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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The book that changed the world...
For those of you out there under the age of 30, it may be hard to fathom the impact of Neuromancer and the stories that preceded it (collected in "Burning Chrome"). I really am NOT exaggerating when I tell you they changed the world.
When "Neuromancer" was published, SF was a genre whose time had passed. While some good writers & old masters were laboring in the...
Published on June 12 2003 by L. Alper

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Difficult to Explain
Normally I would attempt to explain to plot behind "Neuromancer," but in this case I'm going to skip it. I'm going to make a statement that will make all of you judge me: "I do not understand anything that happens in this book."
Now, I'm no sesquipedalian by any means, but I've been able to decipher some pretty convoluted plots, and understand wording in a variety...
Published on Jan. 16 2004 by MicahA


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The book that changed the world..., June 12 2003
By 
L. Alper (Englewood CO) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
For those of you out there under the age of 30, it may be hard to fathom the impact of Neuromancer and the stories that preceded it (collected in "Burning Chrome"). I really am NOT exaggerating when I tell you they changed the world.
When "Neuromancer" was published, SF was a genre whose time had passed. While some good writers & old masters were laboring in the trenches & publishing to the same fans they always had, there was really no mass market conciousness of SF except as the source of bad 50's monster movies. "Neuromancer" changed that. "Neuromancer" caused an entire generation to look at computers as something cool rather than nerdy. "Neuromancer" created the concept of "cyberspace" (without which you would not currently be accessing Amazon). "Neuromancer" even gave Bill Gates the name for his fledging operating systems company. Yup, folks, this is THE book!
I very clearly remember first reading this. It was about 1 year after it was published, & I had the vaguest of notions concerning the subject. If I'd read the short stories that preceded it, they had somehow not registered in my conciousness. Page one: CHIBA CITY BLUES what a cool title! Then that famous opening paragraph "The sky was the color of a TV tuned to a blank channel." I thought I'd died & gone to literary heaven! I was convinced this was the reason I'd learned to read 15 years prior, I had been waiting all this time for "Neuromancer"!
I could sum the plot up for you. I could tell you why Gibson's writing is so technically brilliant. I could quote page after page. But why? I feel sorry for the readers who haven't experienced "Neuromancer" because you lost the opportunity to watch a book change the world. Now it's 20 years later. Don't get me wrong: THIS IS A GREAT BOOK! But you'll never experience the mind-bending rush of possibilities now that the future in the book has become a reality.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A mind-bending trip through cyberspace, March 27 2010
By 
Daniel Andres "Axellion" (Alberta, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
With Necromancer William Gibson virtually invented cyberpunk, his imaginative vision of a matrix of interconnected computer systems is a true a landmark of Sci-Fi; the tale of a data thief who risks everything to re-establish his lost connection with the drug that is cyberspace.

Case has lost his ability to jack in; a vengeful employer has ravaged his body's nerves system, effectively locking him out of the net. New employment presents itself in the form of a strangely cold new employer and a deal is struck; rebuild his body in exchange for his expertise within the network. His new assignment places him in the company of Molly, a beautiful technologically enhanced assassin, her body transformed by nano-surgical augmentation. Thrust into a dangerous game together, she provides the muscle and he the technological link to the world of the matrix. Making a play against a powerful rouge AI, they find themselves face to face with authoritative corporations, and violent warring programs with in the code. They are aided by a human construct, a former hacker whose entire conciseness's has been captured and imbedded in silicon.

A journey into a mad world, a drug addled populace feeding on the excesses of human desire and rampant uncontrolled technology. Ceaseless body modification and augmentation blur the line between young and old, man and cyborg; A terrifying vision of a morally bankrupt society living on the edges of insanity.

The matrix is a vivid electronic forest, an endless neon light of raw data. Case jacks in and escapes the realities of flesh, existing only in the lucid realm of the code. The drug of cyberspace is rendered in incredibility vibrant detail, mesmerising in its descriptions and intricacy I became lost in the twisting words and began to wonder where the dream ended and the real began. The fine line separated fantasy and reality is distorted, my mind struggled to maintain direction in the optical kaleidoscope of color and texture.

It is not a world I wish to escape into, but to escape form. Full of depravity, and selfishness, the people of this dark future have given up any illusion of ethics, given in to the lusts of technological pleasures.

William Gibson has crafted a true masterpiece of speculative fiction, and delivered it in exquisite detail. His writing has an incredible visual quality to it; the mess of electronics comes alive and dances around any thoughts of sanity. I did not enjoy the read as much as was seriously impressed by it. Its complexities and mind-bending descriptions left me in a state of constant bewilderment.

