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Idoru [Paperback]

William Gibson
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Dec 12 2012
Set in futuristic Tokyo, rebuilt after an earthquake, this is the story of a rock star who decides to marry a non-existent, virtual reality girl; the bemused American security consultant who has been sent to take care of him; and a teenage fan. This novel is a witty futuristic thriller. "Fast,witty and lovingly painted" - "GUARDIAN." "Confirms Gibson as a realist writer for the post-Net generation" - "TLS." "A true BLADERUNNER for the Nineties" - "GQ."

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From Amazon

The author of the ground-breaking science-fiction novels Neuromancer and Virtual Light returns with a fast-paced, high-density, cyber-punk thriller. As prophetic as it is exciting, Idoru takes us to 21st century Tokyo where both the promises of technology and the disasters of cyber-industrialism stand in stark contrast, where the haves and the have-nots find themselves walled apart, and where information and fame are the most valuable and dangerous currencies.

When Rez, the lead singer for the rock band Lo/Rez is rumored to be engaged to an "idoru" or "idol singer"--an artificial celebrity creation of information software agents--14-year-old Chia Pet McKenzie is sent by the band's fan club to Tokyo to uncover the facts. At the same time, Colin Laney, a data specialist for Slitscan television, uncovers and publicizes a network scandal. He flees to Tokyo to escape the network's wrath. As Chia struggles to find the truth, Colin struggles to preserve it, in a futuristic society so media-saturated that only computers hold the hope for imagination, hope and spirituality. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

