Jan 24 2008

Spook Country

Published by at 2:40 pm under Books

by William Gibson

I had read and heard about this book for a while and have enjoyed previous books by Gibson, but was little concerned when I saw the author’s name bigger than book title on the cover. That seemed to be a bad sign.

I’m sure a lot of reviews of this book have been written. It is a spy story but reads more like a detective story. A bit of both with multiple threads interwoven on a chapter by chapter basis and obviously but nicely converging. The story drew me in and I read it quickly. Wanted to see where it was going and how it got there. But once I’d reached the end, I was disappointed. It felt like it fizzled.

The writing is very well done locally and mostly interesting to read. It will appeal most to technology oriented people. References to current technology and much emphasis on the “trade craft” of spy’s and computer and global positioning geeks. If you don’t have any background or interest in such topics, you’d probably like the book less. The characters were interesting but tended to the super competent and resource rich variety that is common in science fiction writing (though this is not a science fiction book). One of the characters, a drug addict called Milbank, was entertaining, but he seemed to tag along in the story simply as a foil for the author. He was carried along in one thread long after his initial role as a translator was no longer needed. That bugged me.

Overall, just an ok book for some. Not of much interest to others.

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