William Gibson, “Pattern Recognition”

Reading this book was brought on by nostalgia for my sci-fi-reading high school days. William Gibson is the father of cyberpunk and consistently ahead of his time, having written novels like “Neuromancer” and “Idoru,” which is one of my favorites. “Pattern Recognition” is the first of his I’ve read that takes place in an identifiable present. Cayce Pollard, a coolhunter who has an allergy to brands (and a particularly vicious one to the Michelin Man), is one of many followers of “the footage” — video clips of unknown origin that have a ravenous following. She’s tapped to track down the footage’s origins and starts to suspect someone’s messing with her.

Published: 2003, 356 pp.
Obtained via: Library
Date started: 6.19.07
Date finished: 7.1.07
What I liked: Gibson’s stories are always compelling — he knows just how to mix cutting-edge technology with timeless suspense. This feels a little like a grown-up “Idoru” — which was incredibly predictive of the Internet age from back in 1996. I really love the Cayce character — an independent woman with a strong sense of skepticism but also this streak of curiosity that shows in her devotion to these film clips and the online forum that becomes a virtual home base as she travels the world.
What I didn’t like: Something near the end didn’t quite click. Perhaps it’s because I should have read it in all one go. Or perhaps it’s because everything ties together so nicely at the end?
What I learned: I have got to pick up Gibson’s next book, “Spook Country,” which takes place in the same present and is out in August.

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