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103 of 111 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Might just be Gibson's best ...
I first read this book (many years and many rereads ago) with low expectations. I'd been told that Gibson was a one book wonder, that he'd never managed to pull off a second book nearly as good as his brilliant first novel, NEUROMANCER. Gibson beat that rap, of course, with masterpieces like IDORU and PATTERN RECOGNITION. But somehow COUNT ZERO has always gotten ever so...
Published on September 14, 2003 by Chris Moriarty, author of SPIN...

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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Liked It - Didn't Love It - Not Sure Why
I really, really, really expected (and wanted) to love this book. When I first curled up with it, I was very anxious to dive right in. I love geeky techno-fi, sci-fi, and Gibson, as a general rule. But something just didn't work for me in Count_Zero.

I think it was not so much the story, which was satisfying, as much as the jerky cadance of Gibson's style in...
Published on May 15, 2005 by M. Collins


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103 of 111 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Might just be Gibson's best ..., September 14, 2003
This review is from: Count Zero (Mass Market Paperback)
I first read this book (many years and many rereads ago) with low expectations. I'd been told that Gibson was a one book wonder, that he'd never managed to pull off a second book nearly as good as his brilliant first novel, NEUROMANCER. Gibson beat that rap, of course, with masterpieces like IDORU and PATTERN RECOGNITION. But somehow COUNT ZERO has always gotten ever so slightly lost in the shuffle.

Well, I'm here to tell you that everyone, starting with Publishers Weekly, got it wrong. COUNT ZERO is no mere repeat of Neuromancer. It's a different beast altogether. It's older, subtler, and stranger. It's Neuromancer's hard-boiled street chic all grown up and with grown-up-sized problems. The characters are real, complex, and unforgettable. And the central image of the book - though I can't describe it without giving much of the plot away - generates one of the most hauntingly beautiful moments in all of science fiction.
If you're one of those Gibson fans who hasn't quite gotten around to reading COUNT ZERO, you're in for a rare treat.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good sciebce-fiction work, November 17, 2000
This review is from: Count Zero (Mass Market Paperback)
The first paragraph of this book sets the narrative tone for the rest of the work, indeed, it is the trademark style of William Gibson and his growing body of science fiction work. Turner is a mercenary in a not-to-distant future earth civilization. In this networked world, multinational mega-corporations, with names like Maas Biolabs and Hosaka wield enormous power especially over the network and the cyberspace world it encompasses.
In these corporations, genius scientists have lifetime contracts. They are well-paid prisoners of these giant enterprises. One such scientist, Christopher Mitchell, a man credited with creating the biochip, a replacement for the silicon chip, wants to leave his current employer Mass Biolabs and join rival Hosaka. The latter commissioned a reconstituted Turner with the job of bringing Mitchell safely out. "It took the Dutchman and his team three months to put Turner together again," the author writes. "They cloned a square meter of skin for him, grew it on slabs of collagen and shark-cartilage polysaccharides. They bought eyes and genitals on the open market. The eyes were green."
Count Zero is the second in a trilogy Gibson has created based on a networked society. The three books explore the notion of information as a life force unto itself that can be stored, manipulated, and evolved into different life forms. In the telling of his tales, Gibson introduces the reader to a rich assortment of unforgettable characters.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read sequel to Neuromancer, December 12, 2000
By 
Russell S Crown (Western Illinois University) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Count Zero (Mass Market Paperback)
Picking up where Neuromancer left off, I can understand why Count Zero was Gibson's favorite of the Sprawl series. He continues to combine cyberpunk with a sense of biopunk, capturing the reader from page one with a description of doctors rebuilding an agent from a description and body parts bought on the black market.
We then watch as three seemingly separate story lines unfold, wait to see how Gibson is going to bring them all together. This book deals with everyone from rising cowboy, to top Hosaka agent, to struggling artist, to super rich vat dweller. I felt that the ending could have maybe been a little better, but did pull all three story lines and almost every major character together for one dynamic finish.
I love to watch the interaction of Gibson's characters, as he is always creating dark and different characters that are often hated by the readers. I guess that is what I like about them. They're real characters they one would expect to find in the slums of the Sprawl, or working for Neotech, not just stereotype heroes.
Throwing in hot cyberdecks, double-agents, lots of drugs, more awesome biotechnology, combined with Gibson's unique characters, this book is a must read for any fan of Neuromancer, Gibson, or Cyberpunk.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting continuation of the Neuromancer universe., May 9, 2003
By 
This review is from: Count Zero (Mass Market Paperback)
Count Zero is considered by many to be the sequel to Neuromancer. Upon finishing it, I was surprised as to how little this story had anything to do with Neuromancer. Taken at face value, Count Zero almost works as an independent novel, although without having first read Neuromancer, the reader would probably have a lot of difficulty making sense of the setting and terminology. However, after giving some thought to the implications of some of the more obscure events that took place in Count Zero, I have discovered a handful of important connections to Neuromancer. These discoveries came to me days later as I mulled over some of the unanswered questions presented by this novel, as well as the handful of direct references to Neuromancer that were only touched upon. Reading Mona Lisa Overdrive after Count Zero also proved vital to bridging the gaps between the three novels, finally showing how they work together as a trilogy. This series does not spell anything out; it's the reader's job to put it all together through various clues spread throughout. So, if you think you're going to read either this book or the whole trilogy and be done with it: No, it doesn't work that way with these books. They get stuck in your brain, and as far as I know, they'll be there forever as your mind tries to put the final few pieces (which it can't identify) into the puzzle (which it only thinks it understands). The scariest part is that I don't think I'm exaggerating. In my mid-40s I'll probably get a brain aneurysm and a surgeon will have to pull off an emergency Neuromancer removal procedure to eradicate the source of the stress... jam a pencil in there and twist it around, that should do! Whoops, I think I got a little side-tracked there.

