Dec 08 2010

Zero History

Published by at 9:58 pm under Books

by William Gibson

This is the third book in a trilogy which is set more or less in the present among moneyed, young, brilliant and adventurous people. Most are involved in the worlds of entertainment, fashion, and advertising with a heavy overlay of technology. Overall a well crafted story that moved along with multiple strands but was not particularly satisfying except as an entertainment. At times it seemed a novel that wanted to be an action movie; 80 some short chapters jumping between threads, occasional bursts of racing around on motorcycles, chasing or being chased, and aggression (though no heavy violence as required in an action movie).
Much of the supporting material concerns the branding of products and the creation of want. Especially implicit rather than explicit marketing; underground brands. Lots of descriptions of real and a few imagined products and how they fit into lives and affect there users. Apple Computers get a lot of play, but there is not much imagining of potentially new and exotic technologies. Lots of ‘color’ commentary.
So a very mixed reaction; enjoyable, well told story but little intensity or substance.

PS. A good review in the Guardian (UK).

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