Neuromancer by William Gibson

As a lifelong reader, I've always strived to sample a variety of genres. When I was presented with the opportunity to join a sci-fi and fantasy book club (both genres that I normally do not read), I jumped at the chance. Our first read, Neuromancer by William Gibson seemed like a perfect jumping off point.

The novel takes place somewhere in the not too distant future. The protagonist, Case, is an ex hacker/thief whose past escapades have left him physically and mentally damaged. During his last big heist, his enemies destroyed his nervous system, leaving him unable to tap into cyberspace. Without the capacity to carry out his crimes, he spends his days abusing drugs and searching for an end to his miserable life.

All of that changes when a group of criminals recruits him for one large heist. They agree to cure his physical maladies in exchange for his expert services. If all of this seems a bit too good to be true, that's because it is. As Case begins to work with the group, he discovers that they are taking on an artificial intelligence that has the potential to destroy the world. Even worse, Armitage, the leader of the criminal group, injected a slow release poison into Case during his nervous system recovery. Now Case is at the mercy of this mysterious organization as he tries to complete the most difficult and dangerous job of his life.

This novel is best viewed within the context of its publication. Technology of 1984 was very different from our tech filled lives of today. With that in mind, the world that Gibson imagines is brilliantly drawn and eerily predictive of things to come. He coins the word "cyberspace" and gives life to an imaginative future that inspired works for years to come. In fact, it is probably because this novel was so influential on future works that it seems less groundbreaking than it actually is. Our popular culture has become saturated in futuristic tales, many of which stem from Gibson's work, so it is harder to appreciate the originality of this novel. The story slowly unfolds with the plot revealing bits and pieces of itself as the pages turn. I found this style of narrative a bit difficult to follow and to engage in. Still, I can certainly appreciate the influential elements of this novel and am happy to have read it.

For more information, visit the author's website, Amazon, and GoodReads.

(2016, 6)

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4 Responses to “Neuromancer by William Gibson”

  1. I think it's cool that you are part of a book club! I hope you continue to enjoy reading the books they suggest! I understand about it being hard for you to get the full appreciation that the novel possibly deserves.

  2. I have always wanted to read this book. I think it's cool that you found a book club to read with. I have never found one in real life (goodreads is the only one). I've asked people I know but no one is interested. BOO!

    1. This was actually an established club of co-workers who invited me when they realized I blog about books haha.


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