May 29, 2003

All Tomorrow's Parties by William Gibson

coverIdoru was the first Gibson novel I had read in a long time when I picked it up in 2001. I enjoyed the pacing of that book, with its many small chapters and fun characters. It made me think that maybe I should start reading Gibson again. I picked All Tomorrow's Parties off the shelf at the library not even knowing that it's a sequel to Idoru. And more than a sequel, it has every appearance of being the middle book of a trilogy. Oh well. It is made clear early in the book that some big event is coming and that all the characters are going to end up at the epicenter. And so I watched as, sure enough, they all moved towards the site of the big mysterious something that ended the book. This is actually structured almost exactly like The Matrix: Reloaded, just with less philosophy. It moves along because the scenery is cool and the chapters are short enough to keep the pages turning, but in the end not much happens and what does happen doesn't make a lot of sense. The ending contains possibilities, so I'll probably read the third book when I figure out what it is.

The cool setting of most of the book is an urban jungle set on the Bay Bridge (not the Golden Gate as the cover would have you believe). The bridge was damaged enough by an earthquake that it no longer supports vehicle traffic, but has been colonized by society's rejects resulting in an anarchic community that readers of science fiction will instantly recognize.

The book itself is plastered with hyperbolic blurbs by such bastions of literary discernment as Elle and The Financial Times. Fortunately I don't read cover text or anything before the title page in fiction, so I was not unduly influenced for good or ill by this effulgence.

Posted by jeffy at May 29, 2003 10:16 PM