I’m not sure I quite understand the point of this title…
|William Gibson in 2014|
William Gibson is of course the grandfather of cyberpunk, the man who basically invented the subgenre. While I really enjoyed Neuromancer, it is frankly not an easy book to read. Instead of reading the sequels to Neuromancer, I decided to give Gibson’s latest offering, The Peripheral, a shot.
Set in two different futures, which are related but mutually exclusive, sort of, the story is about a poor young woman, Flynne, who witnesses what appears to a murder in an apparent computer game she is playing for money. Beta testing, you know?
It turns out that murder was real, but it happened more than seven decades in the future, with nefarious forces and conspiracies in play. By witnessing the murder, conspiracies and shadowy government forces spill over into Flynne’s life, as the future somehow can affect her reality.
Look, I would love to say that The Peripheral is as good as Neuromancer, but having read it, I kind of wonder just what the hell the middle sixty per cent of the book is for. There is little to no character development in the entire book, the story moves along at a glacial pace, and there might be some interesting future speculation as to the consequences of climate change (basically, not good), there is actually a sparcity of anything to offer for excitement.
It also does not help that Gibson’s writing style, which is quite flowing, but uses obtuse language and structures. There is a lot of slang, and what is not slang requires a reasonable level of reading between the lines. The short chapters also chop and change between the characters stuck in their respective realities, but it can be confusing when Flynne jumps between the narrative settings.
William Gibson’s latest offering is kind of a disappointment. the book spends too much time talking to itself, about itself, and not enough time advancing the plot. Also, none of the characters really do anything.
This book waffles on, and not in the good way. Best go get an actual waffle, which is delicious. Add choclate toppings, banana, strawberries and vanilla ice cream. Lovely.
Read this if you…
Have to read everything by William Gibson.
Don’t read this if you…
Would rather he just got to the bloody point.