Register Guidelines E-Books Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   MobileRead Forums > E-Book General > Reading Recommendations

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 09-29-2011, 04:03 PM   #1
Artisan
Miles away from ordinary.
Artisan began at the beginning.
 
Posts: 17
Karma: 10
Join Date: Sep 2011
Device: Nook STR
Just read Neuromancer, by William Gibson, and I'm disappointed.

Disclaimer - the following is the text of my amazon.com and bn.com reviews for this book.

---

The book I was reading came to an end more quickly than I'd anticipated, and I found myself sitting in the airport, searching desperately for something to read. As a big fan of the sci-fi, futuristic genre, I read the myriad rave reviews for Neuromancer and bought it on the spot.

Being captive on a plane for about 3.5 hours, I got through a good portion of the book, but in the coming days, and then weeks, I discovered that I was forcing myself to continue reading (sometimes a page at a time, one or two pages per day), until over a month later, I finally finished.

Now this is a bad sign, when you finish reading a book and your first thought is "finally!" rather than "wow!"

Ultimately, I think the book is plagued by three major problems:

1. The "action" takes a VERY long time to get underway. The entire beginning of the book is dedicated to a back-story that is neither interesting or particularly relevant to rest of the story.

2. The author seems overly preoccupied with describing every miniscule detail of every environment and every character, almost entirely without purpose other than to impress the reader. For instance, instead of describing an office as sparsely decorated, with a few colourful adjectives, the description consists of paragraphs minutiae about the texture on the walls and floors and desk and the things on the desk and the flickering lighting the creak in the door and the smell and the guy's face and his mannerisms and what the main character thinks of him and then some longwinded back-story about the guy that we've just meet and ... I found myself constantly thinking "ENOUGH ALREADY, JUST TELL ME WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!" I'd say at least 70 percent of this book is descriptions that I could have done without.

3. The only character even mildly compelling is a tertiary character who's appearances don't seem to serve the story at all. I had no interest in the affairs of any of these people.

To put it succinctly, I was pretty much just reading to find out what happens at the end. In that regard, I was again let down.

I am disappointed that I was disappointed by this book, considering all of the critical acclaim. I really wanted to like it. I tried.

I guess in the end I still don't really know what the "Sprawl" is, and sadly, that's fine by me.

---

So I see by the reviews and mentions here that I'm in the minority - so, is it something that I'm just not getting or are there others that agree with my review?
Artisan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2011, 04:30 PM   #2
TheLongshot
Groupie
TheLongshot knows the square root of minus one.TheLongshot knows the square root of minus one.TheLongshot knows the square root of minus one.TheLongshot knows the square root of minus one.TheLongshot knows the square root of minus one.TheLongshot knows the square root of minus one.TheLongshot knows the square root of minus one.TheLongshot knows the square root of minus one.TheLongshot knows the square root of minus one.TheLongshot knows the square root of minus one.TheLongshot knows the square root of minus one.
 
Posts: 190
Karma: 7758
Join Date: Nov 2007
Device: Sony Reader
Yeah, I think I made it halfway through the book before putting it down. I just didn't find it compelling.
TheLongshot is offline   Reply With Quote
Advert
Old 09-29-2011, 04:45 PM   #3
Zetmolm
Fanatic
Zetmolm ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Zetmolm ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Zetmolm ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Zetmolm ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Zetmolm ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Zetmolm ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Zetmolm ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Zetmolm ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Zetmolm ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Zetmolm ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Zetmolm ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 584
Karma: 2017692
Join Date: Jan 2010
Device: PocketBook Touch (622), PocketBook Touch Lux 2, Pocketbook Touch HD 3
I agree. I started reading this a couple of weeks ago but gave up after about one quarter through the book. I've read and enjoyed lots of SF but this apparently is not my thing.
Zetmolm is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2011, 04:45 PM   #4
DiapDealer
Grand Sorcerer
DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
DiapDealer's Avatar
 
Posts: 21,177
Karma: 115533574
Join Date: Jan 2010
Device: Nexus 7, Kindle Fire HD
Fantastic book! Sorry you didn't love it as much as I did.... twenty-seven years ago.
DiapDealer is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2011, 05:33 PM   #5
carpetmojo
Wizard
carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carpetmojo ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 3,117
Karma: 9269999
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: UK
Device: Sony- T3, PRS650, 350, T1/2/3, Paperwhite, Fire 8.9,Samsung Tab S 10.5
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLongshot View Post
Yeah, I think I made it halfway through the book before putting it down. I just didn't find it compelling.
Beat me....
carpetmojo is offline   Reply With Quote
Advert
Old 09-29-2011, 06:13 PM   #6
kcmay
Addict
kcmay ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.kcmay ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.kcmay ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.kcmay ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.kcmay ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.kcmay ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.kcmay ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.kcmay ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.kcmay ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.kcmay ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.kcmay ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
kcmay's Avatar
 
