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Pattern Recognition | [William Gibson]

Pattern Recognition

Cayce Pollard is an expensive, spookily intuitive market-research consultant. In London on a job, she is offered a secret assignment: to investigate some intriguing snippets of video that have been appearing on the Internet. An entire subculture of people is obsessed with these bits of footage, and anybody who can create that kind of brand loyalty would be a gold mine for Cayce's client. But when her borrowed apartment is burgled, she realizes there's more to this project than she had expected.
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Publisher's Summary

Cayce Pollard is an expensive, spookily intuitive market-research consultant. In London on a job, she is offered a secret assignment: to investigate some intriguing snippets of video that have been appearing on the Internet. An entire subculture of people is obsessed with these bits of footage, and anybody who can create that kind of brand loyalty would be a gold mine for Cayce's client. But when her borrowed apartment is burgled and her computer hacked, she realizes there's more to this project than she had expected.

Still, Cayce is her father's daughter, and the danger makes her stubborn. Win Pollard, ex-security expert, probably ex-CIA, took a taxi in the direction of the World Trade Center on September 11 one year ago, and is presumed dead. Win taught Cayce a bit about the way agents work. She is still numb at his loss, and, as much for him as for any other reason, she refuses to give up this newly weird job, which will take her to Tokyo and on to Russia. With help and betrayal from equally unlikely quarters, Cayce will follow the trail of the mysterious film to its source, and in the process will learn something about her father's life and death.

©2003 William Gibson; (P)2004 Tantor Media, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"With incredibly evocative prose, Gibson masterfully captures the essence of a specific time and place and the often chaotic sense of disorientation experienced while globe hopping." (Booklist)
"William Gibson's new novel is so good it defies all the usual superlatives." (Seattle Times)
"Gibson's ability to hit the sweet spot of cutting-edge culture is uncanny." (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
"Elegant, entrancing." (The New York Times Book Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (957 )
5 star
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4.0 (234 )
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Story
4.0 (235 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Laura Tampa , FL, USA 10-11-07
    Laura Tampa , FL, USA 10-11-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not Unabridged"

    This audiobook is advertised as "unabridged," but I consider editing for un-pc language to be abridged. Disappointed in the recording. It is abridged, IMO.

    35 of 37 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sean Castle Rock, CO, USA 09-19-04
    Sean Castle Rock, CO, USA 09-19-04 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Gibson catches up with the present"

    William Gibson likes to say that all sci-fi is really about the present. His first three books (The "Sprawl Trilogy": Neuromancer, Count Zero, Mona Lisa Overdrive) are set in a fairly distant future of cyberspace, AI and wetware while his most recent trilogy (The "Bridge" Trilogy": Virtual Light, Idoru, All Tomorrow's Parties) describes a more recent future of enhanced reality, virtual pop stars and nanotech.

    Pattern Recognition occurs in the post-911 world of cool hunting, googling and garage Kubricks where the "future is already here, just not evenly distributed." I really love this book which is full of subtle jokes and mindgames. I have bought multiple copies for friends who may have not found Gibson's earlier works as accessible.

    I was very excited when the audio book was finally available (there was even a cool fan audio blog that covered the first couple chapters that was fun in the interim). The audible version is very well-done and it is fun to finally hear this wonderful book in Shelly Frasier's sultry "Cayce"-ish voice. I highly recommend this book and it audio counterpart.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gene Agoura Hills, CA, USA 04-23-04
    Gene Agoura Hills, CA, USA 04-23-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An excellent listen"

    Though Gibson is well known for his science fiction novel Neuromancer, this would fit into the superior thriller category. Gibson's language is up-to-date -- it's the first novel I've seen with "google" used as a verb. The main character is a sort of appealing aesthetic freak who makes her living scoping out the fashion trends and untrends to come. The book is beautifully read. I was particularly interested when the scene changes to Moscow, where I recently spent a few years. Gibson's portrayal is funny and accurate, though unless my ears misled me he refers to a character paying for a Metro ride with a token, and I never saw a token the whole time I was there, though I rode the Metro daily. They use cards now.
    This book would particularly appeal to those who like books that reflect the language of today; another one in this vein is sci-fi author Neal Stephenson, who also has excellent books in Audible format.

    73 of 81 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shane Baton Rouge, LA, USA 10-10-07
    Shane Baton Rouge, LA, USA 10-10-07 Member Since 2007
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    "Modern Gibson at its finest"

    I have been a William Gibson fan for many years and this book bears out my faith in Gibson as an author. This book is a great story of modern man and his obsession with what he or she thinks is "cool". A story that goes to three different countries and examines them throught a post-9/11 lens, it draws you in with the amazing details and descriptions as only Gibson can. Part spy novel, part analysis of modern marketing and branding theory, part modern cyberspace adventure, but all Gibson.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Fullerton , CA, USA 04-24-04
    Daniel Fullerton , CA, USA 04-24-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Give me more Gibson"

    I found this Pattern Recognition a can't-put-it-down thriller that was delightful in many respects. The blend of technical saavy and intrigue was seemless and enthralling. The characters were vivid and drew me in to their story. The plot was full of twists and surprizes. It left me looking for more of Gibson's work. A must read.

    39 of 43 people found this review helpful
  •  
    wendy NJ 10-03-11
    wendy NJ 10-03-11 Member Since 2004

    Tell us about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Classic!"

    Gibson's usual moody world invention + the contemporary world + wonderful girl geek character == must listen!

    One of the best "cyber punk" novels out recently.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Waitley Portland, OR United States 10-08-07
    Daniel Waitley Portland, OR United States 10-08-07 Member Since 2001
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    "Fantastic Narration"

    While this was a fantastic book, I have to give recognition to Shelly Frasier. Her narration was perfectly matched to Cayce Pollards character; intelligent and engaging. I am listening to "Spook Country" and countless times I wish Ms. Frasier was reading it.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Shelton 05-08-04 Member Since 2014
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    "Good Mystery - not Science Fiction"

    This is a good Mystery story. Very good narration - if you are listening on an Otis use format 3 - 2 loses too much nuance. Pattern recognition (the technology) isn?t science fiction nor is most of the technology described in the book and the story takes place in the recent past. The author does a great job of helping you see the world as he does and his prose is excellent. I found the pace a little slow but really enjoyed this book.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bruce Kent, WA, USA 07-06-04
    Bruce Kent, WA, USA 07-06-04
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    "Unexpected, but Excellent"

    I had no idea what this book would be about, but assumed it would be set in the not-too-distant future as many of his past works. But no, it is pretty much set in the present. But what a look! It was refreshing to read a story by a master of the language, one capable of evoking real emotion, subtle thought, and interesting plot twists together into an intriguing book. Of all the stories I've downloaded from Audible, this was one of the most enjoyable listens I've had.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    06-28-04
    06-28-04 Member Since 2004
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    "Tommy"

    I also have an allergic reaction to Tommy, so I related well to Case.

    Everything about this book I loved, the concepts and feelings that Case feels are real ones while the setting is fun and interesting. This is not a typical Gibson book, there is no cyberpunks here, just interesting characters in interesting situations.

    Now where can I find the next piece of the footage?

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
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