5.0 out of 5 stars Like Pulp Fiction...only post apocalyptic, with computers...
I had to read this book twice, the first time through, the first 100 pages or so were a little slow. The stories were just a little to spaced apart for me, and having only read Neuromancer, the characters seemed to rapidly introduced. The last half of the book, however, moved so rapidly, and combined all of the seemingly disjointed storylines from the first half into a...
Published on June 19 2003 by Hutch Jackson
3.0 out of 5 stars Difficult reading, overly-ambitious
A few years ago, I started flirting with a heretical thought: is William Gibson really that good? After all, most of his stories border on being incomprehensible (if the basic elements of plot can even be discerned at all). His characters are both distasteful and uninteresting, like characters from a futuristic Jerry Springer show. Gibson is too impressed with his own...
Published on Sept. 6 2002
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2.0 out of 5 stars This book is pointless,
This review is from: All Tomorrow's Parties (Mass Market Paperback)I'll give it two stars only because as a reveiwer's quote from the cover says, he's a great "stylist." I'm used to think I was a huge Gibson fan, but this book left completely cold. The story lines are pointless, characters poorly developed, and the conclusion is a big yawn.
Don't waste your money on this one.
5.0 out of 5 stars Like Pulp Fiction...only post apocalyptic, with computers...,
This review is from: All Tomorrow's Parties (Paperback)I had to read this book twice, the first time through, the first 100 pages or so were a little slow. The stories were just a little to spaced apart for me, and having only read Neuromancer, the characters seemed to rapidly introduced. The last half of the book, however, moved so rapidly, and combined all of the seemingly disjointed storylines from the first half into a smooth flowing mind blowing cataclysmic conclusion. Wow. The second time I read the book, which was after reading Idoru, and Virtual Light, (the other two books in the Rydell/Chevette/Colin Laney/Yamazaki/The Bridge saga) I was absolutely floored. This confirmed my hypothesis, Gibson is a Genious, and his works should be on everyone's shelves, regardless of their degree of technophilia.
5.0 out of 5 stars A stimulation to the gray cells...,
This review is from: All Tomorrow's Parties (Paperback)A brilliantly futuristic, 'digital' writing style, rich with metaphors that border on the surreal and a thought-provoking storyline leaves the reader with a faint tingling in the peripheral nerve endings. Woven around the principles of tomorrow's sciences - nanotechnology, virtual reality - 'All Tomorrow's Parties' is part thriller, part sci-fi and part a work of postmodern literature.
In speaking of 'wind farms', 'money in little tabs of plastic', 'nanobots', Gibson fast-forwards us to an era in the future. At the same time, he throws open the door to a new interpretation of history that is definitely mind-bending. His hypothesis: in every epoch, since the dawn of time, there have been 'nodal points', the points from which change emerges.
He speaks of such a 'change' again...
A set of apparently disjointed events flow in a linear progression until they all converge at a vortex. This is where it all ends, or rather begins - The Golden Gate Bridge. Colin Laney, who has the uncanny ability to predict the future by interpreting the 'data flow' around him; Tessa, an Australian media student at Los Angeles; Rydell, an ex-cop; Fontaine, a collector of antique watches; Cody Harwood, a megalomaniacal media mogul; Rei Toei, a beautiful, virtual icon, all converge at San Francisco. They are present at a decisive juncture in space and time to witness something, something which will alter the course of their destiny, their futures.
Grab a copy if you want to stroke your gray cells!
1.0 out of 5 stars You have to be kidding...,
By A Customer
This review is from: All Tomorrow's Parties (Paperback)I'm a William Gibson fan, but it's incomprehensible how anyone could describe this book as even remotely readable.
4.0 out of 5 stars Always thought provoking.,
This review is from: All Tomorrow's Parties (Paperback)It's kind of amazing the way Gibson creates disturbing, alternative worlds and makes us believe in them, while at the same time linking them to the present world via surreal cyber connections. It's really a reinterpretation of our reality. There are people, after all, who live on bridges... It's a fascinating book, imaginative and thought provoking and a must read if you like to wonder about the future. Don't strain your brain trying to follow the plot line, just go along for the magical mystery tour.
5.0 out of 5 stars Colorful Characters Make This Book Great,
This review is from: All Tomorrow's Parties (Paperback)William Gibson's All Tomorrow's Parties is a well-written and interesting book. Gibson employs an interesting present-tense writing style that challenges the reader. Through a wide assortment of characters and settings, Gibson creates a fast-paced and interesting story. He vividly describes his futuristic world where communities are created on damaged bridges, people live in cardboard boxes in subways, and experimental drugs exist that allow people to witness rare but significant events that forever change society. Probably the greatest element of this book is its variety of characters. They are all believable and unique in their own way. Gibson, unfolding a rich story, masterfully connects all these characters together despite their different backgrounds.
One of the main characters, Colin Laney, has taken the 5-SB drug. This drug allows him to see the world as data which he can interpret with relative ease. Laney believes that a "nodal point" is approaching that will change the world forever, and he believes that whatever happens will occur in the Bay Bridge area. However, the 5-SB drug has also left Laney obsessed with a man named Cody Harwood. Laney never considers the possibility that Harwood may be tampering with the data Laney interprets.
