9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Lovely prose, daft plot.,
This review is from: Zero History (Hardcover)
More and more, Mr Gibson seems to want his writing to be pure description
- of surfaces, technology, objects, streets. On this level alone, his books are always worth reading, often attaining a sort of rhapsodic, dreamlike quality.
The trouble with the 'Blue Ant' trilogy, for me, is this prose has been built onto increasingly flimsy and unconvincing narratives, populated by vague, sketched-out characters. (The lead character, Hollis Henry, is supposedly some sort of cool-divining savant, but in this book at least shows almost no abilities beyond being able to order coffee in Selfridge's Food Hall. And, to the extent 'coolhunters' actually exist in reality, are they so well paid as freelancers that they can afford vast second homes in glamourous foreign locations? Sort of doubt it.)
But I digress. This time, Hubertus Bigend wants our two heroes to research an obscure Japanese clothing brand to aid his bid to manufacture clothing for the US Military. A fairly unpreposessing idea or what's nominally a thriller, you must admit, and so it proves as the protagonists sit round in obessively-decribed London cafes eating obsessively-described food whilst having conversations about jeans and the colour green,whilst what little plot there is advances at the speed of a glacier, though to be honest it's pretty difficult to care what happens anyway.
So, if your a Gibson fan, I'd get this for the prose..but maybe wait for the paperback. If your new to him ,this isn't the best start.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 23 May 2011 14:11:02 BDT
Last edited by the author on 23 May 2011 14:11:42 BDT
I think you're confusing Hollis Henry with Cayce Pollard, the heroine of 'Pattern Recognition'. Cayce was a freelance 'coolhunter', Hollis is a retired rock singer and free-lance journalist. So, your question ought to be, "Are they [retired rock singers] so well paid . . . that they can afford vast second homes in glamourous foreign locations?"
In reply to an earlier post on 16 Jun 2011 07:18:07 BDT
A. Miles says:
Yep. I've embarassed myself there.
I think the point still partly stands though. All of the characters who are employed by Hubertus seem to be employed on very generous contracts, but it's never really clear what they do that justifies the outlay.
In reply to an earlier post on 20 Jan 2014 14:04:30 GMT
[SPOILER WARNING for anyone checking this thread who hasn't read the book yet]
I think that was the point, though. Bigend pays ludicrous sums for simple journalism because the people he hires are unknowing shills for a gigantic corporate espionage effort.
At first, it looks like he has a Tony Blair-style obsession with certain celebrities, given how unqualified they are for the job and how absolutely insistent he is that it be that person and only that person who does the job.
But given the trilogy's recurring themes of surveillance, data collation, connection and prediction, culminating in Bigend obtaining "the order book" or whatever it was called, it's implied that Blue Ant is using a mechanism one step down from that to profile the individuals whose own natures made them most likely to lead him to the data and technology he needs.
I am hoping there'll be a fourth book in the series where we'll see Bigend in full "super-villain" mode and the established coalition of characters taking him on. Much as I am in love with the slow, thoughtful, emotion-evoking prose of the series so far, that one would need to have a little more action of the sort packed into the end of Zero History.
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