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If there's a fantastical element to this, the author's eighth book, it's in protagonist Cayce Pollard's special talent. Here, Gibson takes some of No Logo author Naomi Klein's ideas about branding to a logical extreme: Pollard has an instinctual, often violently intense reaction to logos, a condition that makes her valuable to advertising agencies looking for the most effective way to brand a product. This talent, however, makes a trip to a department store potentially lethal, as when she visits a London shopping emporium and is inundated by "a mountainside of Tommy [Hilfiger] coming down in her head." "Some people ingest a single peanut and their head swells like a basketball," writes Gibson. "When it happens to Cayce, it's her psyche.... When it starts, it's pure reaction, like biting down hard on a piece of foil." Pollard is also a "coolhunter" of the first order, which means she can sniff out a trend before it's even begun to be commodified. She's so good, in fact, that "she's met the very Mexican who first wore his baseball cap backwards."
With such sensitivity to our over-branded world, it's completely natural that our heroine would become fascinated by Internet footage of a film in which characters, setting, and time are completely generic--unbranded, unfixed, free. But Pollard isn't the only one obsessed by "the footage," as it's referred to, and this is where Gibson's masterful storytelling comes to the fore. Who will be the first to solve the mystery of the film's origin? Who else is trying, and for what potentially nefarious purpose? As usual the author proves adept at weaving a suspenseful narrative out of humdrum elements, such as e-mail exchanges. If there's a caveat, it's that, as with literary forefather Philip K. Dick, the Vancouver-based author's prose veers wildly from the poetic to the clunky. And his supporting characters often amount to nothing more than a combination of an unusual name and shadowy motive. But the continual barrage of ideas, and the way Gibson arranges them for maximum impact, make for a gripping and insightful glimpse into our hyperdriven consumer culture. --Shawn Conner --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Gibson's writing is stellar. He can switch from frenetic and choppy writing, to brilliant, metered prose at drop of a dime. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Aaron Berk
I understand C.S. Lewis said something about re-reading a book because if you liked it, why would you only read it one time? Pattern Recognition falls into that category. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
read this in university for a class and had read some of Gibson's previous novels. He doesn't disappoint, I love his originality and care about his characters.Published 18 months ago by Erika K Walter
I really used to enjoy Gibson, but my enthusiasm has dimmed as time has gone by. Things have hit a new low with Pattern Recognition. Read morePublished on Sept. 14 2008 by Jack Blatant
I couldn't pinpoint what is it I like about Gibson's books in general and this one in particular. That is until I read someone else's review saying we like it because of the... Read morePublished on Oct. 4 2006 by Amazon Customer
I have been a reader of Gibson since the "Burning Chrome" collection, and I have been less and less enamoured of his work as time has passed. Read morePublished on Jan. 20 2005 by Tristan Scott
Odd how Gibson fiction is not much good, at the same time, seems better than any other fiction around. Read morePublished on July 18 2004 by Giordano Bruno