Posts: 363
Karma: 500001
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Georgia, USA
Device: Kindle2
Quote:
Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
Fantastic book! Sorry you didn't love it as much as I did.... twenty-seven years ago.
I read it more recently than that, but not a lot more, maybe 15 years ago. I can't remember much about the story, but I remember loving it.
kcmay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2011, 07:45 PM   #7
montsnmags
Grand Sorcerer
montsnmags ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.montsnmags ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.montsnmags ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.montsnmags ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.montsnmags ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.montsnmags ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.montsnmags ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.montsnmags ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.montsnmags ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.montsnmags ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.montsnmags ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 10,155
Karma: 4632631
Join Date: Nov 2007
Device: Kindle
Quote:
Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
Fantastic book! Sorry you didn't love it as much as I did.... twenty-seven years ago.
A timeframe which could highlight some significant statistical division between the likes/don't likes, considering the currency or otherwise of the subject matter, not to mention changes in personal preferences. (BTW, I'm with you, in my opinion of it, and the time in which it was read )

Cheers,
Marc
montsnmags is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2011, 07:49 PM   #8
carld
Wizard
carld ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carld ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carld ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carld ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carld ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carld ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carld ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carld ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carld ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carld ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.carld ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 2,698
Karma: 4748723
Join Date: Dec 2007
Device: Kindle Fire HD10, Galaxy S9+, Surface Pro 2017
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artisan View Post
1. The "action" takes a VERY long time to get underway. The entire beginning of the book is dedicated to a back-story that is neither interesting or particularly relevant to rest of the story.
I confess, I started the book with high hopes, but I never got past this part.
carld is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2011, 08:02 PM   #9
DiapDealer
Grand Sorcerer
DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DiapDealer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
DiapDealer's Avatar
 
Posts: 21,177
Karma: 115533574
Join Date: Jan 2010
Device: Nexus 7, Kindle Fire HD
Quote:
Originally Posted by montsnmags View Post
A timeframe which could highlight some significant statistical division between the likes/don't likes, considering the currency or otherwise of the subject matter, not to mention changes in personal preferences.
Of that I have no doubt.

I don't even know if I would love it--if I were reading it for the first time today. I like to think I would, but I'm a different person now. The books I've read since then would surely affect my perceptions of it. When you read something is almost as critical as what you're reading!
DiapDealer is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2011, 08:03 PM   #10
gollu
Unsullied
gollu ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gollu ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gollu ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gollu ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gollu ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gollu ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gollu ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gollu ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gollu ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gollu ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gollu ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
gollu's Avatar
 
Posts: 249
Karma: 759693
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Israel
Device: Kindle 2i
I feel very much like the OP. Went through the book and felt "I finally finished it" at the end. Maybe the problem with it lays in the high expectations from all the awards it has.
Anyways, won't read it again and won't touch anything by the author.
gollu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2011, 08:41 PM   #11
Penforhire
Wizard
Penforhire ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Penforhire ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Penforhire ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Penforhire ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Penforhire ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Penforhire ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Penforhire ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Penforhire ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Penforhire ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Penforhire ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Penforhire ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 2,230
Karma: 7145404
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Southern California
Device: Kindle Voyage & iPhone 7+
I enjoyed the extended characterization of scenery. To me that was part of the flavor of dystopian cyberpunk. I can see where someone might be disappointed by slow pacing but I savored it.

The content itself is part of the foundation of the genre. Charlie Stross and Vernor Vinge might not have succeeded with some of their more radical texts if this book (and others) hadn't laid some groundwork. That makes some details in Neuromancer seem simple to any reader already steeped in the genre.

Last edited by Penforhire; 10-04-2011 at 08:48 PM.
Penforhire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2011, 08:56 PM   #12
JeremyR
Guru
JeremyR ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JeremyR ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JeremyR ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JeremyR ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JeremyR ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JeremyR ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JeremyR ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JeremyR ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JeremyR ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JeremyR ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JeremyR ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
JeremyR's Avatar
 
Posts: 972
Karma: 2458402
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: St. Louis
Device: Kindle Keyboard, Nook HD+
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artisan View Post
Disclaimer - the following is the text of my amazon.com and bn.com reviews for this book.

---

The book I was reading came to an end more quickly than I'd anticipated, and I found myself sitting in the airport, searching desperately for something to read. As a big fan of the sci-fi, futuristic genre, I read the myriad rave reviews for Neuromancer and bought it on the spot.

