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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant, groundbreaking book.
This is a wonderful book - original, packed with ideas and simply crackling with energy and wit. Gibson has documented incredible, wild vision of the (near) future. It is a world of high technology and low life, a world where designer drugs and surgical enhancements are ubiquitous. In writing this book, he created (or at least popularised) a new genre: cyberpunk...
Published on 29 Mar 2005 by John E. Davidson

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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Someone to Wachowski me
I have mixed feelings about neuromancer: one one hand, circa 1982 it was such a staggering imaginative feat, conjuring up a breathtakingly close intellectual equivalent to the internet, coining the term and then strikingly predicting the commercialisation of "cyberspace" and it is also such a valiant stylistic effort, amalgamating Chandler's gumshoe noir with Dick's...
Published on 30 Dec 2007 by Olly Buxton


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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant, groundbreaking book., 29 Mar 2005
This review is from: Neuromancer (Paperback)
This is a wonderful book - original, packed with ideas and simply crackling with energy and wit. Gibson has documented incredible, wild vision of the (near) future. It is a world of high technology and low life, a world where designer drugs and surgical enhancements are ubiquitous. In writing this book, he created (or at least popularised) a new genre: cyberpunk.
Neuromancer is not perfect. The characterisation is patchy (at best), some of the dialogue is stilted and the plot occasionally meanders but it is a still tremendous piece of work that has stood the test of time quite well.
Note that this is the first part of a trilogy and as such leaves a number of questions hanging. The other parts of the trilogy Count Zero and Mona Lisa Overdrive are also very good and complete the story nicely.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Neuromancer invented its own genre., 16 Dec 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Neuromancer (Paperback)
Neuromancer is the epitome and the antecedent of all cyberpunk fiction. In fact, it is with this book that Gibson, seemingly quite accidentally, actually coined the term "cyberspace" (not to mention providing the original "matrix"). The characters are vivid and interesting, and the world that they inhabit is just as colourful, in its urbanized, futuristic way. Neuromancer is relatively brief, laudably free of some science fiction writers' tendency to expound verbosely on their philosophy of the future. Even so, Gibson's vision comes out in the writing, perhaps even more effectively. You will finish this book quickly. When you do, Count Zero and Mona Lisa Overdrive are just as well paced, continue in the same vein without becoming philosophical, and are refreshingly self-contained for science fiction sequels.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Remember when this was written., 6 Sep 2006
This review is from: Neuromancer (Paperback)
I don't often foray into sci-fi and certainly not cyberpunk, but I found this fascinating. Not great, definitely not perfect, but intriguing and challenging.

The challenge comes mostly in the jargon-loaded language, but that wasn't half as tough to penetrate as I expected. Simultaneously it also provided the greatest reward - bearing in mind when this book was conceived it displays some fascinating insights and prophecies around the future of technology.

Beyond that, I have a suspicion that the book is not quite as deep as it makes out! Case and Molly are the sort of protagonists that a good book needs; special but flawed. I certainly think an opportunity was missed to deliver more richness to these and other characters, but this will hopefully develop through the trilogy. The story itself is also subservient to the technological vision, but again it does set up the following books.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hugely influential and way ahead of its time, 26 Jun 2001
By A Customer
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This review is from: Neuromancer (Paperback)
After reading some 100 pages of this book, I realised how many other books, TV shows and movies it has directly and indirectly influenced. The shock was looking at the inside cover to realise that the book was first published in the mid-1980s. It is so far ahead of its time that it's scary. The first few pages were a little off-putting and I couldn't quite accept Gibson's writing style, but with a bit of perseverence, either his editor tightened things up, or I got used to it. And from that moment on, I enjoyed every page. Just like modern times, there is too much information and it takes real reading to understand and absorb every detail, every new construct and every fictional technology. But it's worth the effort. A class sci-fi book in a genre overly-populated with dirge. It stands up against any genre as a very good book indeed.
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55 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dated? Maybe, but a book to read before you die!, 12 Sep 2006
This review is from: Neuromancer (Paperback)
Like a bullet to the head, Neuromancer (and Gibson) arrived in 1984 to almost universal acclaim and allegedly kick-started the Cyberpunk movement which has influenced certain branches of SF ever since. Whether or not they choose to call their work cyberpunk or not is immaterial. The work of Simon Ings, Grimwood, Chris Moriarty, Michael Swanwick and dozens of others would arguably not have been the same had this novel not been as successful as it was.
The prose is fast, clever, snappy, set against a background of half-working neon in streets where disposable computer equipment is strewn like empty fast food cartons.
Our hero, Case, is a cyber-freelancer, able to jack himself into computer-systems and experience cyberspace as a three dimensional reality. Case, however, tried to steal from one of his more dubious clients who subsequently infected him with a Russian mycotoxin, effectively rendering him incapable of cyberspace work and therefore unemployable. We therefore meet him, down on his luck, and mixing with some rather eccentric characters in a downtown bar in Japan.
For me, it reads like `The Maltese Falcon in Space'. There is a pervasive noir element, since Case - like many a Nineteen-Forties gumshoe - is forced to take on a job, the full details of which he is not fully aware. There's a beautiful and dangerous woman (by the name of Molly) and a mysterious benefactor, as well as a supporting cast of neon-lit lowlife.
Like any classic noir novel, the action and the protagonists move between street level and the crazy billionaire family who are literally `above the clouds', since they live within their own Las Vegas style space station.
It's exciting, challenging, dense with atmosphere, and very much deserves its cult status as a modern classic.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dawn of Cyberpunk, 28 May 2002
By 
SG Wilson (Oxford, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Neuromancer (Paperback)
Gibsons first feature length novel is a real eye opener.
Equally adept at describing the gritty, near future locations of the sprawl as the ephemeral, dreamscapes of cyberspace.
Despite being written way back in the mid eighties he paints a picture so close to the direction our own culture seems to be taking that at times Gibson is more a prophet than an author.
A must read for anyone with a passing interest in science fiction. Or just anyone who's enjoyed The Matrix.
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Someone to Wachowski me, 30 Dec 2007
This review is from: Neuromancer (Paperback)
I have mixed feelings about neuromancer: one one hand, circa 1982 it was such a staggering imaginative feat, conjuring up a breathtakingly close intellectual equivalent to the internet, coining the term and then strikingly predicting the commercialisation of "cyberspace" and it is also such a valiant stylistic effort, amalgamating Chandler's gumshoe noir with Dick's post-modern dystopian sci-fi that you can't help but be totally swept along.

