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Idoru Paperback – 26 Oct 2000

4.1 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Paperback, 26 Oct 2000
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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (26 Oct. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140241078
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140241075
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 865,076 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description



-- WIRED --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

William Gibson was brought up in the southern United States but has lived in Vancouver with his wife and 2 children for many years. His novels include the hugely successful NEUROMANCER trilogy and VIRTUAL LIGHT (Penguin). "The man who saw the consequences of virtual reality before the technology had even been invented" OBSERVER

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4.1 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
William Gibson remains the best example of why "speculative fiction" should replace "science fiction" for the generic term "SF". His temporal reach carries today's people into logical extensions of society into a world where the growth of today's technology is likely to confront them. Idoru is a superior example of Gibson's talent in making the projections he's rightly noted for. Like all his best work, technology here is present, but it's the characters, their outlook and dealing with events, that chains the reader's attention. Don't expect dashing heroes, attendant ladies, stygian villains performing in ways to divert you from reality. Gibson brings tomorrow's realities to his pages, realities you may be facing in your lifetime.
The pivotal element is the desire of a rock star to marry a hologram. Idoru is an electronic construct, the symbol of universal desires. She, too, is an entertainer, a "synthespian" in future Hollywood jargon. The term is pure Gibson, projecting today's fascination with special effects and animation supplemented films. Colin Laney, who bears special analysis skills has been hired to search the data streams to determine the reasons for this unusual liaison. It's a daunting task, and Gibson provides us many glimpses of our future while guiding Laney through the corporate entertainment world.
Laney also carries a dark secret, the suicide of a woman whose data he was tracking. She had perceived his observing her and he's concerned about who else might be detecting his surveys of information. His talent had always enjoyed anonymity. If Alison Shires could detect his intrusion, who else more powerful might also be watching?
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Format: Paperback
People praise Gibson for his grasp of futuristic technology, terminology etc. The fact is, however, that his novels are very much about the present. His early ones, for example, were very "80's" in both theme and background colour (corporate greed, Japanese takeover of America, etc.) Similarly, Idoru, with its throwaway references to Russian gangsters and so forth is very "mid-90's". However, it also has something very important to say about one aspect of our current society, namely the empty cult of celebrity that exists at the moment, where people are famous simply for being famous, and because the media say so, and where members of the public come to care more about the lives of "celebs" they will never meet than about the "real world". Also, is the idea of a Tokyo destroyed by earthquakes perhaps emblematic of a post-economic-meltdown Japan that no longer seems as invincible as it once did? All in all, Gibson continues to write this kind of book much better than any of his imitators (except perhaps Neal Stephenson -his "Snow Crash" is an absolute masterpiece). The Australian heavy, Blackwell, is perhaps one of the best characters Gibson has yet invented, and again we have a nicely passive central character who is helpless in the face of the events around him. There was also a lot of nice stuff about pop fandom and the weirdness of Japan when seen through western eyes, as well as cameos by a couple of characters from the earlier Gibson novel Virtual Light. Unlike a lot of cyberpunk writers, Gibson sees beyind the gadgetry, and has something to say as a novelist whose real business is satirising our own empty "culture". Like I said, one of a kind.
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Format: Paperback
This was the first Gibson book I read, really the first cyberpunk book I read, and it made me an instant convert. The plot of the book - stressed out PR workers and lovelorn fans trying to stop a rockstar's marriage to an Idoru (artificial pop singer), does not seem particularly strong, but Gibson makes it work with the right amount of humour. The best thing about the book is probably the way that stunning pictures are presented to the reader without over-description. Most of what you see is constructed from the characters' reactions. Also, the concepts are not hard to grasp for a newbie to the cyberpunk genre. Brilliant.
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Format: Paperback
Reading some of the lower-starred reviews, I wonder whether we are thinking of the same book. I unashamedly adore William Gibson, and although Neuromancer is arguably his most important work, Idoru is my favourite. It features some of his warmest and most accessible characters, his most perfectly crafted prose and a plot that flows together in the most artful and satisfying way. Blackwell is a tour-de-force of dangerously deadpan hand-nailing charisma, while Laney is the confused, exhausted but sympathetic everyman and Chia a smart innocent gradually confronting the ludicrous excesses of fandom. Rez is a composite of a number of self-obsessed rock-gods, but his life and love nevertheless feel credible. I can't believe the reviewers who say that none of the characters are interesting; *every* character here feels distinct and rich to me, and as always, Gibson writes women extremely well, from Arleigh to Zona Rosa to Maryalice.

Like Gibson's other best novels, this fits together with the precision and elegance of a complex piece of origami (like Chia's digital Venice), and the whole pleases me so much that I return to it again and again. This is a book I re-read when I'm feeling low, because it is such a joy to spend time with a writer who really knows what he's doing. A underrated classic.
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