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Mona Lisa Overdrive by William Gibson

Mona Lisa Overdrive (original 1988; edition 1989)

by William Gibson

Series: Sprawl (3)

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5,945371,064 (3.77)57
Title:Mona Lisa Overdrive
Authors:William Gibson
Info:Spectra (1989), Mass Market Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library

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Mona Lisa Overdrive by William Gibson (1988)

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» See also 57 mentions

English (35)  Catalan (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (37)
Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
Well...I didn't know this was the third book when I picked it up. And then I did but read that it was a loose trilogy, so I thought it'd be okay anyway. I did enjoy a majority of the book, but I felt lost at certain times, particularly Angela's chapters. She kept referencing things that I assume happened in a prior novel without really explaining them. My fault, not Gibson's.

But I also felt that it was a lot of build-up to nothing. There's sort of a neat ending but I can't figure out what most of the previous happenings had to do with it. Why were Kumiko (the only really likeable character) and her father in it at all? Their drama is hand-waved away at the end.

I seem to recall Idoru, the only other Gibson I've read, being like that as well. So I'm putting that on him.

I might go back and read Neuromancer, go from there and see if any of it makes more sense, or I might not. ( )
  chaosfox | Feb 22, 2019 |
Mona Lisa Overdrive by William GIBSON
  valentinbru | Oct 2, 2018 |
I think as a teenager/young adult I overidentified with the young woman that gets dragged into the whole OTT mess with cyberspace and brain modification. But it was definitely more fun to read than Count Zero. ( )
  jeninmotion | Sep 24, 2018 |
Is there a Monalisa Overdrive future in the works? That's not to say that there aren't plenty of SF predicted futures for the world that involve a sort of Utopian society where experiences are increasingly shared and cooperative than individually ring-fenced and private, but it's very easy to discredit them on the grounds of communist and socialist critique and all the heavy baggage that comes along with that. The other biggest practical stumbling block are all those who just can't help but get ahead of themselves - or perhaps panic at what they see as the emergent imminent apocalyptic Gibsonesque state and use this as a justification for taking extreme attitudes towards people who don't agree with them, but when we do this, it's just an expression of weakness and lack of confidence in our own ideas. A tacit admission that the development process - whatever that might be - just isn't ready yet. Not even close. That doesn't mean such a process doesn't exist and can't be pursued, just that it'll be a lot more involved and require a lot more preparatory steps and hurdles overcome than people would hope it might. I mean, granted I’m writing in wild generalities, but sometimes you have to do to say anything meaningful at all, when the subject matter in question (i.e., “Monalisa Overdrive” that is) is broad enough and when you're not playing to people's pre-existing biases and suppositions.

It's a dangerous thing to see the world as moving on a dark an inevitable path and it concerns me to see that sort of thinking gaining traction in the mainstream. To his credit, Gibson's work is likely in the vein of Orwell's “1984”, not as something he would hope to see but of a future we should hope to avoid, and outlining honestly why he sees the world as heading in that direction as a dire warning to help us improve. I'm just fumbling around in some vain attempts to provide a little of the other side to Gibson’s story.

Since the sheer volume of information and understanding available in the world is so vast, more than any individual could ever know, you learn to identify what's important to know, and what isn't. You learn to extrapolate and familiarise yourself with the important concepts, and this leads to a very solid view of how you think things are, and you apply that view reflexively to every different piece of information or alternative perspective you encounter, modifying and updating where necessary. So when you encounter someone out there with conflicting views, like Gibson, someone with dark, dystopian views that counter everything your own views are about, well that provokes a reaction and that's why I feel 'qualified' to write an alternative perspective as a counterpoint. Like an hysterical fanboy or fangirl, you could take this as some deeply unreasonable act of disrespect to the genius of the author - and I'm sure he has a genius that goes beyond my understanding, but that doesn't mean I can't reasonably disagree, and fundamentally so, with his outlook. If Gibson thinks there will be an apocalypse in the next 80 years where 80% of the world is wiped out and he has a solid reputation as a visionary, a modern day seer who can model with some accuracy the way the world is headed based on emergent technologies, then as far as I'm concerned he is throwing down the gauntlet on a set of very serious matters, and from a position of some significant authority and respect.

That's reason enough, I think, to justify highlighting what might be seen as elements of an alternative to that perspective. When people (and Gibson is by no means alone in doing this) are predicting dark times ahead for humanity, it certainly can't hurt to explore the possibilities of diverting course, and, at best, who knows, it might actually help to try!

I've made an opening gambit by this review on which I would welcome the opportunity to deliver more specific details. If you feel anything I said was woolly or unclear, call me out on that.

SF = Speculative Fiction. ( )
  antao | Sep 21, 2018 |
The final book in the Sprawl series does a nice job of bringing the stories of the first two books together in a grand finale. The action is intense. Everything in these books is intense, but this final chapter, especially the climactic ending is a whole new level of intense.
I have been aware of this book by it's title for several decades and have to say that I have always like the sound of it. It's great to finally read it and to not be disappointed that the book matches up so well with it. ( )
  Eric.Cone | Sep 28, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gibson, Williamprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Arconada, José B.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bonnefoy, JeanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cholewa, Piotr W.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cormier, WilCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Häilä, ArtoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kornya, ZsoltTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stone, SteveCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my sister,
Fran Gibson,
with amazement and love...
First words
The ghost was her father's parting gift, presented by a black-clad secretary in a departure lounge at Narita.
The world hadn't ever had so many moving parts or so few labels. [Mona: 231]
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0553281747, Mass Market Paperback)

Into the cyber-hip world of William Gibson comes Mona, a young girl with a murky past and an uncertain future whose life is on a collision course with internationally famous Sense/Net star Angie Mitchell. Since childhood, Angie has been able to tap into cyberspace without a computer. Now, from inside cyberspace, a kidnapping plot is masterminded by a phantom entity who has plans for Mona, Angie, and all humanity, plans that cannot be controlled...or even known. And behind the intrigue lurks the shadowy Yakuza, the powerful Japanese underworld, whose leaders ruthlessly manipulate people and events to suit their own purposes.

An over-the-top thrill ride sequel to Neuromancer and Count Zero.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:35 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Living in the vast computer landscape of cyberspace, young Mona taps into the mind of world-famous Sense/Net star Angie Mitchell who deciphers cyperspace plans, including those devised by Japanese underworld.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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