Beautiful and terrifying at the same time, Necromancer is unlike anything ever imagined. Its vivid imagery is beyond my talent for description. It towers above me, mocking my inability to fully appreciate its magnitude. I did not fall in love with Necromancer, but I was left in awe and utterly shocked.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Difficult to Explain, Jan. 16 2004
By 
MicahA (Shoreline, WA United States) - See all my reviews
Normally I would attempt to explain to plot behind "Neuromancer," but in this case I'm going to skip it. I'm going to make a statement that will make all of you judge me: "I do not understand anything that happens in this book."
Now, I'm no sesquipedalian by any means, but I've been able to decipher some pretty convoluted plots, and understand wording in a variety of poor or difficult writing styles. I have NO idea what is happening in this book. I can't understand its metaphors, I can't for the life of me understand what is going on at any one time, where they are, who people are... This book won many awards, and I'm guessing it deserved them. In fact, I've never read a science fiction book that plays with language as well as this book does. It's amazing, and the way he uses words is the only reason I continued reading. I felt like I was becoming a better writer each time I finished a sentence. However, maybe it is because I normally read basic fiction, maybe I missed a few key phrases... Maybe I'm just an idiot... But I don't understand it. I'm sorry.
If you like well written books that you can use to understand how to write yourself, I may still recommend this book to you. It's very well written and original. However, if you stumble through understanding plots in the books you read, I'm stay away from this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Plug into a classic, Jan. 17 2012
By 
OpenMind "R Granger" (Calgary, Alberta, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Those who denounce Gibson's prototypical cyberpunk masterpiece as "unreadable" need an examination. Thoroughly imaginative and filled with intrigue, it's the story of Case, an antihero who, deprived of his cybernetic modifications, sets out to reclaim his powers by working for a shady outfit. Accompanied by Molly, a "Razorgirl" with modifications of her own, Case sets out to pull off the ultimate hack. Can he trust his employer, Armitage, a flesh-and-byte construct? Will Molly betray him? How does he complete his mission? Neuromancer is well-paced, interlaces imagery with creative concepts, and traces a bleak vision of the technology-addled future...but colours it with the possibility of redemption.
Many of the ideas from later works, such as Stephenson's "Snow Crash" or the Wachowski brothers' "Matrix" trilogy...uh..."borrow" liberally from what stands as the gold standard of the cyberpunk genre.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The longest 271 pages I have ever read., June 9 2003
By 
T. King (Brooklyn, N.Y. United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Neuromancer was to be my initial foray into the cyberpunk genre. Being a fan of the film THE MATRIX and the short-lived TV series HARSH REALM I thought I might find it interesting. I saw a very entertaining episode of THE X-FILES that was penned by William Gibson, so I figured this would be as good a place to start as any.
The core of the story is good and some of the central characters are very interesting but what interesting plot points there are become lost amid pages of pretentious, overly technical, poorly written, Zen-like techobabble. Gibson does a poor job of creating setting or suspense. It took me several pages to realize that the principal characters were on a space station in Earth's orbit. I flipped back to see if I missed something only to find that I hadn't. The overall mission was unclear making it difficult for me to care if they succeeded or not.
I may not be the sharpest tool in the shed but I know good writing when I see it. Neuromancer will be both my entrance and my exit to the world of cyberspace fiction.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars not surprised, June 27 2002
This review is from: Neuromancer (Hardcover)
I'm not surprised that this book is being adored by critics. Confusing and bad-written,with lousy descriptions and murky characters, this book really seems like it came from the future -where some other rules of writing aplly. "Neuromancer" is something like "Ulysses" of the sf genre. You know they call it "important", "master-piece" etc., but you also know you'll never like it because it is beyond of being readable and enjoyable.
When you read 200 pages of "Neuromancer" you still won't have a clue what is all about, who's fighting who, where, how and why? This book may pass only as a travesty of its own genre. Gibson is not innovatory writer, he's a bad writer.
If you want to read this book go ahead, but I promise you won't understand much.For masochist-type readers only!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars OW! MY HEAD!, April 13 2002
Let me put it this way. I got this book in December of 2001 and I finished it around late March of 2002. Let me further add that I am a "chain-reader". While trying to read this book, I managed to finish at least five other books. In short, this book DRAGGED. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE books that try (or are) different, create strange new worlds. But Gibson's problem is that he just drops you in the middle of his world (that kinda sorta reminded me of Blade Runner, due to its darkness) and expects you to know everything. A simstim? What on earth is that? And to make matters worse, THERE'S NO GLOSSARY! Even DUNE and the WHEEL OF TIME series have glossaries and they're easy as dirt to read. In short, my head started hurting after a while because I couldn't bloody figure out what was going on. All the talk of "jacking in, jacking out" reminded me of the Matrix. Molly seemed pretty interesting at first, with her Wolverine-like retractable razorblade fingernails, but if the world she lives in can't be visualized, then it may as well not exist, leaving Molly--and the reader--in a big black void with nothing tangible to grab onto.