Count Zero follows the stories of three separate people throughout the world that Neuromancer set up. I was expecting the stories to come together into an impressive finale, but finished the novel disappointed. I won't spoil anything for you, but the three stories do not mix together as much as I would have liked.

The character depth is much improved over Neuromancer. I really felt as though I knew exactly what was going on in these characters' heads, and they're all very likable characters in their own ways. The characters are about as opposite from one another as you can get, making it somewhat refreshing as Gibson switches between them. I also loved the Voodoo elements to this book, especially the secondary characters who are involved in it. They are surprisingly likable for the image they portray. Voodoo is not just in this book for kicks and giggles, Gibson uses it to add another dimension to his story, and to thicken the existing atmosphere.

Overall, great book. I just wish the three stories had been more closely tied together. If you plan on reading Count Zero, then plan on reading Mona Lisa Overdrive as well. No ifs, ands, or buts.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Count Zero, December 1, 2002
This review is from: Count Zero (Mass Market Paperback)
Count Zero extends Gibson's elaborate description of cyberpunk technology with a suspenseful story line that explores many future possibilities for an even more gripping story than its predecessor Neuromancer. By reaching out to new characters in the degenerate Sprawl, Gibson follows many unrelated characters through a series of suspenseful plots which work ultimately to a common good.
Some characters and locations are familiar from Neuromancer although some play a bigger role than others. The Finn is instrumental in marketing software to cowboys in the Sprawl. Molly and Case are mentioned vaguely and the Tessier-Ashpools influenced several aspects of the story. The remnants of Freeside remain in orbit and have become almost deserted.
Three separate plots follow three new main characters through their attempts to survive their dangerous lives. Turner, a business mercenary, is introduced in the story as a target for a bombing and barely survives the blast. The wonders of medical science in this time are able to reconstruct his body and reload his mind from a simstim construct. Bobby Newmark enters a run for his life when detected attempting to hack a company's mainframe with a new icebreaker. Marly Krushkova, an out of work art gallery owner, interviews with Joseph Virek for a job after struggling to make ends meet after being disgraced for mistakenly trying to sell a forgery. Virek hires Marly to find the maker of the artistic boxes that he has been collecting and makes his immense wealth available to her in her efforts to do so.
These plots become more and more complicated for the characters as they continue to run into snags and attacks throughout the book. Count Zero will keep you reading to find out just how they will get through the growing difficulties encountered. Gibson in develops each separate plot well and brings them together in the end for an incredible finish.
Well worth the read
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Must Read "Sequel" to Neuromancer, November 2, 2000
By 
Michael Chu (Newport Beach, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Count Zero (Mass Market Paperback)
The second book in William Gibson's Sprawl trilogy (NEUROMANCER, COUNT ZERO, MONA LISA OVERDRIVE), Gibson deftly brings together three stories, mixing voodoo and high technology into a fast-paced tale. Almost as brilliant as Gibson's NEUROMANCER, COUNT ZERO is, nonetheless, a thoroughly entertaining read. Less heavy that NEUROMANCER, the book has definite foundations in cyberpunk, but will probably appeal to a much wider audience.
