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Mona Lisa Overdrive Audiobook

Mona Lisa Overdrive

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Publisher's Summary

The award-winning William Gibson goes beyond science fiction to the broader mainstream fiction audience. His unique world features multinational corporations and high-tech outlaws vying for power, traveling the computer-generated universe.

©1997 William Gibson; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.

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  •  
    john 01-15-10
    john 01-15-10 Member Since 2011
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    "Narrator is Fantastic"

    I'm diametrically opposed to the last reviewer's comments regarding Davis' narration.

    Gibson's books contain a polyglot of races and accents. Davis is the perfect choice for these works as his ear for accents is nothing short of amazing. He's one of the few narrators who can manage southern, hispanic, and african-american accents and not force me to cringe.

    29 of 31 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven Hillside, NJ, United States 09-19-16
    Steven Hillside, NJ, United States 09-19-16 Member Since 2013

    "Audio-phile"

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    "The Best of the Sprawl"

    So I made it to the end. Having begun this trilogy with Neuromancer many many years ago, and finally finishing it up now, has left the entire Sprawl series a bit disjointed. Conversely and oddly enough though, my enjoyment of the series actually increased per book. I think I approached the book the wrong way though and honestly for someone new to Gibson's writing style, it's probably not the most accessible entry. It could be due to Gibson's tightening and improving writing, my own maturity, and my own knowledge of how to handle his writing, that leads me to say that Mona Lisa Overdrive, the third in the series, is actually the best of the 3. (Count Zero close behind though). Mona Lisa Overdrive (MLO) attempts to tie together the previous books, and gives some surprising levels of backstory to things like the whole Tessier Ashpool history. I was surprised in a good way to see such a blanket laid out history.

    What really gets to me with Gibson is his use of confusing names, for people/places/events. People have multiple names and handles, often many of which don't come off sounding like names or places. I make note of this because if you make the mistake of listening to this trilogy via audiobook, this makes it utterly confusing. In doing so I heavily suggest you still grab a copy of the the physical novels. It makes reading them so..so much easier. I can't stress that part enough. Countless times I've been left baffled as to the events and characters because names were mentioned and I had no clue who or what was being referred to.

    Anyway like the previous Gibson books, we're giving a menagerie of characters all of which you can surmise will be linked in some way by the end of the book. Likewise there's a few characters that return in MLO, continuing the link from Count Zero. Out of all of the books, this one is the "tightest" in terms of story. What I mean by that, is that to me, it follows more logical, progressive events. Things happen, and people react to those things in a seemingly reasonable fashion. This may have been the case in the previous books, but again, before I found out really "how to read Gibson" it may have been lost on me. Of course there are moments here in MLO that seem to string the reader along, not really providing answers as to what the characters are doing, but just following them. I'm not a big fan of this style after a while as it comes off as very ad hoc and "off the cuff".

    The characters of MLO are actually memorable (imagine that!) Maybe except Yumiko, they all have a real sort of feel that plays into the cyberpunk motifs. Yumiko, comes off to me as very flat, boring and honestly not very plot centric. Angie Mitchell, who is a carry over from the 2nd book, has rocketed to fame ( though we never really know how or why this is) has a secret drug filled life (what celeb doesn't) and is making her return to the lime light, but apparently someone wants to keep her drugged and in a stupor. What separates her from any other, is that she can jack into the matrix without any wires or connecting head gear. I assume this has to do with the fact that her daddy used to work at one of the big Pharm corps, and had her head tested on and inserted some weird cancer like cells and stuff in her brain. This is literally what I gleaned from the previous book.

    I'm going to digress a bit here and begin a small rant. I've referenced above that by MLO I've learned how to "read" Gibson. What I've meant by this is that I've learned the art of reading a book/chapter synopsis. Seriously, If I didn't own the physical copy of the book so I could actually see the names, and descriptions, and have online resources for a synopsis. I probably would NOT have gotten to book III. Nor would I have enjoyed it if I did. There's a few really good sites out there that give character bios that really go a long way in helping understand what the characters are doing, how they interact, and what their motives are. Looking back, I'm not sure if I would have pieced it together that Sally Sheers was the same woman from book one, Molly Millions. Gibson never tells you anything out right. All of his hints and explanations are done in such a round about way of description that unless you are really focusing and (for me) making notes about descriptions of characters, a lot of it can pass over your head. Again audio listening to these is not kind to this series.

    Anyway back on track to the characters. We have another female character (thinking about it now, this is a pretty pro femme fatale cast!) Mona. While angie is a glamorous superstar, Mona is a seedy prostitute who has fallen in with some douche named Eddy who think's he's made a really good deal in trying to pimp her out, but is pretty much double crossed and most likely killed. Good riddence. What strikes me as odd, and I'm sort of just coming to this realization now, is that out of all of the books, MLO actually has very very little time in the Matrix space. Most of the book takes place in the real world. And I actually think that's a good thing. To me, this book didn't really give off too much of a cyberpunk vibe, or maybe "lo-fi" cyberpunk.