Being captive on a plane for about 3.5 hours, I got through a good portion of the book, but in the coming days, and then weeks, I discovered that I was forcing myself to continue reading (sometimes a page at a time, one or two pages per day), until over a month later, I finally finished.

Now this is a bad sign, when you finish reading a book and your first thought is "finally!" rather than "wow!"

Ultimately, I think the book is plagued by three major problems:

1. The "action" takes a VERY long time to get underway. The entire beginning of the book is dedicated to a back-story that is neither interesting or particularly relevant to rest of the story.

2. The author seems overly preoccupied with describing every miniscule detail of every environment and every character, almost entirely without purpose other than to impress the reader. For instance, instead of describing an office as sparsely decorated, with a few colourful adjectives, the description consists of paragraphs minutiae about the texture on the walls and floors and desk and the things on the desk and the flickering lighting the creak in the door and the smell and the guy's face and his mannerisms and what the main character thinks of him and then some longwinded back-story about the guy that we've just meet and ... I found myself constantly thinking "ENOUGH ALREADY, JUST TELL ME WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!" I'd say at least 70 percent of this book is descriptions that I could have done without.

3. The only character even mildly compelling is a tertiary character who's appearances don't seem to serve the story at all. I had no interest in the affairs of any of these people.

To put it succinctly, I was pretty much just reading to find out what happens at the end. In that regard, I was again let down.

I am disappointed that I was disappointed by this book, considering all of the critical acclaim. I really wanted to like it. I tried.

I guess in the end I still don't really know what the "Sprawl" is, and sadly, that's fine by me.

---

So I see by the reviews and mentions here that I'm in the minority - so, is it something that I'm just not getting or are there others that agree with my review?
You're not getting it. #2 is exactly why it's a great novel.

It's not unlike Chandler's first few Marlowe novels. They don't make a lick of sense, because he cobbled together several unrelated short stories, combing the plots into an incoherent mess.

But it's the way he wrote that that is what counts. He basically fleshed out every scene and description.

Gibson is the same with Neuromancer. He vividly created and described a very (at the time) believable glimpse of the near future, because of his descriptions.

And indeed, part of the whole cyberpunk ethos was "style before substance"
JeremyR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2011, 09:07 PM   #13
Ralph Sir Edward
Retired
Ralph Sir Edward ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ralph Sir Edward ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ralph Sir Edward ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ralph Sir Edward ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ralph Sir Edward ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ralph Sir Edward ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ralph Sir Edward ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ralph Sir Edward ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ralph Sir Edward ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ralph Sir Edward ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ralph Sir Edward ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 10,109
Karma: 27871502
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: 5 generation native Texan
Device: BeBook/Openinkpot, CYbook 3rd gen awaiting RTF software upgrade
If you want to read a more "traditional" S/F take on much of the same subject, I recommend John Brunner's The Shockwave Rider from 1975. Much more of "what comes next", but in many ways equally disturbing....
Ralph Sir Edward is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2011, 11:08 PM   #14
caleb72
Indie Advocate
caleb72 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.caleb72 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.caleb72 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.caleb72 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.caleb72 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.caleb72 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.caleb72 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.caleb72 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.caleb72 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.caleb72 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.caleb72 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
caleb72's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,863
Karma: 18794463
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Device: Kindle
I remember liking it although I did like Snow Crash more which I placed on a similar plane.

I read it a few years back and I think it's fair to say that I found it fascinating rather than gripping. But I did like it and wouldn't object to reading more of his novels.
caleb72 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2011, 10:01 AM   #15
ekster
Currently without a title
ekster ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ekster ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ekster ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ekster ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ekster ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ekster ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ekster ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ekster ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ekster ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ekster ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ekster ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 203
Karma: 3209914
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Canada, Qc
Device: Kobo Touch
I read it twice. First time, I found it okay. Second time, maybe five years later, I loved it, but I also kept in mind the year in which the book was written when I read it.

And like mentioned above, #2 is also the reason why I loved it. I wanted a break from fast action world to a slow one filled with details. On the second read, I slowed down to pay attention to the world and every detail in it, and that's what made me love it.
ekster is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Finally, a horrible cinematic mutilation of Neuromancer on the way! ardeegee General Discussions 20 10-13-2011 05:52 PM
New William Gibson replica145 General Discussions 2 09-03-2011 07:47 PM
William Gibson Theta Head Reading Recommendations 2 06-11-2010 06:36 AM
$2.79 in Kindle Store: Spook Country by William Gibson bxrLvr Deals and Resources (No Self-Promotion or Affiliate Links) 0 11-09-2009 08:59 PM
New William Gibson novel - Spook Country LaughingVulcan Reading Recommendations 11 08-24-2007 06:23 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:48 PM.


MobileRead.com is a privately owned, operated and funded community.