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Pattern Recognition (2003)

by William Gibson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Blue Ant (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8,739170889 (3.81)121
Hired to investigate a mysterious video collection that has been appearing on the Internet, market research consultant Cayce Pollard realizes that there is more to the assignment when her computer is hacked.
Recently added byRini55, kat51987, Nightshelf, booksatasteal, private library, zzzzzzzzzzzzz
Legacy LibrariesDavid Foster Wallace
  1. 91
    Zero History by William Gibson (PghDragonMan)
    PghDragonMan: A new cycle of work from a master future prediction.
  2. 60
    Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson (S_Meyerson)
  3. 40
    Spook Country by William Gibson (Anonymous user)
  4. 21
    JPod by Douglas Coupland (verenka)
  5. 10
    Jennifer Government by Max Barry (mcuquet)
  6. 10
    Neuromancer by William Gibson (sturlington)
  7. 11
    Makers by Cory Doctorow (grizzly.anderson)
  8. 00
    So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld (souci)
    souci: Same idea of cool-hunting, all about surface, yet with appearances that are deceiving.
  9. 00
    Strange Flesh by Michael Olson (InvisiblerMan)
  10. 12
    1Q84 by Haruki Murakami (sparemethecensor)

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» See also 121 mentions

English (165)  German (3)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (170)
Showing 1-5 of 165 (next | show all)
I...didn't get it. Honestly, that might be all there is to say. There were a lot of moving parts and a lot of evocative language, but ultimately, it didn't go anywhere to me. I felt like the pacing was so odd, there were topics that Gibson really perseverated on, like: someone broke into Damien's apartment! The apartment was broken into! Was the apartment broken into? We think someone broke into Damien's apartment! All of a sudden, it just occurred to me that the apartment might have been broke into and I need to process it because we've never discussed it before!
The pacing with characters was even stranger: Bigend's ex-girlfriend - who was never introduced on-screen, but was supposedly Cayce's best friend, who would spontaneously send e-mails and I had to remind myself who she was every single time. A lot of characters (like Magda and her brother, Ngemi and Hobbs) appeared from nowhere but somehow were implicitly trustworthy and part of the party?

Also, pilates. So much pilates. And yes, I really side-eye books where the male author spends a lot of time discussion the female protagonist's clothes and workout habits. Also, seriously, what is the obsession of male authors with destroying female character's clothing? This seems to be a trope of male action authors and it's dumb. How does Cayce manage to destroy two priceless jackets, one of which she's had for years in the course of a couple of weeks?

But my biggest problem is that it never went anywhere: the footage, Cayce's surreal logo allergy, her father-the-spy's mysterious disappearance: all of these gorgeous starting pieces didn't grew thematically, didn't grow together and ultimately never felt satisfying on a plot level, metaphysical level or thematic level.

( )
  settingshadow | Aug 19, 2023 |
An interesting book, that's aging very quickly.

The book revolves around marketing, logos and brand perception, and the current culture of the time, both off and online.

When written, it was almost but not quite futuristic. Now it's a reach to drop yourself back into a world where toaster Power Macs and clamshell iBooks are admired rather than giggled at.

In fact, that's what makes the whole novel hard to appreciate - all the characters are driven by attachments to styles and fashions that seem so meaningless now, several years later, or perhaps my own biases are showing through.

There are threads here that eluded my grasp - I don't understand the Stuka at all.

If you're willing to put some work in, perhaps you'll adore this book as much as many reviews, but it will take some flexibility in outlook.

Objects in the rear view mirror are closer than they appear, indeed.
( )
  furicle | Aug 5, 2023 |
Normally I read the kind of literary fiction where pages go by without anyone so much as thinking of doing something, let alone actually leaving the house. I'm not allergic to action, but there has to be something in there to engage the brain as well as the adrenal glands. I'm glad to say I was totally taken in by this novel. The plot was perfectly paced for my tastes, it asks interesting questions and the protagonist is totally engaging from very early on. I wanted CayceP to succeed, although it wasn't always clear what that might entail. Most of the other characters were well drawn, although Dorotea, and Hubertus Bigend (!), were a bit overdone. Because Cayce is so interesting I actually wanted to look up the cultural and design references I wasn't familiar with, whereas I normally consider that stuff just to be authorial posturing and skim over it. What's more, I found those references did help to flesh out her character, since her aesthetic is such an important part of who she is.

The prose is perfectly judged as well; it's not a genre that is likely to be bogged down by lyricism, but there is wit, precise action and moments of beauty beautifully described. I'll probably return to my usual world of literary fiction for a while, but next time I want a rollicking good story I'll probably turn again to William Gibson. ( )
  robfwalter | Jul 31, 2023 |
As a non-spoilery comment... This book made me want, very badly, to visit London, New York, and Tokyo. ( )
  villyard | Dec 6, 2022 |
Wow! ( )
  lpg3d | Nov 12, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 165 (next | show all)
"In this, he is basically a conservative author; he doesn't really want to engage with the possibilities of the post-human. His chosen form, the novel, doesn't allow him to do this."
added by bookfitz | editThe Guardian, Toby Litt (Apr 26, 2003)
"Gibson's best book since Mona Lisa Overdrive should satisfy his hardcore fans while winning plenty of new ones."
added by bookfitz | editPublishers Weekly (Jan 20, 2003)
''Pattern Recognition'' considers these issues with appealing care and, given that this best-selling author is his own kind of franchise, surprising modesty.
"A slick but surprisingly humane piece of work from the father of cyberpunk."
added by bookfitz | editKirkus Reviews (Nov 15, 2002)

» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
William Gibsonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Achilles,GretchenText Designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ebert, DietrichCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ferguson, ArchieCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Frasier, ShellyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gálla, NóraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heras, MartaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Herløv Petersen, ArneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holfelder-von der Tann, CorneliaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Raphan, BenitaPhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schuenke, ChristaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Five hours' New York jet lag and Cayce Pollard wakes in Camden Town to the dire and ever-circling wolves of disrupted circadian rhythm.
"Nothing like genderbait for the nerds as I'm sure you well know."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Hired to investigate a mysterious video collection that has been appearing on the Internet, market research consultant Cayce Pollard realizes that there is more to the assignment when her computer is hacked.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

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