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City Come a-Walkin' [Paperback]

John Shirley
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Jun 1996
Stu Cole is struggling to keep his nightclub, Club Anesthesia, afloat in the face of mob harassment when he's visited by a manifestation of the city of San Francisco, crystallized into a single enigmatic being. This amoral superhero leads him on a terrifying journey through the rock and roll demimonde as they struggle to save the city.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Eyeball Books; New edition edition (Jun 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0964250519
  • ISBN-13: 978-0964250512
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 13.2 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,191,697 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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First Sentence
IT WAS SATURDAY NIGHT, ten o'clock, which means that the club was full to capacity. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Great ideas, so-so realisation 6 Jun 2008
By Jay Oh
Format:Paperback
William Gibson wrote, "John Shirley was cyberpunk's Patient Zero, first locus of the virus, certifiably virulent." - and if Gibson gives an author his stamp of approval (in such livewired prose!) then sure, lots of us are going to want to read this book. 'City Come a Walkin' is high energy, it's fun to read and holds your attention - but it also falls into pretty much *all* the traps of later cyberpunk. The characters are mere ciphers, the author's trying really hard to be cool (he's writing about nightclubs, a rock singer, and San Francisco as an "amoral superhero"), and it just never quite convinces. Shirley's world remains a little too simple for my tastes, a little crudely drawn and reliant on ultra-noir tropes. But that may or may not matter to you as a reader - I for one was really really excited by the idea of a sentient, embodied city (what a metaphor!) and read 'City Come a Walkin' to see what Shirley could do with that. It's also really interesting to see where cyberpunk started out, and thus to be able to observe its development as a genre. Worth buying if you're a cyberpunk fan, then, and out of curiosity and for Gibson's short but brilliant (hilarious?) foreword. That's three reasons, should be enough!
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "City Come A-Walkin' " 4 April 2000
By B. Shirley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
For those of you that don't know john shirley, he is the father of Cyberpunk...a master of it. his novel, city come a-walkin', is one of my favorites, telling the story of a club owner who is visited by a representation of a city , in the form of a man. i highly recomend this book for those who are into dark, funny novels...
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ups and Downs 1 May 2007
By D. K. Jackson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is definitely an important one as the forward by William Gibson indicates. Still, there is much left to be wanting. Looking back I remember being basically floored by the first fifty pages, and then subsequently let down for the majority of the rest of the book. The main character is hard to like and not in an anti-hero sort of way. I think this probably hints at John Shirley's true talent lying in his short story writing abilities. If I could do it again I would probably try to find some of those first, but overall this one is worth checking out.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unique... 9 April 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is probably the most unique concept I've come across. The idea of a the city's consciousness manifesting itself is fresh and interesting. It's hard to believe this title is as old as it is. It seems like recently written cyberpunk. Pretty obvious that instead, all other cyberpunk has taken from it.
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The parameters of urban morality 31 Jan 2001
By Mac Tonnies - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Shirley's early novel "City Come A Walkin'" takes us on a surreal (and frequently brutal) jaunt through a near-future San Fransisco where the city's overmind has the ability to manifest as a mirrorshades-wearing techno-shaman with a marked dislike for bad guys. The brilliance and terror behind this straight-forward tale is Shirley's refreshing refusal to cling to genre conceits. "City Come A Walkin'" challenges the nature of identity as well as the parameters of urban morality.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There Goes the Neighborhood 9 Sep 2008
By Dick Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Literally! What a book. In itself it's not scary - but its implications are terrorizing. William Gibson wrote the Forward in the edition I read - acknowledging Shirley's primary influence on cyberpunk. This is an early book of his, but while some of the writing is rough, the thoughts he puts to paper are powerful.

Other reviews will tell you about the book (the Amazon description is horrible). There are three main characters. The interaction and flow among them is very fascinating. I couldn't wait for the book to end so I could know how Shirley tied up the loose ends; I didn't want the book to end because I was having so much fun.

If you enjoy reflecting on a book after you have read it, then this is a very good catalyst. I heartily recommend it.
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