Friday, July 6, 2012

Review: Spook Country by William Gibson (spoilers)

As I rambled on in my Reading Now! post, I was enamored with Gibson's stylizing when it came to cyberpunk.  Once he veered away from that track, I lost interest.  Narrow-minded, well yes a bit.  But I like what I like!  I was hoping that even with this contemporary thriller with a little bit of science-y aspects, I'd get the bits that I always liked before.  Keep reading for likely spoilers below.

Spoilers, ahoy!

Unfortunately, I felt cold and empty once I finished this novel.  I looked around, took a deep breath and thought what can I read next.  Not an ideal reaction I figure.

I wasn't expecting much on the character side, but I forgot what that means with Gibson.  At the end of the day, I do want some relationships established.  I want to feel some sort of connection.  I am pretty sure I'll have near forgotten this book in three months.  I found the Cuban-Chinese family, their connections, Tito - all quite intriguing (once I got over the little nitpicky cafe con leche incident :) ).  I wanted to know more about what happened with them, what they were up to, what all this hinted history was about.

Regarding the plot, so many times I think maybe if I'd just read the book the time it was written it would be different.  By the time I get around to reading things, it can be 40+ years behind, and what was revolutionary at the time seems common sense now.  The locative art business, it didn't sell for me and again I shrugged it off.  I wasn't getting the strong atmosphere of paranoia from political climate that I've read others talk about - maybe I wasn't paying attention to absorb that vibe while distracted by searching for a character connection.  Brown was a whackadoodle and there was shady crap happening with Iraq funds.  Sounds like life.  I get the container being involved, the parties pulling off the prank, screwing with the man.  But... sigh and shrug.

Not to be so negative, I like the way Gibson writes and enjoyed the ride through, but I left it all feeling dissatisfied.

Also, I kept expecting the ant figurine to mean something.  And joining the unsecured network at Bobby's place to have repercussions.  Nope.

Let me know what you thought in the comments!

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