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5.0 out of 5 stars SF NOIR...POETIC DREAMSCAPES OF A DISTOPIC FUTURE...(Part 3)
I have read this masterpiece (together with the other two of the Sprawl series: NEUROMANCER and COUNT ZERO) during my university years, about a decade ago. Since then I have re-read it countless times.

Many a times the third book of a trilogy is published only to fulfill contractual obligations: this is definitely NOT the case here. Every one of those three is...
Published on Sept. 6 2007 by NeuroSplicer

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Nice story
I quite like Gibson's vision of a near future. The images and characters are lovely and vivid, it is easy to see how this work helped shape our vision of a cyber universe. The rating here reflects the immaturity of the writing, there is very little linguistic play and the eventual convolution of the story line or quite obvious compared to the later work.
Published 6 months ago by Pierre N. LeBlanc


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2.0 out of 5 stars Nice story, Sept. 30 2013
By 
Pierre N. LeBlanc "Commission GEDEON Commission" (Corner Brook, Newfoundland Canada) - See all my reviews
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I quite like Gibson's vision of a near future. The images and characters are lovely and vivid, it is easy to see how this work helped shape our vision of a cyber universe. The rating here reflects the immaturity of the writing, there is very little linguistic play and the eventual convolution of the story line or quite obvious compared to the later work.
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5.0 out of 5 stars SF NOIR...POETIC DREAMSCAPES OF A DISTOPIC FUTURE...(Part 3), Sept. 6 2007
By 
NeuroSplicer (Freeside, in geosynchronous orbit) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
This review is from: Mona Lisa Overdrive (Mass Market Paperback)
I have read this masterpiece (together with the other two of the Sprawl series: NEUROMANCER and COUNT ZERO) during my university years, about a decade ago. Since then I have re-read it countless times.

Many a times the third book of a trilogy is published only to fulfill contractual obligations: this is definitely NOT the case here. Every one of those three is a standalone masterpiece.
Sure, the Sprawl trilogy defined cyberspace, wireheads, zaibatsu-controlled society and futuristic discontent. But this is not the reason why one enjoys these novels so much. It is the beautiful poetic language. The syncopated phrases. The direct effect of verbalized brand names. The noir feeling, rare at the time in a SF novel.

Wlliam Gibson had already reaped the fame and fortune from his first two novels. In this one you will find his images more bold, his phrases more relaxed and his writing more tight. Absolutely Beautiful!

Even reading only some pages brings up powerful imagery, unforgettable prose...

