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Only once in a great while does a writer come along who defies comparison - a writer so original he redefines the way we look at the world...
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Wily, charming Kuni Garu, a bandit, and stern, fearless Mata Zyndu, the son of a deposed duke, seem like polar opposites....
Included here are some of William Gibson's most famous short fiction and novellas....
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Cosmos is one of the best-selling science books of all time....
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In what is considered one of Heinlein's most hair-raising, thought-provoking, and outrageous adventures, the master of modern science fiction tells the strange story of an even stranger world....
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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.
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.
20 of 20 people found this review helpful
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.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
No. I've had a poor track record recommending anything of Gibson's to my friends. They just don't get it. Reading (or listening to) his work is like reading poetry: either you get inside his headspace and understand, or you scratch your head and wonder why other people like this drivel.
Did the narration match the pace of the story?
No. Robertson Dean's narration suits the Bigend Trilogy far better than it does the Sprawl Trilogy. He's laconic and doesn't have much variation to his voice to differentiate between characters. Neuromancer builds to a fever pitch, and Dean can't match it. If you can manage it, listen to the abridged version that's read by Gibson himself. It's out of print, but can occasionally be found on eBay. It's worth it. (Note to Audible - please obtain the rights to that version!!!)
Any additional comments?
Despite the narration, I'm glad to have this version as well. Unabridged is always more fun.
23 of 24 people found this review helpful
I enjoyed reading Neuromancer as a twenty year old when it first came out. I didn't know if I would still enjoy it twenty years down the road. Well, it's still love! It's obvious to me now that this is noir. it has more in common with The Maltese Falcon than with most sci-fi. It is just the right blend of melodrama, action, mystery, and campiness. I also really like the setting. Having grown up in the 80s, it makes sense to me. I dont know what it would seem like to a current twenty year old.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
This is a book that, if you are approaching it for the first time, suffers from having been imitated so much that it seems derivative of its own successors. Neuromancer was genre-defining and it blew a million little geeky minds back in the day, but reading it in 2012, I failed to be enthralled by the goshwow factor. 'Cyberspace' is mainstream now, and stripped away of the novelty that made fans back in 1984 say "This is so freaking cool!" the book is kind of a techy-tech high concept thrill ride with cardboard characters.
So, Case is a 'cyberspace cowboy' who used to "jack in" to the Matrix and go on 'runs' (stealing data from big corporations, governments, etc.) in a near-future where the U.S. has fragmented into tribal/corporate nation-states, but the USSR is still around. (In the foreword to this edition, Gibson comments on his own prescience or lack thereof, acknowledging also all the other things he didn't get right which will strike modern readers, like the existence of payphones and the lack of cell phones.) He tried to steal from one of his employers, and in retaliation they poisoned him in a way that left him unable to jack into the matrix again. Now he's a down-and-outer in Chiba City (yes, there's a taste of 80s "Japan is so cool!" weeabooism here) when he gets recruited for a job by a mysterious guy named Armitage who says he can fix him up. Case also meets Molly, a "razor girl" street samurai. With the rest of his motley crew, Case goes on an adventure that takes him into high orbit to the playground of the super-rich. There are futuristic ninjas, artificial intelligences, and your basic cyberpunk RPG adventure. Again, not really fair to dismiss it like that, because this book invented cyberpunk RPGing and cyberpunk everything else, but unless you really love all things cyberpunk and/or Gibson, you may find, as I did, that Neuromancer just doesn't quite live up to the hype it earned in 1984 with its Hugo and Nebula awards.
William Gibson's writing is superbly clever and descriptive, and boy does he spin ideas. But this is the third book of his I've read, and while I appreciate his craft on a technical level, his stories just don't do much for me. I don't care about his characters.
For SF fans, this may be a good book to read to be familiar with, you know, the "seminal" works of the genre, but I just don't feel compelled to go read the rest of the Sprawl trilogy.
49 of 58 people found this review helpful
What disappointed you about Neuromancer?
The narrator is awful, it is next to impossible to follow the story because of him and is inability to bring the story to life.
Has Neuromancer turned you off from other books in this genre?
No I still love this genre and I will read Neuromancer in print opposed to listening to the audiobook.
How did the narrator detract from the book?
Yes he was awful I gave up on the book because I had to keep starting chapters over because I had no clue what was going on in the story.
What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?