The founding father of cyberpunk again returns to the techno-decadent 21st century mapped in his other major works (Virtual Light, Neuromancer, etc.). As usual, Gibson offers a richly imagined tale that finds semi-innocents wading hip-deep into trouble. Colin Laney has taken a job in Japan to escape the revenge of his former employer, Slitscan, a kind of corporate gossip-mongerer on the Net that he has crossed out of scruples. Meanwhile, Chia Pet McKenzie is active in the fan clubs for Lo/Rez, a Japanese superstar rock duo; while visiting Japan to investigate some new rumors about the group, she is used to smuggle illegal nanoware to the Russian criminal underground. Both Laney and Chia get caught up in the intrigues swirling about the plans of Rez, one half of the band, to marry Rei Toei, an "idoru" (idol) who exists only in virtual reality. Gibson excels here in creating a warped but comprehensible future saturated with logical yet unexpected technologies. His settings are brilliantly realized, from high-tech hotel rooms and airplanes to the infamous Walled City of Kowloon. The pacing is slower than Virtual Light, but Gibson exhibits his greatest strength: intense speculation, expressed in dramatic form, about the near-term evolution and merging of cultural, social and technological trends, and how they affect character. Dark and disturbing, this novel represents no new departure for Gibson, but a further accretion of the insights that have made him the most precise, and perhaps the most prescient, visionary working in SF today. 100,000 first printing; $100,000 ad/promo; author tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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After Slitscan, Laney heard about another job from Rydell, the night security man at the Chateau. Read the first page
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much more beneath the surface Oct. 18 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Wow! I don't often write reviews, but came here expecting to see many other positive reviews. I am surprised at the negative reviews. Here is my perspective:
Gibson takes us to a place where the Internet may be in the future. The richness that he ascribes to it is far beyond where we are today, and shows us what may be possible using the latest VR technology at the end of the decade. He also gives us glimpses into the complex social issues surrounding the increase in "Reality" media and the unparralled access the media channels have into celebrity and everyday lives. For those reviewers who seem to think he is writing about the Internet as it exists today, I would suggest they re-read the book. I work in Technology, and some of the concepts he describes sent shivers down my spine. Others simply made me sit back and go "WOW!"
I found it refreshing that an author also knows how to tell a story and move on. While this does leave some filling in of the characters to be done by the reader, it makes for a compelling, exciting read.
I could not put the book down!
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1.0 out of 5 stars A Book About Nothing July 11 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Originating the word "Cyberspace" seems to be what qualifies Gibson as a great writer in most peoples reviews. I tried to keep in mind that this book was first published in 1996 when the internet was still fairly new to most people, but even with that in mind there were not really any new ideas.
First, the idea of a srich, spoiled, pampered and out-of-touch with reality pop star wanting to mary a computer generated woman isn't really unusual given the context. It's no more strange than something Michael Jackson, Prince or any of their ilk have actually done. I also think that there could have been a subtle homoerotic subtext to the whole premise considering the only programmers of the idoru that were mentioned were all men who apparently created their idealized woman from a PC rather than go out in the world and find a real woman. Basically after reading this the original premise now seems uninteresting.
I might have even liked the premise better if the writing had been better. It was confusing, disjointed and nearly impossible to follow what there was of a narrative for most of the book. The characters were completely unbelievable as was most of the action. Much of the seemingly interesting ideas that were brought up such as an earthquake destroyed Tokyo being rebulit by nanotechnology were mere sidebars that went nowhere.
it seems to me that Gibson has great ideas, but then does all the wrong things with them. The only other book of this that I have read is "The Difference Engine" cowritten with Bruce Sterling. This book suffered from the same problem. A great idea that went nowhere and didn't explore the real potential of the original premise.
I'm still going to give Neuromancer a try, but if it is no better than what I have read so far I will never read Willam Gibson again.
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2.0 out of 5 stars THEATER OF THE VIRTUAL ABSURD May 2 2003
By Sesho
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Imagine a world in which virtual communities flourish on a system called "the world wide web". Imagine graphic representations of people intearacting with each other in that world. Imagine a future in which celebrities remain young forever through the media, able to touch up their photos. Imagine a world in which everyone seems a cyberpunk. Only a writer like William Gibson could dare to construct such an incredible vision of......
HEY, HOLD ON A SECOND! All he's writing about is the world we already live in! What's so exciting and refreshing about that? I came here looking for some science fiction, some cutting edge work, and here is this practically goofy novel looking me in the eye. I guess Gibson was cutting edge in 1984 but unfortunately the world has caught up to his subject and moreover, passed it by. This book is a dinosaur.
First of all, let's look at the dumbo plot. A Japanese rockstar named Rez has decided to get married an Idoru, a virtual reality star created much like the American Idol winners, except that she does not have corporeal form. She only exists as a hologram in our world. Various elements in Rez's orgainization want to find out who has put him up to this. They call in Colin Laney, a man with a talent for tracking down information in webspace. Doesn't it sound great? It gets better!
Colin's story alternates with another character named Chia McKenzie, a fourteen year old member of Rez's fanclub who tells her mom she's staying with a friend as she sneaks off to Japan to scout out the truth of Rez's forthcoming marriage. Somehow she gets involved with outlaw hackers, the Russian Mafia in Japan, and some low-life smugglers along the way.
I guess there were some good things about this book. It didn't take much effort to read?
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4.0 out of 5 stars Gibson in transition April 25 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Idoru is typical Gibson with his post-modern strengths and weaknesses. There is probably no contemporary writer who packs so much detail into his prose; one can read him over and over again and endlessly pick out elements that one didn't notice before. On the other hand, his characterization is weak. His characters are kind of like cutouts: they don't as characters rise to the level of his vision of the not too distant future. This in my judgement is true of all of Gibson's work, even his most recent text, the title of which escapes me.
Perhaps, in fairness to Gibson, characterization is beside the point. Characters and personalities are absorbed into the sheer sweep of post-modern life, in which the corporatization of technogical innovation stamps out -- or nearly stamps out -- the cult of the individual.
Although I enjoyed Idoru, I feel that it doesn't measure up to the cyberpunk master's earlier work. The same vigor just isn't here.
Perhaps it is a post-success syndrome. Success for some writers means that the initial motivation and energy just is no longer there. Hopefully, this is just a phase that Gibson is going through.
That being said, even inferior Gibson is just on a different level than most than the work of other writers of speculative fiction. Here is an author who combines a coherent vision of what the near future looks like with a truly grand, pop-literate, post-modernist style.
I will continue to devour Gibson's work and look forward to each new text. I would however recommend that those of you who are new to his work to start with the earlier novels.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Idoru = Princess Diana
Gibson published this book in 1996 and Princess Diana died in 1997. In all ways, Princess Diana was the Idoru of our time and culture. Read more
Published on March 6 2004 by G. Tong
4.0 out of 5 stars Near Future Elegance
Despite the cyberpunk/future noir copy on the cover, Idoru is more near-future comedy of manners than thriller, its subtle humor expertly conveyed in William Gibson's increasingly... Read more
Published on March 29 2003 by schapmock
4.0 out of 5 stars Cyber punk classic
The person who gave us the term "cyberspace" and a pioneer of cyberpunk fiction. William Gibson gives us :"Idoru"
Idoru is a Tale Of two People who don't... Read more
Published on March 20 2003 by Norman J Miller
4.0 out of 5 stars William Gibson's best yet
I own all of Gibson's books and have read and re-read every single one of them. WG was the first cyberpunk author I hooked into but not my favorite. Read more
Published on Jan. 27 2003 by Petrol
4.0 out of 5 stars Idoru: A Great Read
If you liked Gibson's Neuromancer, you'll love Idoru. Even if you didn't like Neuromancer, Idoru is still a good read. Read more
Published on Dec 1 2002 by Zach Wingerter
2.0 out of 5 stars Idoru lacks characters or any real personality
"Idoru" is the third piece of Gibson fiction I had read or attempted to read over the past ten years or so. Read more
Published on Aug. 20 2002 by J. Holt
4.0 out of 5 stars Consistency contingent
While reading this book, I sometimes found it troubling the similarities in the sentences and plot with many of his earlier works were more apparent, however there is something new... Read more
Published on July 16 2002 by J Maby
5.0 out of 5 stars The epitome of Sci-Fi
If you are not sure what the best sci-fi feels like, read Idoru. This book has it all: drama, sex, tough guys, villains, gadgets, guns, action, humor... Read more
Published on April 13 2002 by D. Montros
2.0 out of 5 stars Baffling and Bad
Sorry, but this one misses the mark by a wide margin. The setting is clumsily rehashed from the least captivating bits of "The Matrix", and the characters are truly... Read more
Published on March 20 2002 by J. Given
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