Oprah Time: Spook Country by William Gibson

I read Gibson’s seminal cyberpunk works a decade ago and felt it was time to visit Gibson’s more recent work. I am not reading them in order, just as they come off the shelf. Spook Country is set in a world similar to the one that we know and features a future-gazing advertising agency seeking to grasp the future, artists utilising augmented reality and where 2.0 technologies to make ‘locative art’, globalisation and container shipping.

Gibson uses the story to recant the virtual reality dream of the ‘matrix’ that he painted in his earlier books and instead sigues it into the more prosaic web that we have today and the augmented reality of the Wii, Sony PlayStation’s eyetoy,  geocaching, Google Maps, QRcodes and iPhone applications like Carling’s virtual pint. This is what I like to call the web-of-no-web because in essence, the world becomes ‘the matrix’.

The book has the brand awareness that is a signature of Brett Easton Ellis’ work (particularly American Psycho) and the storytelling of John LeCarre. Gibson pulls multiple strands together weaving the story tighter and tighter together as the thriller gains momentum.

One Reply to “Oprah Time: Spook Country by William Gibson”

  1. I was quite disappointed by Spook Country – it’s nowhere near as good as Pattern Recognition. It’s a good book, but it feels like Gibson took all the offcuts from P-R and put them in another novel. Read it, and let us know what you think.

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