Nostalgia Review: Neuromancer

I have been largely been focusing on newer books and that is really unfair to all the great books from the past, so I thought I would re-read and review old and new classics that I have not read for a long time. First up in my new series is William Gibson’s Neuromancer.

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Many consider this what inspired The Matrix, and you could certainly argue that at least the name has been borrowed from the book. Other than that I think Neuromancer is quite different than the film series. It can also be argued that it inspired another Keanue Reeves film, the ill-fated Johnny Mnemonic.

The story revolves around a computer cowboy, we now call them hackers, called Case. He has implants in his mind and body work faster when he is breaking into computer systems. These implants are killing him and he is destined to a life as a vegetable at best and death at worst. Then he meets a woman who promises him that if he helps her employer perform a massive boost, he’ll get all new, non-toxic implants. As he has no other choice, he jumps at the opportunity and that is the start of a new adventure.

Gibson basically invented the cyber-space phrase and virtual reality in this book and I’m really surprised noone has tried to make this in to a movie. Maybe someone has, but Gibson refused. Anyway it was the start to an entire genre and I feel this book has sort of been lost in a sea of other books that are not as great. He drags you through a dyspotic world where the rich and powerful do exactly what they want, which does sound kind of familiar, and the underground is filled with technology rebels and freethinkers, which also sounds really familiar.

The start of the book can be a little confusing at times, but as soon as you get into it, it is almost impossible to put down. If you like books like Tad Williams’ Otherland or comics like V for Vendetta, you’ll probably get a kick out of this one.

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