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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hip writing, cool set-pieces, what's the story again?
I finished it a couple of weeks ago, and it inspired me to re-read Virtual Light (Idoru will be next).
The thing is, while I can remember lots of little facets: ideas, locations, characters, and events, the main thrust of the plot is gone from my mind. Perhaps this is the nature of Gibson :-)
The chapter lengths are *very* short, making for a staccato read. Not...
Published on 11 Feb 2002

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The bridge between
This is the final part of Gibson's Bridge trilogy; I enjoyed reading Virtual Light, the first one in the series many years ago - and have only a hazy recollection of its contents - but have yet to read Idoru, the second instalment. I didn't think that those omissions affected my appreciation of this book, although a more joined-up reader would doubtless be pleased to...
Published 8 months ago by Jeremy Walton


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hip writing, cool set-pieces, what's the story again?, 11 Feb 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: All Tomorrow's Parties (Paperback)
I finished it a couple of weeks ago, and it inspired me to re-read Virtual Light (Idoru will be next).
The thing is, while I can remember lots of little facets: ideas, locations, characters, and events, the main thrust of the plot is gone from my mind. Perhaps this is the nature of Gibson :-)
The chapter lengths are *very* short, making for a staccato read. Not a problem, but perhaps that's part of what makes the overall picture so hard to appreciate and remember.
It was nice to meet Rydell and Chevette again, and the bridge was (once more) a fascinating place to visit.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Typically Gibson-esque, or is it? Good stuff..., 1 Nov 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: All Tomorrow's Parties (Paperback)
Unlike his earlier works, in which each book stands almost alone, this book makes many references to Idoru and Virtual Light and uses several of the characters. It brings those stories together in the way we've come to expect from Gibson:- partly obscure and philosophical, partly very real and likely future vision. There isn't much actually happens overall, as a story, but the way several threads of narrative are followed as they combine towards the end, remeniscent of Mona Lisa Overdrive, make the book strangely compelling. For those who've never read Gibson before, be warned that none of his books are designed for skim-reading, you have to pay attention and think about what is written! With inescapable streetwise style, solid characters, a disturbingly likely view of the future, and even some dark humour, this is a good addition to the Gibson collection.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant visions of the future., 5 Feb 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: All Tomorrow's Parties (Paperback)
In my view, All Tomorrows Parties could almost be called a short stories collection. Yes, there is a plot, but mostly it's really just ignored. Instead, Gibson concentrates on describing his visions of the future, which are absolutely stunning in both detail and depth, and could even be called his best yet. Needless to say, I loved it.
And by the way, this book has some great stuff for you fellow gamemasters out there :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The bridge between, 8 Nov 2013
By 
Jeremy Walton (Sidmouth, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: All Tomorrow's Parties (Paperback)
This is the final part of Gibson's Bridge trilogy; I enjoyed reading Virtual Light, the first one in the series many years ago - and have only a hazy recollection of its contents - but have yet to read Idoru, the second instalment. I didn't think that those omissions affected my appreciation of this book, although a more joined-up reader would doubtless be pleased to learn more about Chevette and Berry (from Virtual Light) and Laney and Rei Toei (from Idoru).

Gibson writes this history of the near future using very short chapters, presenting snapshots of characters and events in a scattered fashion which, coupled with his allusive style, can make this book feel like a collection of interweaving short stories rather than a coherent novel. In addition, as is common in science fiction, neologisms and technical labels are tossed around without any elucidation, and the reader is supposed to work out what they mean - for example, Laney is obsessed with "nodal points in history, of some emerging pattern in the texture of things" (p56), which sounds like something you could understand if the time was taken to explain it to you. Of course, these lacunae may be part of the impression of uncertainty and alienation that the author wants to convey about this world, but perhaps a firmer guiding hand would have been useful in places - for example, in what I suppose was the climax on p266, where the baddie gets his come-uppance (or seems to, anyway).

Elsewhere, there's a uncommonly accurate prediction of technology (the book was written in 1999) when Rydell uses the communications, entertainment and information-gathering facilities which have been built into a pair of spectacles. And there are the musical nods which are standard in Gibson's work: the title is, of course, taken from a song on The Velvet Underground & Nico (although it's perhaps hard to see what it has to do with this story), but he also mines a (slightly obscure) Steely Dan song for Klaus and The Rooster, which are the names of two minor characters.