Other characters are woven into the complex plot that Gibson creates. There is Silencio, a quiet child obsessed with watches; Fontaine, the owner of a small collectable store; and Chevette, a former bridge resident fleeing her abusive ex-boyfriend. All these completely unique characters interact beautifully in Gibson's colorful, yet degenerate futuristic world.
I recommend this book to all cyberpunk and science fiction readers. If you have read Gibson before, the world is a familiar place you should find welcoming. Gibson has reinforced his role as one of the best cyberpunk writers in the world with All Tommorow's Parties. Hopefully he will continue producing novels of this quality for years to come.
3.0 out of 5 stars Difficult reading, overly-ambitious,
By A Customer
This review is from: All Tomorrow's Parties (Paperback)A few years ago, I started flirting with a heretical thought: is William Gibson really that good? After all, most of his stories border on being incomprehensible (if the basic elements of plot can even be discerned at all). His characters are both distasteful and uninteresting, like characters from a futuristic Jerry Springer show. Gibson is too impressed with his own stylistic flair to write a simple, comprehensible sentence that actually moves the story forward. Basically, Gibson inherited the worst traits of J.G. Ballard and simply added more stuff about computers and a vaguely "alternative" vibe. So why read Gibson?
In the end, there's aways that nugent or two of an interesting idea buried in Gibson's pretentious slop. Something that makes you think this is where the world's heading in a decade or two. When the idea comes together in your head, you say, "Whoa!" and usually spend a day or two thinking about it.
On that score, Gibson once again delivers, with concepts of "nodal points" and "existential sociology." But this book is an especially harsh read. I didn't give a flying leap about any of the losers around which the story revolves. Gibson resolved to write a story without any colorful adjectives - and I mean that literally. Nothing is described as red, blue, yellow, orange, sepia, or otherwise hued. Gibson had a point - reading the book gives you a strange, monochrome vision before you realize why. But it also makes the process of imagining the story a bit nauseating after awhile, and I firmly believe that book shouldn't physically hurt. Gibson has great ideas, but I wish he'd realize that you can tell intriguing, entertaining stories and still get across deep thoughts.
5.0 out of 5 stars Universe As 3-D computer screen (our lives pass in parade),
This review is from: All Tomorrow's Parties (Paperback)Gibson is one of few writers who allows his characters a vision of the mechanisms supporting reality's existence. Characters like Rei Toei are composed of pure information bits. The character Laney's world, enhanced by his exposure to the drug 5-SB, is composed of computer bits. Laney has schooled Rei Toei to interact with the crude, sensual characters who people the ordinary world. Laney would no doubt agree with Ed Fredkin that "there is nothing as concrete in the world as a bit-it's more concrete than a photon or electron, ... it's not a simulation of reality; it's not something that pretends to be reality. It is reality." Laney's problem is that he suspects his own interpretations of the data stream are being tampered with by an outside agent, Harwood. He also has totally ambivalent feelings toward Harwood who he thinks could be a strange attractor -one bringing order out of chaos. Laney has at the core of his being an emptiness devoid of both light and darkness. This complicates the puzzle wherein he must struggle like a amateur painter to identify the future human datascape.
In Gibson's story there are two types of people-those aware of their bit or interstitial existence and those who aren't aware. Tessa, for example, is trying to capture the interstitial world on film. Those who are aware control those who are not aware. This interstitial world is made of stored data that can be shaped or programmed like clay. The heart of Gibson's universe can only be reached through an informational wormhole-a place called the Walled City. This place is peopled by the avatars of people who escaped from the human datascape and who can play with the pixel created characters in the story. Gibson sets the action on the squattersville bridge and around box dwellers to show how little affluence will mean in his future world. It is a world where nanotechnology allows for the cloning of both people and things. A world in which scarcity is a thing of the past. One could say that Gibson plays the role of a programmer rather than an author of his stories. The story must get five stars for creativity.
4.0 out of 5 stars Unfinished symphony...,
This review is from: All Tomorrows Parties (Hardcover)"All Tomorrow's Parties" boasts an intriguing cast, a mysterious plot, and well-written internal monologue. Gibson has intricately woven the characters' separate paths together, developing a multitude of relationships whilst holding the reader's interest quite successfully.
That said, the book feels unfinished -- the "end of the world" scenario hinted at throughout the book never actually occurs, and the content of the final chapter is trivial at best. The reader is likely to feel cheated, as all the suspense has been for nothing.
Enjoy, but don't expect a standard plot structure.
4.0 out of 5 stars Pushing that envelope a little bit more,
This review is from: All Tomorrow's Parties (Paperback)In my opinion, another hit and another step along the current flood of ideas and passions that Mr. Gibson is going through. Names of characters and companies are just as modern as this morning's paper...
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All Tomorrow's Parties by William Gibson (Paperback - Jan. 11 2002)
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