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All Tomorrow's Parties Hardcover – October 25, 1999
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Colin sends Barry Rydell (last seen in Gibson's novel Virtual Light) to the bridge to find a mysterious killer who reveals himself only by his lack of presence on the Net. Barry is also entrusted with a strange package that seems to be the home of Rei Toi, the computer-generated "idol singer" who once tried to "marry" a human rock star (she's also from Idoru). Barry and Rei Toi are eventually joined by Barry's old girlfriend Chevette (from Virtual Light) and a young boy named Silencio who has an unnatural fascination with watches. Together this motley assortment of characters holds the key to stopping billionaire Cody Harwood from doing whatever it is that will make sure he still holds the reigns of power after the nodal point takes place.
Although All Tomorrow's Parties includes characters from two of Gibson's earlier novels, it's not a direct sequel to either. It's a stand-alone book that is possibly Gibson's best solo work since Neuromancer. In the past, Gibson has let his brilliant prose overwhelm what were often lackluster (or nonexistent) story lines, but this book has it all: a good story, electric writing, and a group of likable and believable characters who are out to save the world ... kind of. The ending is not quite as supercharged as the rest of the novel and so comes off a bit flat, but overall this is definitely a winner. --Craig E. Engler
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
- Publisher : Putnam Adult (October 25, 1999)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 277 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0399145796
- ISBN-13 : 978-0399145797
- Reading age : 18 years and up
- Item Weight : 1.2 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.1 x 1 x 9.1 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #241,398 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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This novel concludes the Bridge trilogy: characters you already know fortunately come together, seeking to survive as parties seek to create cultural fundamental changes. And human culture changes globally at the novel's end, but the creation vanishes into the madding crowd as the novel ends. I interpret these events as a beginning, not a conclusion, and I'm surprised that William Gibson wrote no follow-on novel to 2003's All Tomorrow's Parties.
This fine book is the culmination of couple of pseudo-episodic Gibson novels...his writing gets better and better and some of the passages are almost impossibly beautiful in their spare conciseness and wonderful language/syntax. Highly recommended for reading out-loud to (or by) your partner.
Gibson skillfully weaves the theory of historical inflection points (or cusps) into a story about how an artifical intelligence/personality (who apparently yearns to be free) manipulates various characters and the public nano-compiler network in order to become embodied as a young woman!
If you didn't catch that your first time through, read it again!
Told almost entirely from the meats' point of view and populated with hints of themes to come in Gibson's following (and very highly recommended) book, Pattern Recognition. Also, for relevant background, read the previous novel: Idoru.
As others have noted, he's stylistically back to the evocative, Delaney-inspired prose that made _Neuromancer_ and so many of his short stories work so well. And the characterization is much stronger than in the previous installations of the series. It eschews the contrived "gotta have a plot" scripting of _Virtual Light_ and _Idoru_ in favor of a well-thought-out progression toward an end that, as another reviewer has noted, passes almost too quickly to see -- a typical "Gibson ending", to be sure.
As for the future he depicts.... let's just say that in its own way, it's one of the more chilling dystopias I've ever encountered, wherein society and culture are made manifest in lawsuits and trash TV, and grim hope lives out on the margins in the "autonomous zones"....