To conclude: I found this an enjoyable and interesting read, but would find it hard to say what it was about. Perhaps I should go back over the Bridge trilogy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fan of gibson and i liked it., 3 Nov 2001
This review is from: All Tomorrow's Parties (Paperback)
I'm a big fan of william gibson, and i didn't think it was inferior to his other work as some have suggested - in fact i think its one of his best.
His descriptive talent is at peak, little glimpses of objects and people really make the book and add to the fast paced stocatto effect of the short chapters. (2-4 pages each).
As another reviewer said, the plot takes second place to the background world, future tech and visions of tommorow but the same could probably be said for all gibsons work.
Also, those that know San Francisco well (unlike our amazon reviewer :) - sorry), will know that the bridge in which much of the novel is set is actually the SF Bay Bridge which meets foot of Folsom at SOMA, and not the Golden Gate Bridge which is some 5 miles out of town, but i think this was a deliberate trick by gibson.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A trip into sci-fi philosophy, 17 Oct 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: All Tomorrow's Parties (Paperback)
Read At least Idoru first. I found this book very good, read it four days. Once you have learnt to read properly and can take in nuances and meanings, then there is a lot to be learned from this book. I can't believe the other reviewers putting it down. It isn't Neuromancer, but what is? It takes place further into the future, in a different dimension I guess. The best character is boomzilla, serious dude. It is cut up into loads of viewpoints, more than his other books, which is a good thing, like painting a picture with a finer brush- it brings up the resolution of the thing. Learn to think in holons and this book gives loads of ideas to things. I reccomend it to anyone entering 'the work', along with neuromancer. His style is ace. Buy it ... a total bargain. Plus you might learn something from it. You can pick up philosophical concepts from it, that are in my opinion priceless!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost everything we've come to expect from Gibson., 16 Nov 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: All Tomorrow's Parties (Paperback)
This novel wraps up the strand taken from Virtual Light through Idoru. As with the "Neuromancer trilogy" the sequel could not live up to the first book, but the third makes up for it with an absorbing, complex narrative solidly backed by Gibson's own brand of description. To some extent it was lacking a little action compared to his previous stuff, but the characters are there, made all the more believable by their partial or extensive ignorance, their lives unblessed by dollars, and the cheap production-line technology that doesn't always work; I laughed all the way through at Rydell's Brazilian shades that were a struggle every time he used them. Great stuff.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling and satirical view of the near future, 21 Aug 2012
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This review is from: All Tomorrow's Parties (Paperback)
This is a magnificent novel displaying everything William Gibson is good at to its fullest effect. A stylish and intelligent thriller of the near future, it shows a writer on top form and pulling off the frankly disconcerting trick of thrilling his readers to their very core while sticking to a beautifully measured, effortless prose. It's like a public speaker whipping an audience to a frenzy without so much as breaking a sweat or even raising his voice.

The closing part of what is now known as Gibson's Bridge trilogy, All Tomorrow's Parties is set in the early 21st Century. Its most prominent feature is the ruined San Francisco - Oakland Bay bridge which has been replaced by a tunnel made possible by nanotechnology, and is now home to a bustling shanty town for those with nowhere else to go, people with no official status, illegal and semi-legal businesses and various other inhabitants of a twilight world. We are taken as well to Japan, where a pharmaceutically-damaged savant with a talent for data analysis (Laney from the second book in the trilogy, Idoru) picks up a worrying trend and an obsession with a leading media baron. The story also pulls in Chevette, the cycle courier protagonist of the first Bridge novel, Virtual Light, and Berry Rydell also appeared in the first. A very strange mercenary working for the media baron also comes into the mix.

What emerges is a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse played out in and around San Francisco and the Bridge community. Laney leads a gang of vigilante hackers in an attack on the established corporate order while the mercenary, lethal and on the edge, tries to shut them down. Our eyes on the story, Rydell and Chevette, are dragged into a dangerous conflict without much choice in the matter, and somewhere in the data of Laney's obsession, the future will be decided.

Gibson intended this trilogy as a satire on the decay, corporate power and trends in technology and media that he perceived in the 1990s. What it also does is give an insight into the kind of future we could expect around the corner. Some of the detail has not come true but the idea of a new way of living where the media, virtual reality (and reality television) permeates everything, almost omnipotent corporations, and a growing underclass with few prospects and more opportunities in criminal and antisocial activities has a certain resonance. There is also the idea of the world becoming more chaotic and the 21st century, one way or another, having a pretty difficult birth.

The nominal setting for the story is around 2010, but frankly you could reset the clock and imagine a lot of this happening a decade from now. It's still fresh, vibrant and balances on a fine line between Gibson's wry, observational tone and the unsettling, worrying view of a new world just waiting to arrive whether we like it or not. Of all Gibson's books, which I love, this is my favourite, a twisty thriller of unusual events, culminating in a big climax and ending on a note of cautious hopefulness. A really satisfying, gripping read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Stylish techno-thriller, 15 Dec 2011
By 
R2D2 (Manchester) - See all my reviews
Not my usual sort of thing but read it on recommendation from a friend, and I'm glad i did. To be honest much of the story went straight over my head but I loved the atmospheric writing and the sense of the present crashing into the future to create a new type of consciousness. This is a brilliant comment on technology and evolution. Whether its predictions ever come true remains to be seen.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Nice if not a touch unsatisfying, 28 Aug 2011
This review is from: All Tomorrow's Parties (Paperback)
Going into this I had already read the previous 2 books in The Bridge series (a must if you want any hope of understanding this one) and having thoroughly enjoyed these previous two very much. While I wasn't unhappy with the book I felt the ending may have in a way copped out in a way and left me wanting another book to further the development of the various characters and the overarching story.

don't get me wrong if you have any love for science fiction I would recommend this book and anything else by William Gibson.
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All Tomorrow's Parties
All Tomorrow's Parties by William Gibson (Paperback - 5 Oct 2000)
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