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Publisher's Summary

A corporate mercenary wakes in a reconstructed body, a beautiful woman by his side. Then Hosaka Corporation reactivates him, for a mission more dangerous than the one he's recovering from: to get a defecting chief of R&D-and the biochip he's perfected-out intact. But this proves to be of supreme interest to certain other parties-some of whom aren't remotely human.
©2006 William Gibson; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Michael
  • Bothwell, UT, United States
  • 01-18-11

Where've you been all my life?

Discovering William Gibson and "The Sprawl Trilogy" as I fast approach forty, is like finding an unopened gift behind the Christmas tree, left there wrapped and undiscovered for the last 25 years. I'm kicking myself for not reading him earlier, but his writing is all the more amazing in 2011 for being so visionary in the mid 1980's. There are countless science fiction concepts he describes in this series that other writers have used for seeds of their own books or movies.

Jonathan Davis is brilliant as the narrator. I originally encountered Davis almost ten years ago as the narrator of Neil Stephenson's Snow Crash -- arguably my favorite audio book of all time. He does not disappoint here. All in all an astonishing creation.

31 of 32 people found this review helpful

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Well written and engaging but hard to follow

Is there anything you would change about this book?

It was really hard for me to follow what was going on. Gibson is a good writer, but his habit of telling stories from three or four different perspectives without given much backstory or exposition makes it tough to track what is happening. I was lost the first seven hours, and it was only until the second half of the book that I finally started to understand how the threads intertwined.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

Gibson is a gifted writer, and Jonathan Davis captured the dark mood of the story. Even when I didn't know what was going on or where Count Zero was going, I kept listening.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

From Zero to Hero

I initially found this book to be the embodiment of tedium. I tried listening to it whilst on the go, which after all should be a major advantage of this format. This however proved to be anything but an advantage, as it was so easy to become distracted from the detail of the story and I often found myself zoning in and out of the narrative and wondering who these characters were. It wasn't until two hours from the end that I really got into the story and discovered that it was really rather exciting.
It held my interest right to the end and was so good that I felt compelled to listen to it again from the beginning and WOW! what a difference. I went from only persevering with it because I had paid for it to being reluctant to put it down. It was hard to believe that this was the same book and I was shocked at the amount of detail that I had initially missed. So if you decide that Count Zero is the biggest let down you have ever received from Audible as I did, then stick with it and maybe 're-read' it. You wont be disappointed.

19 of 20 people found this review helpful

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Not as good as Neuromancer

I loved Neuromancer and had already read it before listening to the audiobook. I think this might have helped with Count Zero. The different plot threads get confusing in this format and that's more a testament to how densely Gibson writes. The performance was really good, but it was just much harder to follow than its predecessor. Like I said, this one might be better read than listened to.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Decent Sci-Fi

Overall, I thought this was a pretty decent Sci-Fi book.

When reviewing science fiction books, the two aspects I consider are the strength of the story and novelty of the ideas introduced and how well they are developed.

The story did a decent job of inter-weaving multiple plot lines, but the characters could have been stronger. Gibson does a good job of creating his own slang, but sometimes relies on this too heavily in his dialog. It can make the dialog sound cool and futuristic, but once undressed, many of the spoken sentences are pretty simple and uninteresting.

The book explores interesting ideas related to different forms of computing, stronger interfaces with computers, and a practical religion tied to many modern issues. He does this better than many authors, but there are times where I would have liked him to explore a bit deeper.

I know this review sounds negative and nit-picky, but I did still very much enjoy this book and am giving it 4 stars.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Falls far short of its predecessor.

Struggled to finish this book. Its roles are filled with less memorable characters and a muddled plot line. Lacking the magic of the new the first one this book leaves you not wanting more. Narrator is pretty good but can be a little monotone which combined with the storyline make paying attention a stuggle at times.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Pie
  • Saint Petersburg, FL, United States
  • 04-10-13

Young Gibson --> one of the easiest to enter...

Gibson writes with a very dense, thick weaving of concepts... artistically presented :) This early book is very easy to get into and pretty easy to follow (comparatively speaking). Almost plain English from a Gibson-ion fan sort of standpoint. BUT you will have to pay a little bit of attention until you get your feet under you. LOL. Three separate story lines converge, slowly. Very interesting story. Not terribly dated...but a tad...although not in a too jarring way if you are willing to let the story carry you along. I enjoyed it a LOT... but I'm not really "normal". Form your own opinion :)

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Erik
  • MANSFIELD, TX, United States
  • 01-25-13

It was all over the place

Would you try another book from William Gibson and/or Jonathan Davis?

I know I should expect the unorganized style of writing from William Gibson. He is a challenge to read anyway, but this was just too all over the place. The concepts and direction were too drawn out. The pace of this book, considering it's intensity and complex word structure, was too slow. I would zone out, getting lost on the extended dialogues.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Not a William Gibson book. I listened to Neuromancer. That wasn't as bad. I actually like it.

