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Virtual Light Hardcover – Aug 1 1993


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 325 pages
  • Publisher: Spectra; Canadian First edition (Aug. 1 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553074997
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553074994
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 16 x 3.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 590 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #883,720 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
This novel left me puzzled since its opening lines. I admit I re-read the first page a couple of times because it was not clear to me who he was talking about, their whereabouts and especially what they were doing. I had never happened to run into such an incomprehensible starting that in my opinion would have discouraged the most.
But I'm stubborn and I went forward.
In the proceeding, the setting, the characters and the story become clearer, although the understanding is never immediate, but stems from a search of the essential elements in the midst of a flood of digressions, which in most cases have little or nothing relevance to the plot.
This post-disaster San Francisco, with people who have occupied a disused Oakland Bridge and live there, has its own charm, especially for those who love post-apocalyptic fiction (even if it is not my case), and highlights the immense imagination of the author. But the seemingly chaotic way in which the whole is presented makes you almost think that the latter had too many ideas in his head and has not been able to transfer them to the paper in the right way.
Beyond the style that you may like it or not, in my opinion the plot is that in which this novel flaws even more. Removed the numerous digressions and asides, what remains is a weak and short story, with characters that I just cannot get involved with. I had the impression that these were described from the outside, sometimes without the author had the certainty of the facts narrated. Not to mention the cyberspace and virtual light topic, which here is pretty much just mentioned and almost nothing explained. It is also true that it is the first of a series of novels, but it is for sure the last one I read.
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Format: Paperback
Next to Neuromancer this is the best book written by this author in my opinion. Good, smooth reading, and would make a great movie. I like to keep my reviews short and sweet, everything just comes together in this novel. I recommend it for any cyberpunk fan!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Matko Vladanovic on July 18 2004
Format: Audio Cassette
Well, for those of you who are new on Gibson, be warned, that this is not the book you should start with. Why? If you start with this you'll probably be dissapointed and you'll refuse to read the Neuromancer which would be mistake. What we have here is imaginary world without imagination, characters are not likeable and you'll forget about them on the first day upon completing the final chapter. Cheap moralty and chases from B-rated movies makes this book a lousy trash SF, no matter what anybody else could say 'bout it. Chapters are written in different manner, varying in lenght and breaking the pace of the story more than is necessary. Storyline is rather uninventive without the satisfactory end, or to say with end that is no end at all. Various appearances of countless different and not so interesting characters keeps you occupied with tracking which is irelevant instead keepin' you on your seat wondering what'll happen next. Skip this one and you won't regret it.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Aug. 6 1999
Format: Paperback
Futuristic drama? Cutting edge suspense? I don't know what these other readers are seeing in this book. All I got was senseless dialogue, idiot characters, technology that isn't fully explained, long rambling passages of senseless thoughts that have no meaning or relation to anything. Notice I didn't mention any plot in that list, because there isn't one. Somebody loses some expensive electronic toy, somebody else finds it, the first person tries to get it back. This would have been better if someone had explained what the thing is, where it comes from, what it does, or why it's so important. We never find out. Instead people get chased for a while, and then.. nothing. The book just stops. No resolution or explanation at all. When I buy a book I expect an actual story, with intelligent (or at least intelligible) dialogue, and characters that seem like more than cardboard cutouts. This book sadly fails on all these counts.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Kwok TOP 500 REVIEWER on May 30 2001
Format: Paperback
"Virtual Light" reveals yet another dimension to William Gibson's splendid writing. Largely absent are lyrical passages describing cyberspace technology that are among the hallmarks of his "Cyberspace" trilogy and "Sprawl" series of short stories. Instead, he emphasizes personalities at the expense of technology. He seems fascinated with how that technology interacts with the seeemingly mundane lives of his downtrodden characters. Both Rydell and Chevette are among his most intriguing creations since Case and Molly; how their parallel tales weave and ultimately intersect is an outcome that I found most rewarding. Once more, Gibson offers some sly, thoughtful commentary on our media-dominated culture; a persistent theme throughout his "Virtual Light" trilogy, including "Idoru" and "All Tomorrow's Parties". Those who've enjoyed Gibson's crisp, lyrical prose, but have searched in vain for well rounded, three-dimensional characters will not be disappointed with "Virtual Light". Although less intense than "Neuromancer" as a literary joyride, it stands alongside Gibson's award-winning debut as among his finest works of fiction.
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