I don’t quit books easily, or lightly. I started William Gibson’s Neuromancer under the impression that it was one of the best of new (published in 1984 kind of “new”) scifi – unfortunately, I deem it one of the worst. I really don’t know how it can be seen otherwise.
I am not sure what language Gibson used to write the book – I gave up trying to figure it out after 100 pages or so. Some sort of cross between ganster rap and Jim Rome’s glossary of smack. Perhaps if Gibson had included a dictionary, it wouldn’t have been as bad (my copy was the 20th anniversary edition and didn’t have any.) So abandoning the translation, I tried to look at the characters and plot. No dice; dimensionless, thoroughly unlikeable characters and overly convoluted and poorly written pseudoplot clouded by the bizarre terms introduced without any reference frame, this book can only appeal to those pretentious pseudo-intellectuals desiring to spout nonsense about how deep the work is, or what the artist was trying to convey in his/her painting, or how the scuplture evokes feelings of motion. Tripe.
I tend to be pretty stubborn about books. I’ll set aside a book for a year or more, placed marked, of course, to eventually get through it. I cannot do that with this book. Halfway through, I found nothing to redeem the lost time I invested in reading that far. More’s the pity because Neuromancer is touted as a revitalization of the genre. I guess I’m wrong in my opinion that the genre needed no jumpstart. Certainly not in a form such as this.
Whatever cyberpunk is, this is the nadir and not the apex, and it’s a sure thing I’ll not be reading any more of it. Maybe a long shower will wash away the residue and I can get back to some real science fiction.
The one good thing from the experience – I only borrowed the book from the library and didn’t spend any money on it. That would have been disheartening.