On the other hand it is such a horror-show of a literary artefact, on a technical level so poorly conceived and executed, that it is almost impossible to slog through.

But slog through it I did, after a couple of aborted runs at it, and while I remain impressed at Gibson's conceptual prescience, thanks to his needlessly affected, sub-Burroughs, Beat-for-the-hell-of-it writing style I often had little idea what was going on, much less why, and from my tenuous grasp of the plot, conceptual scheme and literary motivations can't for the life of me fathom what Gibson was trying to make from his portentous ending. The thing is, and unlike many substandard novels of this type, I suspect Gibson did have a coherent point, but he buried under such a thick coating of cod-style it remains forever concealed. In his afterword he pretty much concedes all this (and handily summarises the ending in about two lines!).

There is a real art to successful stylism, evident in someone like James Ellroy whose prose, even though initially forbidding, suddenly "clicks" and carries the reader along enhancing the impression, the images, and the comprehension. Gibson's style, whilst cool, is uneven, obscure, and never manages anything other than to get in the way of a (fairly) good story.

Only fairly good: there are far too many characters, most are introduced arbitrarily and fulfil no particular function other than building the dystopian atmosphere, and even the five or six main ones are poorly drawn, wafer thin, and appear to prescribe little by way of developmental arc (Case, I think, does, but thanks to the vapid style I couldn't tell you what it was).

Reading Neuromancer in the age of the internet puts the story at another disadvantage: we now have the actual internet to compare Gibson's matrix with, and while it is undoubtedly a remarkable previsualistion in many respects, it diverges utterly in others, to the point where it is difficult now to imagine the universe Gibson paints for us.

Hardly Gibson's fault, of course, but an internet arranged in a fixed three-dimensional space seems quaint and fairly pointless when the internet we do know and love is constructed for its infinite flexibility and re-orderability - the data is just there, and you the user can use what tools you like to order and navigate it to your convenience.

They're apparently making a film of Neuromancer: I couldn't help thinking good luck; rather them than me - not only do they have to pare down and disentangle Gibson's contorted prose and plotting, they have to do it more convincingly that the Wachowski brothers did: Their Matrix franchise owes almost as much to Neuromancer as Blade Runner did to Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, and the bits that are different are all marked improvements.

Then again, Neuromancer was a first novel, and on that count alone it is pretty extraordinary.

Olly Buxton
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazingly addictive and cunningly devised., 5 Mar 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Neuromancer (Paperback)
Neuromancer is the first William Gibson book that I have read, but it has made me want to read more of his work. Neuromancer is unforgettable. You are forced to read every word to understand and appreciate it. Its characters are unique and the storyline is always on the brink of a cliff...you simply HAVE to read on. It is the story of a man (Chase) who is left crippled after double crossing his former employees. All he wants is to be able to work again. He meets facinating character after facinating character and is intertwined in a complicated plot of jacking into the mainframe and beating an articificial intelligence. It is a must read for anyone, not just science fiction fans as it can be applied to life and the Name-brand society we live in.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly a story that deserves its "Cult" label, 22 Sep 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Neuromancer (Paperback)
Gibson manages to create the ultimate in Cyberpunk stories with this book. With interesting characters, an outstanding plot and a writing style that'll make you read it again and again....this book truly deserves it's cult status.
I brought this book purely because I'd heard it mentioned, and it's phrases used, so many times around the internet. Anybody who uses the internet and takes a vague interest in the exploits of hackers will have heard the phrase Cyberpunk, this is the book that epitomises that phrase. With Gibson's slick use of words, a style that belongs to him alone, and a really satisfying ending (If it was any better the story just wouldn't work)......this book is up there with the best.
Neuromancer deserves the 5 crown rating and more. For a book it's age it really stands the test of time, I wouldn't be surprised if in 10 years it's still a fantastic read for anyone interested in technology and a good Sci-Fi story. I'm now off to read the other books in the Neuromancer trilogy!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic, But not quite what you're expecting., 7 Feb 2002
By A Customer
Any book as popular and influential as this is never going to be what you expect, and i many ways this is one of its strengths. Gibson never ceases to surprise the reader with his inventiveness, and has produced a truly gripping read. Reading this novel it is important to bear in mind that it was written (appropriately enough) in 1984, and that although we take many of the ideas and terms in the book for granted most of them were invented with the publication of neuromancer. The plot has a definite "noir-ish" quality to it as the plot slowly unfolds piece by piece, and it was this aspect that was so unexpected and remains one of the novels strongest features. This really is a must read for anyone who uses the internet (this means you!) or has ever wondered where we might all be in 100 years' time. Oh and this book introduces possibly the coolest female character ever in the form of Molly: the anti-ally macbeal?
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Neuromancer
Neuromancer by William Gibson (Paperback - 27 Nov 1995)
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