Slightly slow in beginning, but accelerating to a heart-pounding finish, COUNT ZERO is a book that should be read by Gibson fans, cyberpunk fans, and anyone who enjoyed NEUROMANCER.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better Than Neuromancer, January 23, 2003
This review is from: Count Zero (Mass Market Paperback)
"Count Zero" is an extremely good fiction novel. In fact, I thought it was even better than "Neuromancer" (also by Gibson). It is more concrete, and more easily understood, in it's concepts. Don't get me wrong, it's still got all the abstract ideas and goings ons that are in "Neuromancer". It's got all the action, all the technology, and all the wonderful characters. It wouldn't be a Gibson novel without them. They are quirky and fascinating at the same time. I think the characters are humanized a little more too. For all these reasons, I really liked the novel.
Don't skip "Neuromancer" due to this though. You'll enjoy "Count Zero" even if you haven't read "Neuromancer" yet. They are both good novels and deserve to be read in order. Plus "Count Zero" brings in little snippets from "Neuromancer". I can't wait to start on "Mona Lisa Overdrive", the next in the series.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gibson does it again, December 1, 2002
By 
Mark D. Zapf (Mcomb, IL United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Count Zero (Hardcover)
William Gibson does an excellent job in this installment of his Sprawl series. He carefully weaves threads of Neuromancer into this novel without taking anything away from the story of Count Zero. Gibson did an exceptional job at creating an original story while at the same time bringing back some of the favorite quirks. Such as the Hosaka decks and the various cowboys roaming the matrix.
Gibson's ability to construct three seemingly completely different story lines into one novel and then wonderfully bringing them together in the end is outstanding. One immediately gets drawn into the lives of each of the characters simpathizing instantaneously with thier plights. The diversity with which each of his characters is faced makes for nonstop action throughout the book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Accelerates from where "Neuromancer" left off, September 14, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Count Zero (Mass Market Paperback)
I read "Neuromancer" several years ago and thought it was OK. The writing style bothered me a bit, not for it's noirish quality, but for tech references and buzzwords which were not explained well. That was really irritating. I read other excellent sci-fi books which lost nothing because the author spent some time on defining the world and/or technology. I next read "Burning Chrome" and enjoyed it thoroughly. The short form definitely suits Gibson. Then I read "Count Zero" and I have to say it was a solid story, entertaining, a page turner, all that. I guess the lesson to be learned for the uninitiated is to read "Burning Chrome" FIRST, and then go on to the "Sprawl" novels.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gibson rules, November 23, 1999
By 
J. F. Cantrell (Winter Springs, FL USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Count Zero (Mass Market Paperback)
What a book! William Gibson writes about an artificial intelligence which expresses itself by building Joseph Cornell boxes! Read about Joseph Cornell first (and look at some of his boxes... try MOMA, or search Amazon), then read this book! Wow.
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Count Zero
Count Zero by William Gibson (Paperback - March 7, 2006)
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