From Publishers Weekly
Set in the same high-tech present day as Pattern Recognition
, Gibson's fine ninth novel offers startling insights into our paranoid and often fragmented, postmodern world. When a mysterious, not yet actual magazine, Node
, hires former indie rocker–turned–journalist Hollis Henry to do a story on a new art form that exists only in virtual reality, Hollis finds herself investigating something considerably more dangerous. An operative named Brown, who may or may not work for the U.S. government, is tracking a young, Russian-speaking Cuban-Chinese criminal named Tito. Brown's goal is to follow Tito to yet another operative known only as the old man. Meanwhile, a mysterious cargo container with CIA connections repeatedly appears and disappears on the worldwide Global Positioning network, never quite coming to port. At the heart of the dark goings-on is Bobby Chombo, a talented but unbalanced specialist in Global Positioning software who refuses to sleep in the same spot two nights running. Compelling characters and crisp action sequences, plus the author's trademark metaphoric language, help make this one of Gibson's best. 8-city author tour. (Aug.)
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Set in the present, Gibson's Pattern Recognition (2002) addressed hacking, viral marketing, global surveillance, and, several years before YouTube and Lonelygirl15, video on the Internet. Spook Country, too, depicts the present, with the future superimposed on it, a layer of data visible only to those who know how to see it. Hollis Henry, formerly the singer in an early nineties band with a cult following and now a freelance journalist, is hired by Node, a Wired-like publication, to write a piece on "locative art," for which a viewer must don a headset to see three-dimensional virtual renditions projected via wireless to an exact location using GPS. Node's funding comes from Hubertus Bigend (returning from Pattern Recognition), the Belgian founder of the "innovative global advertising agency Blue Ant," known for his "ability to find precisely the right person for a given project." In a positively creepy scene, Hollis, upon learning who is funding her job, does a Google search for Bigend and, just after reading a Wikipedia entry on him, gets a phone call from the man himself. Bigend's intentions may be shady, but he is incredibly resourceful. Hollis goes from L.A. to Vancouver to track geo-hacker Bobby Chombo, himself hired by a mysterious outfit to track a missing shipping container. Other colorful characters with cool toys also pursue the container. Still others pursue the pursuers, in typical Gibsonian fashion. Segedin, Ben Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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