effort in getting through it.


    Any additional comments?

    Robertson Dean narration is probably good, but since you keep having to rewind to catch what happened last paragraph you can get somewhat annoyed at his voice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martin NEWBERG, OR, United States 01-23-14
    Martin NEWBERG, OR, United States 01-23-14 Member Since 2012

    Hi my name is Marty, Im book worm from Portland Oregon. I work graveyard shifts and listen to books while I work and read comics in the day

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    "A classic that drags"

    Over all I am a big cyberpunk fan, and with this being the god father of cyberpunk I thought I would like this.Sadly I just could not get into it, Its not that out dated Ideas that have been revisioned by new works by other people that have me. I love old tech stories and the ways people thought it would grow ( such as Ben Bova's works ). In all honesty it is in large parts the editing.

    This is one of those rare books that an abridged version might be better, there are just times and ideas where this book just flat out drags out to the point of boring the reader.
    I cant help but feel had this book been re-edited in a better way, It could have been amazing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard VISTA, CA, United States 10-24-13
    Richard VISTA, CA, United States 10-24-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Read as a teenager, and it is even better now"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Neuromancer is a must-read for any fan of sci-fi, "hacking", cyber-punk, etc. Especially Cyberpunk, because so few people really know what it is, and this is it's origin. The writing is excellent, the narration is as well.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Floyd AURORA, CO, United States 08-24-13
    Floyd AURORA, CO, United States 08-24-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Everything "The Matrix" wishes it was"

    This is the book that introduced me to cyberpunk. Gibson's novel is a noir detective story set in a not-too-distant future. The story is deftly executed but the joy of the story for me is the world the story takes place. Gibson wisely forgoes any exposition and simply drops the reader into the world. Following the story of the central character, the reader learns the hard truths of the dystopian world populated by street samurai, console jocks, and sentient AIs. Characters are vivid and complex and language of the story is beautiful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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