Spook Country Paperback – 31 Jul 2008
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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 )
About the Author
William Gibson is the award-winning author of Pattern Recognition, Neuromancer, Count Zero, Mona Lisa Overdrive, The Difference Engine, Virtual Light, Idoru and All Tomorrows Parties. He lives in Vancouver, Canada.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
I loved it, especially having enjoyed 'Pattern Recognition' shortly before. I'd recommend 'Pattern Recognition' first to give added depth, but it's by no means essential: 'Spook Country' can stand on its own merits perfectly well. I'm looking forward to moving on to 'Mona Lisa Overdrive' next as a return to the original sci-fi series (it's in my Kindle already).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very well written + engaging.
Compared to earlier works though, possibly a bit lower-key : less fantastical and more in the real world, near-present-day. Read more
I agree with quite a few reviewers that W.G. sees to have written his best stuff early in his career; I feel part of the problem is that he is writing similar novels to a lot of... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Patterns of Life
I tried reading this four years ago and gave up after a lack of sex and cyberspace presented itself. Returning to it I found everything I need. Military. Drug addicts. Bigend. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Garreth Woods
Usual brilliant standard. I couldn't leave it alone until I finished it.Published 20 months ago by J. Magee
As ever, brilliant writing, and great characters, and the central theme all spiral together into the perfect mid-tempo ending. Leaving you, sort of, well.... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Phil H
This is a phenomenal book and I highly recommend it. I love that you don’t need to have read the previous books to understand what’s happening but it’s recommended. Read morePublished on 13 Mar. 2014 by Arken Thell
good quality condition with no damage to it. i had no issues of any kind when i used this productPublished on 21 Jan. 2014 by adam miller
I am very disappointed. This book is on the bestsellers list.
There is no coherent plot.
It is full of brand references e.g. cusinart