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Talented, vulnerable heroine Cayce Pollard is an adept "coolhunter" with an intuitive gift for telling whether any image or logo will be a commercial flop. The downside is her tortured sensitivity--like an allergic reaction--to logo overexposure. She can just about bear to fly BA, but not cross-promoted Virgin...
When she's consulted by top ad agency Blue Ant and gives the thumbs-down to their designer's latest concept, the edgy urban paranoia begins. A porn-site URL that she never accessed appears in her browser history, and the phone's redial button goes somewhere it shouldn't. The same faces appear around her as she flits between continents. Small world. Worryingly small.
As new vistas open in viral marketing and stealth publicity, the big admen are all too interested in Cayce's private hobby: mystery fragments of haunting movie footage, released anonymously on the Web. This unknown "garage Kubrick" auteur has spawned a fascinated, obsessive online cult. Is this a brilliant marketing operation for a still-unknown product, or something with different, dark and painful roots?
Cayce's personal quest, or flight, converges on the source of the Footage, helped and threatened by memorably offbeat characters. In Britain, these include a pettily sadistic woman who seems to know Cayce's most carefully concealed phobias, and an embittered collector of obsolete mechanical calculators made in Liechtenstein. Tokyo: a lovesick Japanese geek whose "otaku" friends find a hidden digital signature in the Footage. Moscow: a strange girl whose uncle is a fabulously wealthy--and dangerously protected--Russian mafioso...
Here's Cayce in a Japanese hotel, showing that wittily lyrical Gibson view of the world and his deft use of brand names:
She uses the remote as demonstrated, drapes drawing quietly aside to reveal a remarkably virtual-looking skyline, a floating jumble of electric Lego, studded with odd shapes you wouldn't see elsewhere, as if you'd need special Tokyo add-ons to build this at home.
This world of glittering surfaces and pulsating data connections is mined with surprises, betrayals, flurries of violence and unexpected allies. This is a very 21st century novel: compulsive reading, and vintage Gibson. --David Langford --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I bought this at Christmas. I couldn't put it down and finished it on my birthday three days later. I would have finished sooner if there hadn't been family to spend time with. Read morePublished 12 days ago by Ellie Tucker
As usual, a lot of interesting ideas about how our world is run behind the scenes and the possibilities for the people who understand how it all works. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Samantha Knowles
Unlike the other books of his that I have read, this one is set in the recognisable present and is more of a commentary on modern culture than science fiction. Read morePublished 4 months ago by A. Skudder
This 2004 contemporary novel by William Gibson is a little hard to classify, which might explain why many were underwhelmed by it. Read morePublished 4 months ago by tallmanbaby
Yeah I thought it was OK. Perhaps I would have liked it more if it had been more carefully edited - an intrusive apostrophe on THE FIRST PAGE is exactly the kind of thing... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Ms. IM Burton
I really enjoyed the style of this writing. Having never read anything of this author before, I read a book review in Nature and ordered some of his books. Read morePublished 5 months ago by sylvia maude
Loved me some cyberpunk and this is all spook wonk mafia net brand stuff. Really enjoyed re reading it. A master of defining sub culturesPublished 5 months ago by Mr G J Woods
Since I started listing them back in my rather autistic teens I have now read just over four thousand books, and this could very probably my favourite of them all. Read morePublished 6 months ago by James Brydon