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Publisher's Summary

William Gibson returns with his first novel since 2010's New York Times best-selling Zero History.

Where Flynne and her brother, Burton, live, jobs outside the drug business are rare. Fortunately, Burton has his veteran's benefits, for neural damage he suffered from implants during his time in the USMC's elite Haptic Recon force. Then one night Burton has to go out, but there's a job he's supposed to do - a job Flynne didn't know he had. Beta-testing part of a new game, he tells her. The job seems to be simple: work a perimeter around the image of a tower building. Little buglike things turn up. He's supposed to get in their way, edge them back. That's all there is to it. He's offering Flynne a good price to take over for him. What she sees, though, isn't what Burton told her to expect. It might be a game, but it might also be murder.

©2014 William Gibson (P)2014 Penguin Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 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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  • Story

Incredibly great across the board

I've been listening to and reading a lot of really good books lately, but this one beats all of them hands down.

I finished reading a widely acclaimed 2014 book last week that had much more publicity and seemed to get a great deal of critical notice (and is probably on the front page of your audible list too), but doesn't even come close to the quality of this one.

That book left me feeling completely unsatisfied and disappointed with the time I spent reading it. Listening to The Peripheral had the complete opposite effect.

Gibson's writing feels as prescient as Neuromancer (which really foretold the creation of the Internet and cyberspace in the 80s), is wonderfully avant-garde and political, but comes across as thoroughly modern and character driven as any of the great HBO shows. It's also more satisfying than anything else I've read, listened to or seen recently.

I really can't recommend this book enough. Total win.

18 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Amazing vision of the future

While swapping between two timeline/realities, an epic battle of wills unfolds. The near future so plausible and so deeply observant of current trends, is brought through the eyes of the unwilling heroine. The farther future is so advanced it's almost anti-cyberpunk, but so logically the next steps past dystopia and entropy where nanotech takes a central role. It's still a frightening and enthralling future; still such a clear path from where we are headed today. The mystery and tension he weaves throughout ratchets up constantly. Never fear the dose of jargon almost every bit is explained somewhere along the wild ride.
Beware the heavy dose of expletives.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Worst Narration Ever

What would have made The Peripheral better?

A different narrator.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Lorelei King?

Anyone. She has such a terrible way of speaking for this book. It's so breathy and feels like it should be in a romance novel. It absolutely threw me off and I couldn't listen to anymore of this. I'll get the book on Kindle because I really want to understand the story but I just really can't believe who ever is in charge of getting the narrator though that she was a good choice. It makes me sad because they probably won't get a different narrator either. What a waist of my time and money.

Any additional comments?

Usually I don't put the overall score down because of bad narration but I did in this case because it was such a terrible mis-match that the story was unbearable.

22 of 24 people found this review helpful

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Good story, flat voice actor

Would you try another book from William Gibson and/or Lorelei King?

I love Gibson. This narrator only had two voices, one male and one female. I tried listening to the first hour 4 times until I gave up tonight and wrote this.

Would you be willing to try another one of Lorelei King’s performances?

No.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

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Narrator ruined it

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Yes but only to read. The narrator for this is not a good match.

What didn’t you like about Lorelei King’s performance?

She's is well suited for romance fiction and reads everything in a breathy manner unsuited to this genre and specifically this story. She completely ruined this book for me.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Yes. But only if Lorelei King has nothing to do with it.

Any additional comments?

Gibson is one of my all time favorite writers. I've enjoyed audio versions of his works up to this point. Please don't use King again for his work. It's a very bad pairing.

21 of 24 people found this review helpful

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Liked the story but hated the performance

If you could sum up The Peripheral in three words, what would they be?

Like the concept

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Lorelei King?

Hard to say... I really like James Marster from the Dresden Files books but wouldn't use him hear. The performance made it had to listen too

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

nope

Any additional comments?

I

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Excellent Book!

This is very good science fiction. Definitely worth a credit. A bit of a challenge to follow in the beginning but it comes together and makes for an interesting and captivating story.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Thoroughly enjoyable.

Gibson is a master storyteller who helps me to see the important details in the flood of information sweeping around my diminishing isle. Great story.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Kind of disappointing

I generally like near future speculative fiction (e.g. Stross's Halting State or Gibson's All Tomorrow's Parties and Pattern Recognition) but this book never really grabbed me. The book starts in media res, in a way that is confusing, alienating (since it starts with the most unlikable characters) and weirdly similar to the beginning of Stross's Accelerado. I found it very hard to care about most of the characters. I think Gibson was aiming for noir, but he ended up with a kind of Apple Store shallow gloss. And King's general lack of affect didn't help. I also got very frustrated with the speculative fiction aspect. His information time travel idea opens up all kinds of potential plot complications which are never addressed.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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too fast

Gibson's Style doesn't lend itself to speed reading. this had no emotion, gravitas. almost unintelligible

2 of 2 people found this review helpful