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Neuromancer
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This is one of the most important books of the genre. Yes he got some things wrong - like the cost of Ram (but so did Bill Gates).

The book is something totally new and definitive. It lets you see the dark underside of a internet world. While there are flavours of Metropolis, describing how we deal with human computer interaction, it is mainly a thriller in a technological world.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 7 January 2004
Take it from a formally educated Master in Literature (that's me!): this book is tough read, but worth every effort. In my humble opinion, Neuromancer is as important to modern story telling as was Joyce's Ulysses at the beginning of the 20th century. To get the full scope of this novel you'll have to read this novel at least twice, probably even more. It's Gibson frantic use of cyberpunk slang, and of course, the shifting point-of-view when characters jack in into the matrix that makes it very challenging.
If this scares you, then I suggest that you start with Count Zero and Mona Lisa Overdrive, the 2nd and 3rd part of the trilogy: they are easier accessible, while situated in the same universe.
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on 30 June 2014
as says
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 18 March 2015
very tough book, not for non-english native speakers, like me, you just get lost in slang after I git just tired and lost the plot and had to stop reading
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 13 July 2009
One of my top 3 favourite books of all time. I cant believe it was written in 1984, it still seems so futuristic, gritty and relevant.
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on 17 February 2015
great
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This book is just Great! That simple. It contains the very basic ideas of how a dark future would be, not a future like in Bladerunner, but more in the style of Johnny Mnemonic (Movie, 1995) and Shadowrun (Roleplaying game by FASA). The book itself is so inspiring that it is actually hard to put down once you started, it is real well written and captivating.
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40 of 78 people found the following review helpful
on 30 April 2010
There are many major problems with this book, and it's really a photo-finish as to which of them causes the most damage.

The most obvious is the truly appalling style, a common offense in science fiction, unfortunately, where the urge to sound futuristic often generates the most purple of prose. Combine that with the urge to be cool, and you have a bona-fide carcrash. In addition to the standard dystopian canon, Gibson has clearly also read Chandler, Hammett, Martin Amis, Phil Dick, Alfred Bester and Samuel R Delany, all of whose style he borrows from, but in terms of talent, he's way, way out of his depth against the least of them. His style is pretentious and portentous, and flatters to deceive with its almost-but-not-quite impenetrability. ("Wow, I must be a pretty smart dude to follow all of this." No, actually, you can't avoid following it if you just stick with it, which is challenge enough.)

The less obvious but, in my view, more crippling flaw is the characterisation. There isn't any. At all. These characters are barely one-dimensional. We have standard issue existentialist outlaw loner with a well-concealed heart of gold, and chequered past, fighting against the Man. He takes no prisoners and he doesn't play by the rules, no sir. Nor does his sexy yet deadly femme fatale accomplice, who strangely enough also has a chequered past, well-concealed heart of gold, blah blah blah. There's even a dead Obi-Wan Kenobi figure. You've come across these characters in hundreds of awful books, movies and TV shows. It's outsider chic and it appeals to 15 year old boys of all ages. Unfortunately, for the rest of us, it's a yawn, and means that we don't give a damn about what happens to any of the characters. I truly did not care about the decaying bags of poison secreted about Case's body, or Molly's awful injuries any more than I care about the characters in a computer game. Gibson's characters fail to work even as cyphers.

The other issue for me is what so many people laud, in spite of its flaws - its originality. I fail to detect any speck of originality in this novel. The overall feel is very much cod-Phil Dick (a very over-rated writer, but still a good one), and as if to make that more obvious, he even steals shamelessly from Bladerunner for his urban settings and corporate overlordship scenario. Who, after reading the first few pages, could avoid imagining the action taking place anywhere else but in that movie's visual (and psychological) landscape? (I kept seeing the bad-guy henchman-type as a younger Rutger Hauer).

And what about the visualised cyberspace idea - didn't that come from Tron? Much of the central premise, too, is nicked from John Brunner's rather better (to say the least) "The Shockwave Rider". A lot of the style and attitude comes straight from standard "New Wave" moves of the late 1960s, particularly Samuel R Delany's "Babel-17", which he mines quite assiduously, and stories like "A Boy And His Dog" by Harlan Ellison, which does the outsider thing far, far better and without the intense but latent sentimentality. I think I can also be pretty sure that he's read the Alfred Bester canon too, particularly "Golem 100" and "The Stars, My Destination".

I think ultimately, however, what annoys me most about this book is its utter puerility. Like a lot of science fiction, it's aimed at the bright but not well-educated late adolescent male, but unlike the best of it, "Neuromancer" never rises above this level at any point. I find it disappointing to say the least to see such a lightweight and throwaway confection taken at all seriously. It aspires to an adolescent idea of "cool" and achieves this easily. It does very little else however.
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4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 28 August 2014
I ploughed on gamely to the end hoping the book would redeem itself. I found it completely incomprehensible. Everything was wrong: the lack of plot; the neologisms; the characters. It was all style and no content, science fiction by numbers.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 9 April 1999
This really is an amazing book, the first I have read by this author (William Gibson) though I doubt it will be the last.
The biggest mistake you could make with this book is to try and understand it. I leant it to a friend of mine who isn't that keen on computers, and he found the novel very difficult because he was trying to see the meaning behind each technical term. This is a mistake, and one of the book's most interesting points, because it is very effective at creating a dream (nightmare) atmosphere by supplying the reader with "fuzzy" imagery.
Another aspect of the book, which I haven't seen before, is a kind of 1st-person 3rd-person. The story never leaves the main character except when he is in the Matrix and viewing through his friend's eyes. This reminded me alot of a computer adventure game, such as Westwood Studio's Blade Runner or LucasArts' Grim Fandango, where the game player is controlling another character.
As for bad points, I don't think there are any. The plot is quite difficult to understand in places but this is also a plus point. A thing to bare in mind is that all computers/robots are linked into the Matrix, if you miss this point the story could get very confusing. There is also a lot of swearing/violence which might be a consideration for some people.
Overall, I love this book, and would recommend it to anyone. And if you get confused, just glance back a couple of pages and everything will become clear.
P.S. A Cloned Ninja Bodyguard?!! How cool is that?!!
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