Zero History - William Gibson

Gibson's novels always seem to involve achingly cool characters going on achingly cool quests in achingly cool locations. This was not so difficult in a futuristic dystopia, but as his novels have moved to the present day the suspension of disbelief has become more difficult. When the glamorous locations are London, Paris, and, er, Myrtle Beach, the glamour turns a bit more to the everyday. The mysterious Mr. Big is a PR man, the quest is to track down a fashion designer, and the plot more than a little sad.

At this point, I was pretty disappointed. The prose is still wonderful; turns of phrase I fell in love with. However it had gone from magic into watching a trick you understood being performed very elegantly. A pastiche of himself, perhaps?

Then, around three-quarters of the way through, things picked up a bit. Lots of incidental bits-and-bobs clicked into place, and the puzzle assembled. While still not as good as his earlier work, the book had transformed, and become something much more satisfying.

Posted 2010-12-14.