    What sort of turns me off to the entire story line of the Sprawl series, is the constant linking of these spiritual gods. Now while I get the use of religious cults and sects in cyberpunk, the whole voodoo thing just seems so random. So apparently after the two AI Wintermute and Neuromancer fused, voodoo african gods spread over the net. lol...wut? And apparently everyone worships them now. I had no idea who or what "Bridgette" was. It just...seems forced. If they were there from the beginning...sure I would have been more accepting but the fact that they just appear is just weird.

    One gripe for me is ( and this may again fall on the audio style) is that the characters who are mostly all female, all have a supporting retinue of supporting characters. This makes it a bit confusing, especially going towards the end when they begin to intermingle. I was often finding myself going back and seeing which "butler" was originally with who, etc... The exception to this is the AI for Yumiko, Collin. Who btw is my favorite character....I want a Collin-bro. One character that also stands out is the AI, called Continuity. It's ( I think...) Angie's house "library" assistant. It's sort of like Amazon Echo I reckon. But more about keeping records and keeping track of life events relating to it's owner. It's pretty cool, and is one of the surprisingly few bits of technology actually in the book.

    As stated before the book doesn't really give off a super over the top Cyberpunk vibe as the previous two books did. This one is more subtle, which I don't think is a bad thing. One bit that I did enjoy is the backstory of Tessier-Ashpool. More importantly I liked the way that Gibson gave it to us. Instead of just telling us (Gibson would never do that)... He presents it in a way that Angie is watching a documentary, and having it be through the eyes of sort of a director of the documentary. It's hard to explain but it comes off rather interesting. It's sort of like a narrative of how the director shot the documentary.

    The climax is at the end of the book, Sally/Molly comes back to her tough as nails persona in a big way, which made me happy to see. She came off as just a bitch earlier, but once the crap hit the fan, she stepped up and took no shit, putting 3Jane in her place. Oh and on a side note, the fact that Bobby (also from the previous book) is in a coma for literally the entire book, was a pretty cool idea. I figured they'd have him be the main character, or come out of the Aleph all Neo like and omnipotent. Nope, He was knocked out the entire book, and that just lent itself to being something unique. Now that being said...the end of this book is...just...anti-climatic. We're all squared away with 3Jane back, looking to take out Angie, and revenge herself on Molly etc... Great battle lined up, the players meet..and then.... nothing? They just forgive her and move on? I'm not sure if there's some sort of hidden message that I missed, but I doubt it.. The book ends pretty flatly, but getting there was a fun ride. For a bit, I was genuinely interested in how the characters were going to meet, and their impact on the story. Aside from the bizarre naming conventions he confusingly uses for characters and places in the Sprawl trilogy, I enjoy this last one. I honestly will probably never read any of them again really, but MLO sticks out as being the best of the worst so to speak. In comparsion to characters like Case from Neuromancer who I had absolutely no vested interest in, these characters here in MLO seem much more fleshed out and actually relatable.

    I can't say I'd currently recommend the series to others truth me told. If this were 1994...sure, I'd be all over it... but the books don't unfortunately offer enough ground breaking material to warrant a full read through. While I may suggest reading them out of respect for the genre, and it's foundations, you can honestly find better scifi/ cyberpunk else where.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    /Sven 10-03-12
    /Sven 10-03-12
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    "Outstanding performance"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Mona Lisa Overdrive to be better than the print version?

    The narrator delivers an outstanding performance. His voice, rythm and style are the best I've heard on Audible so far. He gives the characters distinct voices without sounding cheesy. Each character speaks with a unique dialect too (American, British, Japanese) and the Japanese words are pronounced perfectly.


    Any additional comments?

    Normally I am not into writing reviews, however this performance of one of my favorite books demands it.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lolo 09-18-14
    Lolo 09-18-14 Member Since 2013

    I like realistic books that stretch the truth and the laws of physics...and also emotionally resonant narration that doesn't suck.

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    "omg"
    Any additional comments?

    Didn't think I could like anything as much as I liked Neuromancer, but this I like equally as much. The way this author balances entertainment with literary value, with poetry, it's just too amazing. I can't fathom it. And what an awesome ending!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura winston salem, NC, United States 04-02-12
    Laura winston salem, NC, United States 04-02-12
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    "Intricate enough for several listens."
    Where does Mona Lisa Overdrive rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This ranks in top 20 of 100+ books I've listened to. I am a big fan of Jonathan Davis, though, so this made a big difference.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The characters all had unique personalities, and the action kept things moving along fairly well, even though Gibson's stories are fairly cerebral.


    Have you listened to any of Jonathan Davis’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Compared favorably to All Tomorrow's parties and The Windup Girl, both of which I listened to multiple times.


