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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of Gibson's best (in recent years)
This book has received some mediocre reviews on Amazon, and in my opinion those reviews are undeserved but perhaps understandable. This is certainly one of Gibson's best books, certainly of his recent books. It's not a science-fiction book at all, really, as it's set in the present day (2002) and features nothing sciency beyond the commonplace apart from steganography and...
Published on 1 April 2006 by B. Coppin

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26 of 37 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pretentious and unthreatening
This book marks another step by Gibson into the middle-class literary world and away from the street-savvy, politically-radical, diamond-hardness of his early work. He's ceased to be a science fiction writer and has instead become a writer of literature, feted in the review pages of all the middle-class newspapers and magazines. This is no doubt good for his sales and his...
Published on 17 May 2005 by F. H. Riley


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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of Gibson's best (in recent years), 1 April 2006
By 
B. Coppin "ben31415" (Cambridgeshire, UK.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pattern Recognition (Paperback)
This book has received some mediocre reviews on Amazon, and in my opinion those reviews are undeserved but perhaps understandable. This is certainly one of Gibson's best books, certainly of his recent books. It's not a science-fiction book at all, really, as it's set in the present day (2002) and features nothing sciency beyond the commonplace apart from steganography and advanced cryptography.
Is it "cyber-punk"? I'd say so, and in fact this is where I think this book's most amazing skill lies. It's a tale of modern day Britain, Russia and Japan, painting those countries with the eye of a modern American in such a subtle and beautiful way. The protaganist thinks of the UK as the "mirror world", since things are so similar to the US, but also so different, and this feels like the starting point for a clever technique that never becomes too clever for its own good: the mirror-world is a cyber-punk world, and yet it's our present-day reality, just being shown through an unusual and thoughtful lens.
I hope this is not too waffly a way of saying that this is a great book, but that people who loved Neuromancer for its unreality might find it a little hard to enjoy.
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46 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Future Is Here, 11 Mar 2003
This review is from: Pattern Recognition (Hardcover)
'Pattern Recognition' is the latest fiction from William Gibson. the writer who became infamous after the publication of his epoch-making novel 'Neuromancer'. But while 'Pattern Recognition' is clearly the work of the same, earlier, revolutionary voice (twenty years have passed), it is a more mature, calmer novel, and is perhaps a better work of literature as a result.
The plot, put briefly, surrounds the search by Cayce (whose name is a pleasing nod towards the protagonist of 'Neuromancer') and others to discover the meaning behind, and makers of, a series of enigmatic, often abstract video clips. The clips are posted on the internet, left to be found by those who follow the unfolding series, but they are never traceable. While on unrelated business in London, Cayce finds herself involved in a venture to discover the source, turning her private past-time of discussing the video clips online into a project funded financially by a British marketing executive who walks around in a big, Texan cowboy hat (which he always wears incorrectly). To reveal more would be to spoil the novel, but it is enough to say that around this premise Gibson creates a highly intelligent, highly successful novel, part thriller, part exploration of contemporary technology culture, and much more besides.
'Pattern Recognition' is a masterpiece, and can be called such for a whole host of reasons. Cayce, the dominant character, is brought vividly to life, Gibson's super-sharp prose showing us Cayce's world as she sees it, and in doing so creating a reality that seems more real than real. We see things more crisply. The very best writers have the ability to grab the reader with their unique angle and focus on the world, and pull them completely between the lines. We become consumed by the words. One particularly poetic, recurring image is that of Cayce's soul catching up with her after each of her flights around the world, as though it is tethered to her by a long, stretched out wire, taking the slow-boat from place to place... Dialogue, inter-personal dynamics, split-second glances: all of these are handled as only a master author can. There is no shortage of reasons to admire 'Pattern Recognition'. Every page contains a sentence or a phrase or an observation that makes you think about things slightly differently, whether it be the state of democratic Russia in the 21st century, or the taste of a latte in the morning. Life seems slightly deeper, and more complex after finishing 'Pattern Recognition'. And the mind-expanding qualities of Gibson's writing never flag, from first page to last. So when you finish 'Pattern Recognition' you feel a part of Cayce. You have lived in her cutting-edge, liminal world, a setting which exists on the threshold between what we call today, and what we call tomorrow. And slowly we catch up with the future we are so delicately tethered to.
If you have never read Gibson, read this now, because it may well be his best book. Then again, it may just be another of his best books, and so you should also read it, because at worst, you'll simply have more good Gibson novels to read later. Whichever (and neither is bad), 'Pattern Recognition' is a must-read for anyone interested in the best contemporary fiction of 2003.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What would Philip K Dick have made of this?, 3 Mar 2012
This review is from: Pattern Recognition (Paperback)
This is not a radical departure from Gibson's earlier books as there are many common themes: the importance of looking cool on the streets and having an unlimited expense account, the awesomeness of Japan, and the use of bleeding-edge technology. And as in his earlier science-fiction stories, this book has been rapidly overtaken by events. However, as the book is placed in about 2002, not too long after the fall of the Twin Towers, which is some 70 years ago in Internet-time, it can be read as a historical novel, in a world before Facebook or Twitter (or whatever is the newest, hottest thing when you read this review) and before TSA went entirely mad.
The story is pretty straight-forward--the "footage", bits and pieces of what is suspected to a single film turn up on the web and cause a cult following. One of the footageheads gets the opportunity to try to find out who or what creates the film and why. The hunt goes from one exotic luxury hotel to the next...

