Neuromancer Redux?

Just finished the latest novel by William Gibson (whom I didn’t know was even still alive, much less writing). I have long thought his Neuromancer was one of the most amazing novels I’ve ever read, especially when you compare his insights into the digital future (which continue to come true) with the date (1984) the book was written. I was hoping for the same reading experience with Pattern Recognition.

It’s close. The main character, as well as many of the others, is well-drawn, and the amazing eye for detail remains. There were many sentences I went back and reread, just to savor the turn of phrase. It is, for the most part, an excellent read, and definitely worth the price paid in money and time.

Yet, the deux machina near the end of the book bothered me. (I shan’t say what it is; you’ll have to read it yourself.) I was expecting the plotlines to be tied up, yes, but not quite as suddenly or artificially (or so it seemed to me). Still, Pattern Recognition is a fun and fine yarn, and should be on your “beach reading” list for the summer.

And, if you have never read Neuromancer, run, don’t walk, to your nearest independent bookseller and get the paperback. (Or the 20th anniversary edition.) It’s an amazing book. If he never writes another thing, Gibson has earned his place in writing history by penning it.

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