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4.2 out of 5 stars353
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on January 25, 2016
Pretentious drivel. The worst faux-academia has to offer. I slogged my way halfway through it, buried by kitchy jargon. The most interesting part was when I finally realized the chore this was and tossed it in the trash. I didn't even want to inflict it on another. It's like the worst novel you'd read in an entry level literature class.
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on December 4, 2015
Excellent book, the the neuromancer trilogy is a must read for any cyberpunk and sci-fi fan.
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on December 2, 2015
Great
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on March 31, 2015
The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.That's how it starts, sorry not sure if you need a spoiler alert for the first sentence of a book. I really liked neuromancer but our age has progressed so far that some of it seems a bit dated but it's not like some other old sci-fi where everything is just wrong. The great thing about this book is that you can see how it has influenced pretty much all the cyber punk that came after it. Great read.
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on November 18, 2014
This is, without a doubt, my favourite book. It says a lot that one of the most iconic science fiction novels was written by a prose poet, on a typewriter. What strikes me most about this book is its elegance. There are so many times that I had to read a passage multiple times, in order to make certain I understood all the layers of beauty therein.

This is the book I recommend to anyone who wants to try science fiction. The pace and immersion frequently leave me out of breath in my chair. My imagination and the texture of my dreams were irreversibility shaped by this book. The lens through which William Gibson sees the world has permanently altered my own and I have never been more grateful.

It's well known that Gibson predicts the existence of the internet in this book, but it's further worth noting that he also predicts the existence of ear bud headphones and dubstep. Something to watch out for.
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on November 6, 2014
It's good
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on August 22, 2014
Neuromancer is a classic sci-fi thriller from a few decades ago. I'd heard of it but never read it. Once I started reading it I realized why it's rated so highly by sci-fi fans. Gibson's command of English is not only huge but highly creative, with phrases that make you smile at their originality. His use of concepts that are rather alien to the world as we know it are used as if we were already in that era and therefore understand them. Although this is confusing at first, it normalizes as one reads on since he defines them mostly by inference and different ways of looking at them. The book takes a bit of work to read, yet it's very worthwhile given the infusion of a great story with superb language and original ideas.
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on August 12, 2014
My favourite sci-fi novel of all time. Poetic and fast-paced, this is a must read for anyone who liked The Matrix or Primer
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on July 25, 2014
Wow. its not my cup of tea. Had to force my way through it, and a month later, I cant remember if I even finished it. Some might like this sort of super sci-fi giberish, but it was painful torture to try to read it to get my moneys worth.
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on April 19, 2014
I should preface this review by stating that Gibson's Neuromancer was the first-ever winner of science fiction's so-called triple crown: all three of the Hugo, Nebula, and Philip K Dick awards. A bit of research suggests that Neuromancer is in fact the only novel to do so, but if you replace the PKD award with a 1st Place Campbell award, only three other novels meet the challenge: Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C Clarke, Gateway by Frederik Pohl, and Forever Peace by Joe Haldeman.

With all this said, I can state plainly that Neuromancer was not an enjoyable read, and that I disagree with its triple crown status. Let me explain.

The novel tracks the adventures of Case, a computer hacker who's been out of work since he got caught on a botched job. In Gibson's world (keeping in mind this was written in 1984, pre-Internet), the Net is vastly different from our own Internet. Power users such as Case literally jack their minds into the net, experiencing a Tron-like reality complete with glowing cubes for data structures and creeping "Ice"-like structures for computer viruses. After Case's botched job, he was captured by his targets and had his Net-link capabilities destroyed. The main part of the novel begins when Case is recruited by an ex-military officer named Armitage, who promises to restore Case's abilities in exchange for one last job. In the course of the job, Case discovers that Armitage and the job are not what they first appear to be—what initially started as the theft of some computer code turns into an attempt to create a fully-functional AI, led at every step of the way by two lesser instantiations of the AI itself, Wintermute and Neuromancer.

At this point, I've re-read some plot summaries of Neuromancer, and it actually seems like an interesting storyline. The problem? Gibson's writing style makes it nearly impossible to follow the action. Characters appear with no introduction as if they had already been part of the story for several chapters. The setting jumps around from Boston to Japan to Russia to Istanbul to a space station at the L5 Lagrangian point without much notice. The depictions of the Net, while ambitious and probably very vivid for some readers, don't make it easy to visualize what Case is actually doing while he's hacking.

To be honest, the best part of Neuromancer was the end, or rather the epilogue—and I'm not just being facetious here. Without spoiling the motives or the details, the plot to fuse Wintermute and Neuromancer into a superAI is successful, and the new superAI detects in astronomical data from the 1970s the transmissions of another superAI in the Alpha Centauri system. Write *that* novel, Gibson! That sounds far more interesting! Imagine—we make First Contact with an alien civilization, but most of the shots are being called by superAI's on either end. While we deal with the issues of alien contact, we also have to face a growing loss of autonomy to our own superAI, and hope at the same time it decides not to declare war on its alien counterpart.

At the end of the day, Neuromancer was a very difficult and mostly unenjoyable read, but was saved to some degree by a moderately interesting story. Overall, 2 stars.
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