    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angus Fort Collins, CO, United States 05-07-17
    Angus Fort Collins, CO, United States 05-07-17 Member Since 2012
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    "Cyberpunk Nerdy Goodness"

    Steppin’ Razor is back the final installment of the trilogy. Molly Millions, Sally Shears, Misty Steel...along with a Yakuza Boss, A London mob Boss, an exceptional tech deck cowboy Bobby Newmark are being hunted and extorted by a ghost in the machine Three Jane. As with all of Gibson’s works I am usually three chapters in before I have a clue what’s going on. Excellent writing and the range of the narrator pulls off a stellar performance. Five by five awesome cyberpunk nerdiness points.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    angel 03-10-17
    angel 03-10-17
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    "Excellent Narration"

    Jonathan Davis has excellent range. His characters sound different from each other and he voices women very well.
    Mona Lisa Overdrive is the best of the Sprawl Trilogy. The various viewpoints merge together more naturally than in Count Zero. It definitely feels like the first two books were leading up to this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen Hickman 03-05-16 Member Since 2013
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    "Classic---"

    One of those exceptional combinations of a brilliant story and an ideal narrator, where the sum seems greater than the parts ---

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 02-08-16
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 02-08-16

    I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - Salinger ^(;,;)^

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Bright enough to attract/Worn enough to comfort"

    “The world hadn’t ever had so many moving parts or so few labels.”
    ― William Gibson, Mona Lisa Overdrive

    There is something about Gibson that keeps me coming back. Part of it is how, like PKD, he seems to always have a sense of what is around the next two corners. Not just the objects. No. The textures and smells and ambiguities too. It is like Gibson doesn't just have foresight, he has foresmell and foretaste. Anyway, even with that, this wasn't his best book and not in the strong half of the Sprawl trilogy.

    In this book Gibson is weaving together four plot threads.

    Thread One: Japanese Yakuza princess in peril hides in London and hangs with "Sally Shears" aka Molly Milions (of Neuromancer and Johnny Mnemonic fame).

    Thread Two: Angie Mitchell from Book 2 (Count Zero) of the Sprawl trilogy seeks to find lost boyfriend while dealing with the addiction and costs of Simstim fame.

    Thread Three: Mona a innocent prostitute is sucked into a crime world where she is made to look like Angie as a piece in an abduction attempt on Angie.

    Thread Four: Slick Henry and friends care for the comatose body of the "Count" Bobby Newmark from the 'Count Zero'.

    One note. I did appreciate how diligent Gibson is in building strong female characters. There are just as many ass kicking females as damsels in distress. Gibson doesn't flirt with feminist ideas. He is able to incorporate strong women naturally. It isn't decoration or an after thought. It appears as natural to him as writing about fabric or fashion.

    Gibson weaves these various plots and characters together and it all only frays a bit toward the end. I get where he was trying to go with everything, it just lost a bit of focus, the resolution wasn't great, the pay-off was subpar. But still I know when Gibson writes another book, I'll get sucked back in because the Matrix/Cyberspace/Sprawl worlds Gibson builds feel bright enough to attract and worn enough to comfort.

    13 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John 01-26-15
    John 01-26-15
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    "Top rate trilogy. Abstract but worth it!!"

    Gibson is clearly a top rate author. What a great mix of plot, characters, and action. Narration continued to be top rate. Not for everyone but if you think it may be worth it based on the audible description, then you will love it. 6 stars easy!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • Simon
    Waterlooville, UK
    9/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "It's a Trilogy! I'll do it justice next time!"

    I read Neuromancer many years ago, found it hard work but intriguing nonetheless. So when I saw another one of Gibson's books appear in one of Audible's special offers I though why not? Unusually for me I just assumed this was stand-alone and I think this took something away from it. If you're considering reading this without the other two I would say stop and get the others first.

    Gibson has an interesting writing style. He hints at things often leaving the reader to fill in the background for themselves. Combined with this and the fact that me memory had little of Neuromancer left and nothing of the second book at all made this hard going. I gave it four stars because that mistake was mine but I probably only got 3 stars enjoyment out of it . . . if that makes sense!

    Gibson is a clever writer though. I like the fact that he doesn't feel the need to handhold me through everything. The world of the Sprawl is not a pleasant one. The characters all have a detachment from their world borne of its nature. This most certainly isn't easy reading or for anyone who likes to warm to noble heroes. I'd also agree with some of the other reviewers that the pace and tonality of the narration, while it did fit the book very well, was on the slow and monotone side for me.

    Despite all this, I will in a few years re-visit this, starting from the beginning of the trilogy of course. It's clever stuff, well thought out, and I want to do it justice next time!

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Ch3nz
    Harlow, United Kingdom
    9/14/16
    Overall
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    "Excellent"

    After listening to the neuromancer, I had to listen to Count Zero and Mona Lisa Overdrive. Although different narrator (so need a few chapters to get used to), really enjoyed it.

    As usual for Gibson it takes a few chapters to really understand what is going on, then as ur figuring it out it picks up pace, and as u finally work it out it concludes. Master author.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. C. A. Martin
    Surrey, UK
    1/18/16
    Overall
    Performance
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    "great gibson"

    if you liked neuro and count this won't fail to interest, good end to an innovative trikogy

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Benjamin
    STOKE ON TRENT, United Kingdom
    10/25/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "not as good as his others but still a must read"

    not as good as his others but still a must read
    not as good as his others but still a must read

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Gavin Jones
    6/2/17
    Overall
    Performance
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    "The Best of the Three"

    It's great, really. Read the the other two first though. Sit back and enjoy

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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