I can't help wonder how weird a story Philip K Dick could have made from the premise.
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps my favourite book ever, 26 Jun 2006
This review is from: Pattern Recognition (Paperback)
This is at the end of a long road for William Gibson. Fans of the neuromancer et al. should be shocked: he can write now. The prose in this book is lovely. The flavour of what he does with that language is very close to some of the early cyberpunk concerns, but set in the present day (more or less). It's altogether a much subtler, more mature work, in a world where cyberspace exists, not as an idealized 3D medium but as a murky but fascinating medium none the less. Similarly he doesn't imagine edge cities of the future, but instead references those which already exist. It's about art and fashion and cyberspace and advertising, and it's not to be missed if the future of our culture fascinates you as it does me.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "mature and intelligent", 25 May 2006
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This review is from: Pattern Recognition (Paperback)
I feel that this represents a real step forward for Gibson, he now has the skill to set books in the current era rather than some fanciful future.

While his previous works are perfectly enjoyable this brings his edgy punk ideas to a world which we all inhabit.

Several interesting ideas are explored, in particular the concepts of mirror world, advertising techniques and the fascinating Curtas calculators.

The only dissapointment is the addition of the 9/11 storyline, it was a totally pointless inclusion in this otherwise excellent book
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gentle endearing thriller, 4 Feb 2012
This review is from: Pattern Recognition (Paperback)
This book is from Gibson's recent work and so much more approachable than his earlier "hard" cyberpunk. It is set in modern times and has a very savvy young female protagonist. (Showing how it has dated a bit, she brings her MacBook around with her - I guess it would be an iPad now). The pace for a thriller is gentle and it's shorter than the average thriller too. Gibson's prose style - rich but clear - suits the story perfectly and his intimate knowledge of Japanese culture creates a convincing setting with a lot of cyber-chic about it. This all combines to make it a very comfortable and unexpectedly endearing read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why is he so good?, 16 Nov 2011
By 
Dr. E. CHATTOE-BROWN "serendipper" (Leicester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pattern Recognition (Hardcover)
Given what Gibson is known for, this book ought not to work and yet it makes you realise that his real skill is in observing the minutiae of life as well for an imaginary world as for the actual one giving the book a lot of substance. This is probably not cyberpunk though there are parallels in the kind of trend surfing, hot desking, blogging, globalised, postmodern (floating) world that Cayce Pollard (the protagonist) inhabits. It is certainly not sci fi extrapolation (being set about 4 minutes in the future). Yet I think I'd vote for it as Gibson's best book so far. (The original cyberpunk trilogy is cooler and stranger but his writing was less assured then.) Like James Bond after Roger Moore I find I am looking forward to each new Gibson more than the last. (I just hope he doesn't blow it with the equivalent of Daniel Craig - basically a SecondLife avatar which escaped into the real world.)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superbly gripping and readable, 27 Oct 2009
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This review is from: Pattern Recognition (Paperback)
I grabbed this from the library randomly, i think i was just drawn by the cover and the premise sounded interesting enough so i gave it a go! I'm so glad i did! The book is an interesting view of counterculture, the heroine believably bemused and the plot gripping and multi -faceted.

Its not often i pick up a book by an author i've never previously heard of, read it cover to cover in no time at all and then want to buy a copy immediately. I would recommend this to anybody! fantastic!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pattern Recognition, 24 Oct 2009
By 
Alice Donati "Alice.D" (Italy) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pattern Recognition (Paperback)
A great book, which will be a classic in a while.
The book tells the story of an amazing coolhunter, allergic to trademarks but incredibly sensitive to marketing trends, who travels around the world, looking for the maker of a film seen in chunks in the web.
More than an adventure novel a lifestyle philosophy!!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dense novel tracks the meaning of brands, 12 July 2007
By 
Rolf Dobelli "getAbstract" (Switzerland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Pattern Recognition (Hardcover)
William Gibson is best known for his novel Neuromancer, which helped crystallize the science fiction movement called cyberpunk. This novel is not nearly as dramatic, and its heroes will not spawn as many pop culture imitators. While all of Gibson's work is extremely sensitive to economic concerns, this story offers readers an acutely attuned sensitivity to issues of style, design, patterns and meaning. This sensitivity is quite literal in Cayce Pollard, the main character, who experiences brand recognition - and the possibilities inherent in brands- on a visceral level. She feels the impact of brands, just as her fellow core of Web devotees feel the intense meaning of a set of film fragments they find on the Internet. These snippets turn out to be the work of a crippled genius in the wreckage of post-Soviet Russia. This is a quiet book, with an often-confusing plot that depends on style, word play, and references to pop and high-culture phenomenon. Though structured as a witty mystery, it is also the rarest of novels: a work of fiction that offers a new perspective on business while capturing the heightened feel of a specific industry. We recommend it to those who work with design and brands, those who are patient, style-loving readers and those who are curious about what the near future may feel like. If you don't want to know how the plot turns out, stop reading here.
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Pattern Recognition
Pattern Recognition by William Gibson (Paperback - 28 July 2011)
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