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Spook Country (Blue Ant) by [Gibson, William]
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Spook Country (Blue Ant) Kindle Edition

3.5 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews
Book 2 of 3 in Blue Ant (3 Book Series)

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Length: 390 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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A cool, sophisticated thriller (Financial Times )

Very entertaining (Independent on Sunday )

Superb, brilliant. A compulsive and deeply intelligent literary thriller (New Statesman )

A neat, up-to-the-minute spy thriller (Metro )

The present needs Gibson more than ever (Dazed & Confused )

Fascinating (Sunday Express )

Fiction with an intensely modern feel. Above all, it's exciting (The London Paper )

A brilliantly appointed world (Arena )

I'd call the book brilliant and original if only I were certain I understood it (Literary Review )


In New York, what you've got on your iPod can be bad for your health...Tito, a young and athletic Cuban, has been asked to pass iPods to the 'old man' in Washington Square. He doesn't know why and he's not stupid enough to ask, either. But the old man likes to speak Russian, and he knows a great deal about Tito's family; reason enough for Tito to make sure the old man gets what he wants. Across the country in LA, journalist Hollis Henry has been asked to investigate Bobby Chombo, a man who knows the ins and outs of military navigation systems - and who never sleeps in the same space twice. Unfortunately for Hollis and one or two other interested parties - Bobby has very good reasons for not wanting to be found. Reasons that involve iPods and nothing whatsoever to do with music...Spook Country is a thriller of the here and now, of what happens when old spies come out of the woodwork to play one last game.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 833 KB
  • Print Length: 390 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0425221415
  • Publisher: Penguin (31 July 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002TJLF3Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #127,199 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jeremy Walton TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 23 Nov. 2011
Format: Paperback
I picked this book up from a second-hand stall to take on a trip to New York (which is the location for much of its action). I've enjoyed a fair number of Gibson's science fiction books - most recently his excellent Burning Chrome collection - but this time I've read one of his novels which has a contemporary setting.

That setting is hard to discern at first, as Gibson writes about the present in the same way he writes about the future - as a uneasy, unfamiliar world of hidden meanings and secrets underpinned by a technology which has been put to new and unexpected uses. It's a world where practitioners of locative art create installations in public places that can only be seen by wearers of VR headsets, where iPods are used as mules to smuggle mysterious data to Cuba and back again, and where a container is tracked from ship to ship at sea over a period of many years. A persistent - but quietly stated - underlying theme of the story is post-9/11 espionage, although much of the writing is timeless: for example, there are some memorable bon-mots (e.g. "secrets are the the very root of cool") and noteworthy and insightful technological asides such as this one (p120):

"Organized religion, he saw [...], had been purely a signal-to-noise proposition, at once the medium and the message, a one-channel universe. For Europe, that channel was Christian, and broadcasting from Rome, but nothing could be broadcast faster than a man could travel on horseback.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've read all William Gibson's books. The Neuromancer trilogy was just wonderful. But then, slowly, his books changed; through Idoru, All Tomorrow's Parties and then Pattern Recognition, he moved into a different time. Not really a different genre though. I mean, you could say that Pattern Recognition and Spook Country are thrillers, spy novels, but they're not. They're really not.

Whenever I read a Gibson novel, I find myself wishing that I lived in his world. But then I realise that, basically, I do. And that's what's so magical about them. It's Gibson's take on our existing world that makes you look at it in a new way, from a new perspective. Surely that must be one of the greatest things a novelist can do. His prose is so tight, so condensed and yet has so many echoes, so many extra-cultural references that it's like reading a novel, a map, a web-page, a history book all wrapped up together.

Look up Hubertus Bigend on Wikipedia. That's what one of his characters does. If you do, you'll find an entry referencing this book. This kind of reflexivity is central to this book. The merging of quite separate worlds - rock music, money laundering, marketing, geo-politics, voodoo religion - suggests a side of globalisation not explored anywhere else in this form. Referring to global brand names is simply one side of this - a Brabus Maybach for heaven's sake! (have a look at the Brabus web-site, with sound on) - just grounds this in something akin to a material fantasy.

In some ways, the characters represent these different worlds, or at least different aspects of them. Milgrim, addicted to Ativan (1987 Ativan advertisement. "In a world where certainties are few...no wonder Ativan® (lorazepam)C-IV is prescribed by so many caring clinicians.
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Format: Hardcover
There's probably no one else I can think of who can write so vividly, and inquisitively, about our contemporary techno-psychological landscape than William Gibson. His 2003 novel "Pattern Recognition" remains among the best - if not the best (of which I am certain) - fictional depiction of American media-obsessed culture in the aftermath of 9/11. It was also his best novel in years, a riveting techno-thriller about "cool hunter" Cayce Pollard's search for the mysterious internet "The Footage" which had acquired a most bizarre cult-like status amongst Internet lurkers. "Spook Country", Gibson's latest novel, is a sequel of sorts, introducing us once more to the enigmatic Belgian advertising mogul Hubertus Bigend, owner of Big Ant advertising firm. This time he sends another young woman, Hollis Henry, an investigative journalist for Node - a magazine which doesn't exist yet - on a rather mundane quest to find one Bobby Chombo, a "producer", whose day job involves checking out military navigation gear. We encounter her, early one morning, in a Los Angeles hotel room, on assignment for Node, collecting information on the local underground artistic movement of virtual reality-based "locative art" for an article in the nascent magazine's debut issue. In classic William Gibson literary mode, there are two other subplots which represent other, still larger, pieces of the puzzle that Henry is seeking to solve, involving Tito, a young Cuban Chinese New Yorker whose family has had intelligence ties to both the CIA and KGB, and the Russian-speaking junkie Milgrim, addicted to expensive prescription high-anxiety drugs, who finds himself quite literally, "joined to the hip" with his pharmaceutical benefactor, the mysterious Brown, someone who has some hidden ties to a military, most likely Russia's.Read more ›
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