Thursday, October 7, 2010

Zero History

Reading William Gibson is like slipping into a world that is ours, but is somehow smarter, edgier, and infinitely cooler. Each time I start a new Gibson book I want to chase after people on the street and beg them to read too. I try to explain the genius that is Gibson, and each time, fail utterly. Putting that genius into words only seems to belittle it somehow. If you have any insight, please, let me know.

Gibson always describes what people are wearing. And I love this. Instead of seeming light or shallow, he introduces fashion as a window into the person, as a way of telling who they are by what they wear, or refuse to wear. He tells about their hair, and describes in infinite detail what they do, and how that doing seems to the viewer. His books are about now, but are ever at the edge of, and seem closer to what will be happening, than what is.

I have mentioned before that William Gibson's Pattern Recognition is my all time favorite book whose logo allergic main character Cayce Pollard I took into my heart as soulmate and friend. The sequel, Spook Country though just as well written thrilled me less. Perhaps because the protagonist in this case Hollis Henry seemed to be one of those people to whom things happen rather than on who makes things happen. Hollis plays a leading role again in Zero History, surrounded by a cast of seriously quirky characters who do, in fact, make things happen.

If you have any interest in fashion, marketing, art, pop culture, language, the future, flea markets, design, history, corporate espionage, or military surplus, read these books. Start and the beginning, and when you get to the end, you may want to start all over. That is what I am doing.


Erin Joy said...

I'm really going to have to get myself a copy of Pattern Recognition. You know, with all the spare time I have to read... I'll probably finish sometime in the next ten years... though I don't suppose that would stop me from trying!

Anonymous said...

How is it that you have never told me about these books in all our conversations about books and authors we love?

Diane Boyer said...

You have my curiosity going for sure!! I am reading a lot and will start with Pattern Recognition and go from there. Thanks for the motivation!! I just ordered the new book by Tom Hanks (just released) and hope it is as fun as I expect it to be. (He is a favorite of mine.)