What about Jonathan Davis’s performance did you like?

It was engaging. It's just too bad the story line and dialogue didn't work.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Count Zero?

I don't know, I stopped listening before the first half.

Any additional comments?

If you are a William Gibson fan, you will like this. But, if you are into futuristic sci-fi, this will even lose you.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Cyber-Punk

Read Jerry's review. I did not make it past the first third of the book. Gibson is kind of like Shakespeare, it takes slow reading and going over it, which makes it difficult in audio form. If you have never read Gibson before, I suggest you read Virtual Light first. It is not quite as complicated and has a couple of really cool characters that you will get into. There is just too many authors and books out there for me to spend this much time with one book.

24 of 30 people found this review helpful

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disappointed

no depth to the story or purpose. disliked the reading a lot due to poorly timed pauses. loved neuromancer though.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Fiona
  • 07-08-11

Frustrating narrator

The storyline of this book is right up my alley and I was excited to listen to it. Unfortunately I got so frustrated with the narrator's speed of speech that I had to stop listening. There are long "meaningful" pauses randomly in sentences making it hard to follow and concentrate.
I even attempted speeding up the playback speed to help, but this wasn't enough to cover up for the weird distracting pauses.
Very disappointed as I want to read this book, but this one will have to be read the traditional way for me so I can enjoy it.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Gavin Jones
  • 03-22-17

It's True

It's not as good as the first book but it's still an involving and thought-provoking listen. I liked Jonathon Davis' narration but I can see why others didn't.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Chris
  • 01-06-14

Couldn't listen to it

What would have made Count Zero better?

The narrator is awful. Far far too slow. I gave up after 10 minutes

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Jonathan Davis?

Peter Kenney

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • J. J. S. Easter
  • 09-27-17

Good story, multiple plot threads difficult though

The voice acting is really good and the audio production. William Gibson is a talented writer and the story is good. However I would often listen to this audio book while doing something else or even listening to on its own and relaxing. The book itself is enjoyable but it's very difficult to keep track of all the different plot threads, purely because there are so many of them (maybe I was concentrating less than normal or I'm being a bit thick). When a plot thread is being read through it easy to keep track of that thread but not the overarching story. This is the second time I have gone through this audio book as I had this problem first time round. I will say this again, I like William Gibson and I like the story. Perhaps I was just in the wrong mindset. Despite what I have just said in my opinion this would do well as a TV series, film or comic book (graphic novel).

Despite me slagging it off (he he) I am giving the story 5 stars, again because maybe the problem is with me and not a fault with the story itself (or writing).

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  • Mrs Stone
  • 09-05-17

Lost track of the threads a few times...

Lost track of the threads a few times picks up towards the end, which seems typical of Gibson's works. Thoroughly enjoyed it!

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  • Nana
  • 01-07-15

The matrix is here

I really enjoyed the story line and the narration. There is a large part of the matrix here box makers and key makers. Great narration to. Off to listen to the last part of the story now.

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  • Benjamin
  • 03-06-14

Loved this

Not as good as the first one but still a stunning book. My advice is to set the reader speed to 1.25 or 1.5. Amazing and brilliant Computer Sci Fi

  • Overall
  • an italian in london
  • 04-07-13

a great book and an even greater audiobook

It's hard to explain why I like so much William Gibson's books.In his language, in his narrative, in the pace of his stories, in his characters and in the situations he evokes, there is something that resonates with me and my personality.

Thanks to the audio version of WG's books, I can now listen to them while on the move, so as I walk the streets of London I can immerse myself in my favourite books.

You need to be careful crossing streets, negotiating a busy junction or a busy pavement.

Initially I had to get used to the style of narration, where there is one narrator for all the characters, but I appreciate the craft, the skills of Jonathan Davis and his ability to modulate his voice in a different way for each character, given each his or her (or its) own personality, it's own "mark", making them recognisable.

I found the experience excellent and the quality of the voice narration is so good that very rarely I had to go back in the story to reconnect with the narrative. The biggest problem I had in early attempts with audio books was "disconnecting" from listening the story and spawning a train of thoughts or an external event requiring higher attention and causing a disruptive distraction from the book. With this book and some discipline, I managed to stick to the story almost all the time and never get distracted.

I recommend this audiobook at many levels:

- because I love the book itself - and it's not just for SF fans, William Gibson is certainly much much more than a SF writer, he is one of those writers who leave a deep mark in the century(ies) they inhabit.

- because of the excellent quality of the audio and of the narration and the great voice of Jonathan Davis.

Book readers who approach for the first time audiobooks should be aware that they will have to invest their attention in a different way, and possibly find a new and revolutionary way to enjoy their favourite books while doing something else.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Cari Spengler
  • 05-16-16

Not for those who fall asleep easily.

The story was fine, but the performance is slow and almost at a whisper, as if the narrator is trying to lull you to sleep. So, that made it harder to get through the recording.