Perhaps if this was made into a movie everything would make sense and I could go back and read the book with a better understanding, but as it is, this book is downright confusing. But I know one thing, this book has proved that, even though it was the one to start the cyberpunk genre, doesn't necessarily mean that it's the best.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Undoubtedly influencial, but annoying to read, April 6 2002
By 
Craig MACKINNON (Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
When a book introduces a new sub-genre, it obviously has ideas that are new, fresh, and exciting. However, on hindsight, Neuromancer is flawed in many ways. Clearly the whole cyberpunk genre arose from this book (just look at modern dystopic movies and computer games that borrow liberally from Gibson's language and plot points). For this reason, I would recommend the book. In addition, the story is actually quite good. Although I normally don't like or believe in futures this pessimistic, Gibson gave his world a kind of logic that allows belief.
Unfortunately, he then destroys the credibility at key points in the narrative. It is deeply irritating to me when an author sets up a self-consistent, logical (even scientific) world, and then decides (s)he likes an image or idea so much that it must be included, even if physically/scientifically impossible (Samuel Delany is the worst transgressor of this offense). I found myself rereading a number of passages in disbelief before concluding that yes, Gibson was indeed defying one law of physics while rigorously adhering to others at the same time. In addition, Gibson kept introducing new concepts and words invented from thin air, when there are perfectly acceptable words in use today. Okay, so he's trying to invent a new slang, but nowhere are the new words defined. You learn them from context, but the context may be several chapters away.
Gibson's narrative laziness crops up in his use of pronouns as well - there are passages that are simply incomprehensible because the author refers to all the characters (even those fighting each other) by pronouns. A typical passage would be something like: "She burst into the room just as she was getting up from the table." Is the person bursting into the room and the person getting up from the table the same? And if so, isn't it physically impossible to do both things at the same time? Thus, it was with mounting irritation that I approached the climax to the story.
Therefore, while I can recommend this book on an historical basis, or because it has an interesting plot (and the occasional interesting character), I do so with serious reservations due to the infuriatingly lazy writing style.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the classic it's made out to be, April 1 2004
By 
R. Seehausen "aeroblaster2" (Cypress, TX United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I get the feeling that Neuromancer won the awards and the popularity it did more because of the ideas it presents and its overladen prose than because of a good story or deep characters. Yes, it 'started cyberpunk', and the gritty yet slick setting does have a sense of depth and life.
Unfortunately, it's heavily burdened by prose that has a tendency to blur your eyes and make you shake your head in an effort to pay attention to what you're reading.
Most of the novel, in fact, suffers from an inability to make the reader care about what's happening. Gibson seems more committed to using three adjectives in a row and spewing simile after simile than capturing the reader's interest. I suppose you could call this "film noir" style, but for me, it just didn't work.
Coupled with a severe lack of information about what's going on and a numb, detached approach to its limited third person point of view, it's really hard to turn the next page and reach the end of this short novel that feels like it's three times longer than some of the monstrous tomes I've read.
The story itself is difficult to care about. It revolves around the machinations of a powerful artificial intelligence, but it's hard to understand what the point of the whole thing is, even after you've reached the last dissatisfying sentence. Sure, I understood the story, I just didn't understand why I was supposed to care.
Part of this apathy comes from a fundamental lack of characterization. The point of view is very 'cold'--that is, you don't get much inside the head of Case, and when you do, his thoughts are almost always analytical. When the sole viewpoint character doesn't feel any emotion for 90% of the story, it's kind of hard to feel emotion yourself. It's especially irritating that the novel is structured as a character story about Case's loss of his ability to 'jack in' and his death wish, and yet he never seems to care about much of anything (or Gibson fails to tell us about it if he does).
It seems to me that the appeal of this book is more for those who want to experience a well-developed milieu and pretty surface coating, as it has little power or significance as a story.
If you're looking for a detailed and skillfully constructed world, packaged in wordy description, or you want to see the roots of the cyberpunk genre, this novel is for you. If you're looking for an interesting, powerful story with deep characters, you won't find it here.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Eye-opening Ground-breaker, Feb. 12 2014
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William Gibson is an amazing old-school sci-fi writer - a definite pro in the field. Read this book and realise that it has been 'borrowed' from and 'ripped off' many times by countless video games and movies (namely Ghost in the Shell). Overall, an incredibly great, smooth read with hacking, neo-futurism, violence and existentialism!
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