Start with NEUROMANCER. Then COUNT ZERO. And finally this one.
A Masterpiece Trilogy!!! Own them all!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent sci-fi tech novel..., July 1 2004
This review is from: Mona Lisa Overdrive (Mass Market Paperback)
One that definitely demonstrates why Gibson is considered the Father of Cyberpunk and is so well-written and exciting that it rivals the more traditional sci-fi and space operas that most of us love, like: "Stranger in a Strange Land", "Childhood's End", "Rendezvous with Rama", "2001", "I,Robot", "Foundation", "Ringworld", "Advent of the Corps", and many more.
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4.0 out of 5 stars demanding but brilliant, March 20 2004
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This review is from: Mona Lisa Overdrive (Mass Market Paperback)
Mona Lisa Overdrive makes a brilliant job to finish Gibson's Sprawl trilogy, but isn't the easiest accessible scifi around. It starts with the stories of four different characters, taking turns with a few pages at a time, slowly casting more light to their stories and gradually building a larger story, or equally, an environment familiar from previous Gibson books Neuromancer and Count Zero. My feeling during the first half of the book changed from the exhausting start to being overjoyed with a few surprises, then enthralled. Do not put this book down due to the heavy start, you'll regret it. It's best read with proper concentration and no breaks. And if you haven't read Neuromancer and Count Zero, read them first - missing them would be like reading/seeing LotR - Return of the King first.
Gibson's style is rather unique and has little room for compromises, concentrating on the environment and the characters more than building any grand plot, yet the simple plot of the book has an intensity that builds from just that - the reader relates to the story all the more, and eventwise less becomes more. If you had hard time putting Neuromancer down, this will for you be Neuromancer squared. The end is not as climactic in the traditional sense but never fear, there's plenty answers plus bang and boom for your buck.
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4.0 out of 5 stars demanding but excellent, March 20 2004
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This review is from: Mona Lisa Overdrive (Mass Market Paperback)
Mona Lisa Overdrive makes a brilliant job to finish Gibson's Sprawl trilogy, but isn't the easiest accessible scifi around. It starts with the stories of four different characters, taking turns with a few pages at a time, slowly casting more light to their stories and gradually building a larger story, or equally, an environment familiar from previous Gibson books Neuromancer and Count Zero. My feeling during the first half of the book changed from the exhaustive start to being overjoyed with a few surprises, then enthralled. Do not put this book down due to the heavy start, you'll regret it. It's best read with proper concentration and no breaks. And if you haven't read Neuromancer and Count Zero, read them first - missing them would be like reading/seeing LotR - Return of the King first.
Gibson's style is rather unique and has little room for compromises, concentrating on the environment and the characters more than building any grand plot, yet the simple plot of the book has an intensity that builds from just that - the reader relates to the story all the more, and eventwise less becomes more. If you had hard time putting Neuromancer down, this will for you be Neuromancer squared. The end is not as climactic in the traditional sense but never fear, there's plenty answers plus bang and boom for your buck.
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4.0 out of 5 stars solid conclusion to the trilogy, Dec 16 2003
By 
W. K. Miller "kenmiller32" (NC, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mona Lisa Overdrive (Mass Market Paperback)
First: read NEUROMANCER, and COUNT ZERO, also by Gibson. Then: read MONA LISA OVERDRIVE. Read the three books in that order, and without reading other books intermittently. Actually, consider them one large novel. This will increase your comprehension and enjoyment of these books, which have come to be called The Sprawl Trilogy.
MLO mainly follows the same pattern as COUNT ZERO. Several different characters are notable: Bobby Newmark, aka Count Zero, who is jacked into cyberspace. Kumiko, daughter of a Yakuza, supposedly protected in London. Sally Shears, aka Molly, who may attempt to kill or kidnap Angie Mitchell, a star of Internet simulation programs, and various other bit players. Of course there is Mona, an illegitimate human, since she exists without an ID number in the digital age. Mona is almost a street person, a nonentity, but she looks much like Angie Mitchell. Sinister persons have plans for Mona and Angie: they plot (apparently) to kidnap one and kill the other. Cyberspace cowboys, Yakuza, Londoner thugs, and weird freakish types populate the plot, with The Finn from COUNT ZERO playing a minor role in this novel as well. Gibson, as always, manages to make the various plots converge at the end.
Gibson's world is futuristic, both fantastic and somewhat scientifically plausible, dystopic and frightening. London is trapped in a time warp. Japan is shiny and ultra-modern. Cleveland is a dump. The Sprawl is forbidding, amazing, huge, and imposing. Cyberspace is where everyone wants to be. In MONA LISA OVERDRIVE, he mainly succeeds at delivering his vision and an entertaining plot. Kudos to Gibson for creating this amazing fictional universe; this is his forte. I found the novel's ending somewhat confusing and unsatisfying. Don't let me dissuade you! MONA LISA OVERDRIVE is a fine novel and a successful conclusion to The Sprawl Trilogy; however, if you're new to Gibson, start with BURNING CHROME (short stories) or NEUROMANCER.
ken32
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brain cells in hyperdrive, April 11 2003
This review is from: Mona Lisa Overdrive (Mass Market Paperback)
Dark, mysterious and visionary, this work takes you to the extremes of imagination and intrigue.
Pop references merge with sci-fi thrills to produce a riveting joyride of a book.
One must hang on tight to the thoughts of William Gibson, for they are at the truly cutting edge.
Powerful fiction!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Neuromancer, and then some, Dec 2 2002
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This review is from: Mona Lisa Overdrive (Mass Market Paperback)
Gibson has done it again. Every element that made Neuromancer a hit is present. The hard-nosed Molly, now know as Sally Shears, returns to supply all the action one could ever want. There is the familiar merging of two A.I.s. But the clincher here is that Gibson presents a slough of characters who's stories are intricately woven together. Each character allows us experience aspect of a tainted society. There's Angie, the pop-star of the sim-stim world, Mona, an orphan-turned-stripper, Slick, the mechanic tortured by the past he can't remember, as well as many more. Each character deals with there similiar problems in a unique way that presents their point of view and character. Gibson's writing abilities have definately matured, and he takes us to the next level with Mona Lisa Overdrive.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Every pop icon should be wary...., July 11 2002
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This review is from: Mona Lisa Overdrive (Mass Market Paperback)
I could see exactly how Angie Mitchell is today's Britney and Janet Jackson or any other pop star. But the story, action and complete contrast to the other characters, who are just as real and human as Angie (if not more) is what makes this a masterpiece. Just as easily can we imagine the squeamish response from a pop star about smelling fish, can we see the landscape of trash and refuse that is Dog solitude as it's lonely residents feel trouble in a big car rolling towards them.
And remember never to just snort the stuff.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gibson did it again, Nov. 30 2001
This review is from: Mona Lisa Overdrive (Mass Market Paperback)
William Gibson has again proved himself an extraordinary writer with Mona Lisa Overdrive. The story takes place in a futuristic world where big corporations run everything and the entertainment business is the world's largest source of income. It is here that we meet Gibson's remarkable cast of characters including Angie, a famous "stim star" that has the ability to jack-in to cyberspace without any equipment, Slick Henry, an ex-con who seems to have an uncontrollable urge to create killing machines, Sally Shears, one of the few returning characters from Neuromancer, and Mona Lisa, a prostitute who bears an amazing resemblance to Angie.
The bulk of the book is the separate stories of these individuals, bringing them together in the end in a brilliant fashion. Through this format, Gibson is able to tell a nearly omniscient view of the story by giving not only the point of view of one character, but of all of the characters. This gives an overall effect that sucks you into the book, and doesn't let go. Gibson is also easily able to use this format to show what the characters themselves aren't able to figure out. He gives you bits of information from each of the characters, and you are able to put this together while the characters are clueless. Gibson does all of this and keeps the action rolling without any confusion that allows for a very quick read.
Mona Lisa Overdrive is the third installation in Gibson's series, preceded by Neuromancer and Count Zero. Although it is not necessary to read the first two before Mona Lisa Overdrive, I would recommend it. You will understand much more, and will be able to enjoy all of the little references to the previous two. Gibson truly is a great writer, and Mona Lisa Overdrive is his masterpiece.
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Mona Lisa Overdrive
Mona Lisa Overdrive by William Gibson (Mass Market Paperback - Feb. 6 1997)
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