Published in 1984, Gibson describes a Blade Runner type world complete with a matrix that humans jack-in-to for a virtual experience. This is years before Matrix films were created and released. Gibson even developed his own realistic "techno" language years before on-line world took off.
The biggest difficulty I had is Gibson's extensive use of this language. It adds to the story to make it more real, but slows the read and makes it at times hard to understand.
After hearing about this book for years, I finally had a chance to read it - and was a bit disappointed. While I will always appreciate this novel as the one that kicked off a whole new era of science fiction, there have been so many variations on this theme that Neuromancer's plot itself now comes across as a little plain.
I also had a little bit of trouble swallowing some of the plot points and character interactions - I spent a lot of time thinking "Well, I'm sure XYZ happened for a reason, but I wish I knew what that reason was."
I kept trying very hard to like this novel, being that it's been to sci-fi what Lord of the Rings was to fantasy, but it just seemed like a lot of work getting through the plot to finish a story I've heard retold a thousand times since it was written.
Way too cyber-punk for me. Didn't even make sense at times. Gibson is ordinarily a talented writer, but fell short here in basic explanation (even contextually) about what the heck is going on in this novel.
I read this back in 1986 when it came out in paperback- it knocked my socks off! I just finished re-reading it- it's just as fresh today. If you are into S/F you should read this fast moving, disturbing, look at a distinctly possible future. I'm an early PC builder/user and have always been concerned about "Artificial" intelligence. Keep in mind that biology limits the custard consistancy meat computer we all lug around. There are NO such limits on computers. Jump on Gibson's manic rollercoaster- you won't be dissapointed.
For fans of Science Fiction this author is a must. This book details the adventures of a man "dancing" along the net. Difficult to explain but exciting to read. If you like the Matrix movies you might find this story their progenitor. Of course William Gibson does it better!
You better have read this then! Gibson's book was absolutely phenomenal, and the way he bends your mind with new and different ways he sees technology (and the world) going in the future is absolutely wild! Be warned, he sees a dark future, so this is not for the feint of heart! However, the adventure this book takes you on is one you will remember!
The opening line, "The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel." says it all. Awesome book. I'd reccomend this book to anyone interested in the Cyberpunk genre. Can be a bit esoteric at times, Gibson likes to put in a lot of hard to understand references. Despite this, Gibson writes an engaging book. If you liked Blade Runner, you'll probably enjoy this book.
Excellent cyberpunk novel. You have to be into cyberpunk sci-fi (Blade Runner, anything else by Gibson) to really get into the book. Great setting, excellent characters, and a fast-moving plot mark this as one of Gibson's best novels.
Wm Gibson was the first to coin the word cyberspace and this audio book read by him, gives the edgey feel of living in a world where you can carry out espionage and download yourself. Well adapted to audio.
What a good book . It really deserves the awards it won: Hugo, Nebula, & Philip K. Dick. Not just for the story which is a fun ride: down&out Matrix hacker Case is bribed/blackmailed into working for a mysterious cipher, Armitage, and given a partner the original mirrorshades gal, Molly. But who is Armitage working for, and what is a nature of the job that needs to be done? Plenty of action and angst but what made this book so influential was the milieu. Gibson created the whole cyberpunk aesthetic, and this is the book that catapulted it into the popular consiousness.
On the subway yesterday, while I was reading, another woman was like, hey, if you like that book, I want to recommend another: Snow Crash. It might even be better! And, you know, Id agree. Snow Crash might be a better novel. But Neuromancer was the original.
Brilliant and surrealistic in its vision of a possible future, but very difficult. I think many will find this almost inaccessible. If you like complex, twisting, turning stories with a model of the world that is at the edge of your ability to grasp it, check this out. If you like something a little more linear and less dramatic, this may not be the book for you.
William Gibson has created a rich, detailed, and vivid near-future, populated with uncomfortably realistic characters..an amazingly complex novel. Some will enjoy it as a fast-paced, exciting adventure; others will claim it's actually a very subtle, clever mystery; still others will see it as a thought-provoking social discourse...."Neuromancer" is a MAJOR NOVEL. It is difficult to compare it to other works for the simple reason that it really is new, and different... "A flashy tour of a remarkably well-visualized future..Gibson manufactures wild details with a virtuoso's glee...an impressive new voice!" Review from Newsday
Hacker is recruited.
The Matrix is a thing within the story
Zion is a place.
How it is different to The Matrix:
The characters aren't living in the 'real world' and fighting in The Matrix. People, for a price, can get enhancements. All sorts of them. Even an enhancement that allows one to 'jack in' to another, see through their eyes and feel what they feel. In The Matrix, the three agents want access codes to Zion's mainframe. In Neuromancer, the mysterious employer wants a special something in order to be freed. To gain control. So there is some similarity there, but all-in-all I would say both stories are different enough to be their own thing.
This is a story about a druggie hacker forcibly recruited to help Armitage and Molly steal something important for a mysterious employer. It's a wild right. The technology was unique to me (though I'll be reading a lot more cyberpunk so maybe that'll change) and was a treat to read how different characters utilized the tech made available to them.
This is an extremely bloody, visceral story that won't be for everyone. If you're squeamish steer clear. Some may find it hard to follow because of the technology and maybe they read a review or two saying it was hard to follow. Don't be intimidated. It's sophisticated, but in a way that's easy to digest.
The visuals are intense, the technology is fearsome and fun. The plot is far-reaching, and without a wasted word, and the characters have superb back stories.
The ending might not be for everyone. But the story is wrapped up and a nice bow is put on it. I highly recommend this story.
This classic piece of scifi earned its reputation with the tale of an internet cowboy named Case and his adventures with a Razor Girl named Molly. The world Gibson immerses us in is creative and not over-explained, yet it still makes sense. The impact his vision of the future for the internet, the matrix, and ai has had on scifi is immediately apparent. A must read for any scifi fan and enjoyable for fans of immersion literature and character studies.
I treated myself to a re-read of this classic work by one of my favorite authors. Not being hampered by the learning curve of reading it for the first time, i was able to dive in head first into the deep end, in keeping with Mr. Gibson's writing style. His tales don't gently bring the reader up to speed. Rather, the reader is pulled at full speed into the depth and velocity of the story. One quickly learns not to start reading a Gibson novel without securely fastening the seat belt and putting the seat back and tray in the upright and locked position. Neuromancer is an enduring classic and will doubtless prove to be timeless. From the classic first sentence, to the last. Excellent.
previous review - 2012-06-13 :
I regret not having taken the time to read this brilliant tale before now. Gibson tells an excellent story with skill, creativity and intellect. Reading it so late in the game revealed to me just how much influence it has had since 1984 when it was first published. Neuromancer deserves the classic status that it has been awarded. I'm looking forward to reading it again and highly recommend it.