Author: William Gibson
Page Count/Review Word Count: 320
I was given this book by a friend who wanted me to read it, and so I had high hopes to begin with – they’ve read a few books that I’ve written, and they have a good idea of my taste in literature. So I was a little disappointed when I got into it.
The main problem here is that the futuristic dystopia that Gibson depicts is so alien to our own that it’s often hard to understand what he’s talking about. I was able to understand what was happening in the overall plot, but the little intricacies were lost on me and I kept finding myself either drifting off or getting confused when a plot twist happened. I kept not realising it was a twist because I didn’t know what was happening to begin with.
The story follows a character called Case, who’s injected with tiny sacks of mycotoxin that bond to his artery walls and threaten to eventually disintegrate, killing him. The only way for him to avoid death is to take on a mission for a man who says he has the antidote. Case’s skills lie in weird sci-fi obscurity, involving the ability to connect to a weird Matrix thing and see events through other people’s eyes.
I usually like science fiction, but this was such hardboiled sci-fi that I’d say it’s only for die-hard fans of the genre. That’d be why it won Hugo and Nebula Awards. At some points, it reminded me of William Burroughs, which can be equally difficult to read. But this wasn’t William Burroughs and for me, it just wasn’t much fun to read, and I was glad when I finally finished it.
Overall, then, this is the book for you if you’re into classic sci-fi. If you’re not, don’t bother. It’s pretty much that simple.