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Publisher's Summary

Hollis Henry worked for the global marketing magnate Hubertus Bigend once before. She never meant to repeat the experience. But she's broke, and Bigend never feels it's beneath him to use whatever power comes his way -- in this case, the power of money to bring Hollis onto his team again. Not that she knows what the "team" is up to, not at first.

Milgrim is even more thoroughly owned by Bigend. He's worth owning for his useful gift of seeming to disappear in almost any setting, and his Russian is perfectly idiomatic - so much so that he spoke Russian with his therapist, in the secret Swiss clinic where Bigend paid for him to be cured of the addiction that would have killed him.

Garreth has a passion for extreme sports. Most recently he jumped off the highest building in the world, opening his chute at the last moment, and he has a new thighbone made of rattan baked into bone, entirely experimental, to show for it. Garreth isn't owned by Bigend at all. Garreth has friends from whom he can call in the kinds of favors that a man like Bigend will find he needs, when things go unexpectedly sideways, in a world a man like Bigend is accustomed to controlling.

As when a Department of Defense contract for combat-wear turns out to be the gateway drug for arms dealers so shadowy that even Bigend, whose subtlety and power in the private sector would be hard to overstate, finds himself outmaneuvered and adrift in a seriously dangerous world.

©2010 William Gibson; 2010 Penguin Audiobooks

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Story

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  • Overall
  • Aaron
  • Troy, MI, United States
  • 09-11-10

Bigend needed a little more Blomkvist

The Bigend trilogy could have been a smarter version of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - essentially this is that series if Delillo (circa White Noise) had been at the keyboard. They are both fun and sharp, but what one lacks in sticky insights the other lacks in action, and each (like the reader) suffers a bit. Bigend is a great idea for a character, but there isn't much "there there" - HH's endless soul searching is fatiguing and Milgrim (who ought to be a little more like Bourne, imho) just comes across as muddle minded. All that said, it is filled with good stuff about what would best be characterized as a long rumination on the nerd hive mind. If you are interested in memes, gear/fashion fetish culture and corporate design espionage, this is the only game in town.

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Gibson's Amazing Zero History

Gibson's most famous quote (which I'm sure he's tired of by now) is, "the future is already here – it's just not very evenly distributed". If Gibson's next book is to be on higher education he would not find a better place to start his research than at EDUCAUSE.
Zero History, the 3rd book in Gibson's Bigend trilogy, is about fashion (or anti-fashion), military contracting, inflatable spy drones, and much else. If you read Pattern Recognition and Spook Country (and if you have not you should), I'm betting that Zero History is already on your reading device. If you are not a Gibson reader you should become one.

What would Bigend, the multimillionaire founder of the viral advertising / cool hunting agency Blue Ant, want to know about higher education?

In Pattern Recognition, Blue Ant is described this way:
"Relatively tiny in terms of permanent staff, globally distributed, more post-geographic than multinational, the agency has from the beginning billed itself as a high-speed, low-drag life-form in an advertising ecology of lumbering herbivores."

Perhaps in the next book, Gibson will have Bigend create a similarly nimble and agile university. Or perhaps he will advise existing institutions on how to become more like Blue Ant.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

good reading, not very good book

The narration is quite good, but this book needs editing. I have been a fan of Gibson for most of my life, and I quite liked the first of his recent books set in the present day, Pattern Recognition. But the second one was less interesting , and this, the third in the series, has every character speaking almost exactly alike, constantly asking each other to explain things that were just explained in the narration, and way, way too much detail. The color and texture of every object in the book is noted. And if you're not that into fashion, you're going to find the whole premise mystifying. Anyway, l recommend Pattern Recognition instead.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Gibson has won me over. Excellent series

William Gibson has now floated into my top five authors in audiobooks. Amazing ability to spin a tale, develop characters, make a scene come to life and all with an interesting plot that keeps you coming back for more. Though this book is probably the weakest of the trilogy, it still is a solid 5 star, Only wish I could get my hands on all of Gibson's books on audio. Word of advice, start with book one of this trilogy. I used Wikipedia for gibson to tell me the order of books of the trilogy.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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An unofficial sequel to Spook Country.

The pleasure of Gibson is the texture of his prose. The story is entertaining but the gritty detail is the real attraction.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

An excellent capstone on the series.

Would you consider the audio edition of Zero History to be better than the print version?

For my purposes as a commuter, I find it better. The narration was top-notch, and the story is received equally well when read and when heard.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Milgram. He changes from the beginning of the book to the end.

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

Excellent, once again. I didn't know why he changed Milgram's voice, but it made sense after the story developed.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Global ideas, global consequences.

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  • Story

Not quite as good as Pattern Recognition, but better than Spook Country

A fitting end to the Bigend Trilogy. The members of The Curfew are more real. The prose are just excellent.

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  • S. Mc
  • Illinois, United States
  • 01-30-14

This is my first Gibson book, and I want more

Would you listen to Zero History again? Why?

It's an interesting story, set in a current time, with very unique characters and story. At times, it felt a little slow, as the author dwelled on details that are low priority to the story.

What about Robertson Dean’s performance did you like?

He has a great voice, and does a good job creating voicings of the various characters.

  • Overall
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  • Story

WTF????

I got 27 chapters into this book (TWENTY-SEVEN CHAPTERS!), and it's still about PANTS. I kid you not. Pants! The most interesting thing that has happened is when a woman surreptitiously takes a picture of someone. Holy cow! That blew my socks off.

I have read 4 or 5 of Gibson's books, so far, and really enjoyed him. He's a great writer. But this book was pure bulls*&t.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Zero

The book Zero History spends too much time on details.I don't need to know when one of the character has to go to the bathroom and why in detail. Zero History is a zero.

0 of 13 people found this review helpful