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Distrust That Particular Flavor Hardcover – January 3, 2012

55 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Bookforum

Grandly called a collection of essays, the book actually gathers Gibson's occasional journalism, much from the late-twentieth century, almost none of it worth rereading today. Certainly, Gibson's voice is engaging, conversational, winning, But Distrust That Particular Flavor needs less journalism, better writing, and more thinking. —Michael Dirda

Review

"A provocative, surprising look at the lesser-known parts of a sci-fi superstar's writing career." ---Kirkus --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons; 1 edition (January 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039915843X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399158438
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #214,395 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

William Gibson was born in the United States in 1948. In 1972 he moved to Vancouver, Canada, after four years spent in Toronto. He is married with two children.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

116 of 124 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really like William Gibson's books; I only know of one I haven't read. I have often wondered how he came to see things the way he does since I am about the same age, work in electronics, and I did not see so much of today's changes coming. I can't say I have an answer to that question after reading "Distrust That Particular Flavor". I did find this collection of essays interesting reading. This is not the book of the year, as one reviewer wrote. It is a collection of book introductions, talks, and magazine articles with afterwords comments added by Mr. Gibson where he gives his thoughts looking back at his works. It shows that Mr. Gibson, like the rest of us, is no clairvoyant. For the Gibson fan, buy it. For those who are trying to write the next big Sci-Fi novel and hoping to find Gibson's muse, move on. William Gibson appears to write things the old fashion way; hard work and a lot of typing.
Note on Amazon Kindle version: One chapter refers to pictures that do not appear. The Kindle version gets a "D". Amazon needs to get it's act together.
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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful By flaviolius on January 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I've been a fan of William Gibson's fiction for a long time, and have marveled at his ability to portray modern life as it almost is. He always seems a step ahead of what is current, in one way or another, and is able to communicate his ideas in a starkly written style that always manages to seem slightly ambiguous. However, with the release of this collection of non-fiction, I realized I never gave much thought to Gibson himself....until now. Through reading these pieces, I've gained a new and deeper appreciation for Gibson's fiction.

For the most part, these articles, essays, and lectures are written in the first person, which was a revelatory experience for me. I'd never read any of the pieces in this collection, so it was like seeing something familiar with brand-new eyes. The insight contained within is invaluable; not only did I learn much about Gibson's mind and what makes him tick, I also unearthed a lot of background data for the events in his fiction. In that way, reading this book was much like listening to a director's commentary of a dearly loved film - I gained new perspective that emphasizes and deepens.

It's abundantly clear that Gibson is deeply intrigued by modern culture, whether it's technology, psychology, fashion, behavior, eBay, or YouTube, and reading his meticulous picking apart of trends is just as fascinating as experiencing his fiction. Gibson's sense of excitement and wonder are infectious, his attention to detail is razor keen, and his open-mindedness is inspiring. I was a fan of Gibson's work before Distrust That Particular Flavor, but I am now a fan of Gibson the man.

This is essential reading, not just for Gibson fans, but for anyone fascinated by the bizarrely intricate roller-coaster world we are living in.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on January 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover
He is credited with coining the term "cyberspace" and has written novels like NEUROMANCER and MONA LISA OVERDRIVE that have given us a glimpse of a frequently unsettling future. Now, in DISTRUST THAT PARTICULAR FLAVOR, William Gibson offers his first nonfiction collection, an assortment of 25 often quirky pieces, ranging from articles for magazines like Wired, Fortune and Time, to essays, book introductions and speeches. Witty, insightful and refreshingly self-deprecating, they reveal that Gibson is as talented in reflecting on our own time as he is in envisioning our collective future.

Perhaps that ability flows from his grasp of one of the recurring tropes that appear in these pieces. "All cultural change is essentially technologically driven," Gibson believes, a point he illustrates in "Googling the Cyborg," a speech delivered to the Vancouver Institute in 2006. In it, he describes what he calls the "Steam Engine Moment," a recognition that certain ideas have been around for a long time, but only blossom when they're destined to do so. He's less interested in the construction of physical robots as he is in the way our interactions with electronic media are creating what he calls an "Augmented Reality," offering us something approaching the universal library imagined by one of his literary heroes, Jose Luis Borges, for whose LABYRINTHS he contributed a preface that appears here ("A ridiculously unearned honor, to be asked to do this. I'm still embarrassed.").

Of writing about the future, Gibson told an audience at BookExpo America in 2010 that "imaginary futures are always, regardless of what the authors might think, about the day in which they're written.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By M. Crane on January 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Gibson's ability to distill the essence of post modernity is frighteningly precise and frankly fills me with jealousy! I loved this work when it was first printed in various periodicals and I'm delighted to have it in a bound collection. Reading Gibson's non-fiction is like buying tire chains for your mind, a great collection of ideas, concepts and language that give you some traction in our slippery, dangerous, post-capitalist, deadly Disneyland of a world.

And I'm still waiting for the garage Kubrick to emerge.
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