This purchase made me angry because I wasted money on it. I can't finish the story because the narrator is impossible to follow.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
I couldn't even get through the first 30 minutes of this book. The reader chose a voice that was supposed to be gritty, dark, cynical. To me, it was an unlistenable reading -- bland, too slow, substanceless, even disrespectful to an audience trusting the audiobook narrator to interpret character voices and drama. I've had a similar cringy reaction listening to authors reading their own fiction. It was just terrible.
And, even more sad for me (I'm feeling pretty silly, considering the other positive reviews and overall legacy of the book), I.... just didn't like the writing. As far as I could force myself to listen, the author's skill in this case was not worthy of the intelligence and concept of his vision -- which was brilliant. Even within the initial pages/words of the book I recognized his creations as conventions now folded into our whole cultural consciousness. From other reader comments here and elsewhere, it's obvious this book is the genesis of a subgenre of fantasy and science fiction we now take for granted. I love the idea, I'm fascinated by the creativity, and I am passionate about great stories that helped shape fiction.
But I just couldn't get through this spoken book.
I started it again thinking I had been distracted and would tie into it the second time. Nope. So I paused the book. I listened to traffic and my head for awhile. I flipped off a driver who cut me off. I called a friend on speakerphone. I tried the radio. That was even worse. I was procrastinating at that point. I turned the book back on. Still not doing it.
I'm going to take advantage of the new Audible "exchange" feature and exchange this book for something by Neil Gaiman, and then try Necromancer again in ink to see if shaping my own voice and style for the book brings me to the epiphany everyone else had. If you got through my review, thanks for reading.
27 of 33 people found this review helpful
What did you love best about Neuromancer?
The one liners. So much disposable wisdom, it will always remain relevant because Gibson is a talented author.
What did you like best about this story?
It's like a western bank robbery set in the future, with Rastafarian pilots and girls with razors in their fingers. Sex and drugs and violence. Exotic locations, and realistic fantasies. Why hasn't this been turned into a movie yet?
What do you think the narrator could have done better?
Molly's voice. I actually wanted a different actress to step in and read her lines, because Robertson Dean sticks with the voice he's created for her well, but there are some lines that shouldn't be read softly. A dude speaking softly can never sound like a pissed off woman.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
When Case see's the third figure standing with the boy, and Jane, and knows who it is, I actually got chills, the hard cold kind that cling to your back.
Any additional comments?
I listened to this because I've listened to Ready Player One about seven times now, and wanted something similar, so if you want cyber adventure, I'd say you should also check out Ernest Cline's masterpiece.
10 of 12 people found this review helpful
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.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
For years Neuromancer has been hyped up to me as the book that changed science fiction, the founder of cyberpunk. When I actually listened to it, though, I found that I didn't care much for it. It's pretty clear that the Wachowski brothers were fans of the book, based on The Matrix. Additionally, Shadowrun obviously draws influence from Neuromancer. But the book was a product of its time and lacks the power it needs to be timeless. It doesn't help that both the Forward and the Afterward of the book set a very arrogant tone.
Probably the greatest sin of the book is that its is boring. A lot of space is taken up with filler scenes and dialogue about people not trusting each other and about being in a bad situation. In fact, I found myself zoning out and missing huge blocks of text and having to rewind to get to the parts I missed, causing this book to take almost half again as long.
This makes the bad parts of the book that much worse. After a boring exposition between the main character and his love interest, suddenly jolting me with very disturbing imagery or a scene that is unbelievably strange made me cringe and start hating the book for how uncomfortable it made me.
The plot isn't bad. I like the idea of a shadow war, as well as AIs competing against one another on a plane totally separate from what humanity can understand. The layers of betrayal, enslavement and the separation between high tech and scrabbling on the underbelly of society makes for a great environment.
If the review seems generalized, it's really because the book didn't leave much of a lasting impression. I can't remember the name of a single character in the book, good or evil. Maybe I need to listen to the book again to give it another try, but a book I spent over ten hours on didn't create any kind of impact, maybe that's worth noting in itself.
Weirdly, Robertson Dean read this with a lot of character. I remember the voices of the characters, but not much of what they actually said. Probably the least interesting parts were the actual narration and the main character's voices. Otherwise, I think Dean did a good job trying to give life to a lifeless story.
I suppose this book has its place in the pantheon of historically important books, but that doesn't mean it is perfect. For those who love cyberpunk, but wish it was a little less "pink mohawk" this might be worth checking out. If you love the action and adrenaline of Matrix or similar action oriented stories, this probably will be disappointing.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful