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Mona Lisa Overdrive Mass Market Paperback – February 6, 1997

125 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews Review

Into the cyber-hip world of William Gibson comes Mona, a young girl with a murky past and an uncertain future whose life is on a collision course with internationally famous Sense/Net star Angie Mitchell. Since childhood, Angie has been able to tap into cyberspace without a computer. Now, from inside cyberspace, a kidnapping plot is masterminded by a phantom entity who has plans for Mona, Angie, and all humanity, plans that cannot be controlled...or even known. And behind the intrigue lurks the shadowy Yakuza, the powerful Japanese underworld, whose leaders ruthlessly manipulate people and events to suit their own purposes.

An over-the-top thrill ride sequel to Neuromancer and Count Zero.

From Publishers Weekly

Gibson burst upon the scene in 1984 with Neuromancer, a revolutionary, innovative novel that not only gathered up just about every award in the SF field, but also virtually invented a new sub-genre, which has come to be called "cyberpunk." He followed it with Count Zero , set in the same neon-lit, over-urbanized, polluted, high-tech future; an even better novel, it was necessarily not as breathtakingly unfamiliar and inventive as the first. This new novel completes the series, following the lives of some of the characters from the previous books (Bobby Newmark, Count Zero himself, is here) as well as many new ones, particularly Angie Mitchell, star of simstims and idol of millions, who is intuitively sensitive to cyberspace and the vodun deities that are its manifestations. Told in a gorgeous, highly compressedalmost poeticstyle that requires the reader's attention and intelligence, this very satisfying novel can stand on its own. Major ad/promo; author tour.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Spectra; Reissue edition (December 1, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553281747
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553281743
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #94,846 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

55 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Ken Miller on December 16, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
First: read NEUROMANCER, and COUNT ZERO, also by Gibson. Then: read MONA LISA OVERDRIVE. Read the three books in that order, and without reading other books intermittently. Actually, consider them one large novel. This will increase your comprehension and enjoyment of these books, which have come to be called The Sprawl Trilogy.
MLO mainly follows the same pattern as COUNT ZERO. Several different characters are notable: Bobby Newmark, aka Count Zero, who is jacked into cyberspace. Kumiko, daughter of a Yakuza, supposedly protected in London. Sally Shears, aka Molly, who may attempt to kill or kidnap Angie Mitchell, a star of Internet simulation programs, and various other bit players. Of course there is Mona, an illegitimate human, since she exists without an ID number in the digital age. Mona is almost a street person, a nonentity, but she looks much like Angie Mitchell. Sinister persons have plans for Mona and Angie: they plot (apparently) to kidnap one and kill the other. Cyberspace cowboys, Yakuza, Londoner thugs, and weird freakish types populate the plot, with The Finn from COUNT ZERO playing a minor role in this novel as well. Gibson, as always, manages to make the various plots converge at the end.
Gibson's world is futuristic, both fantastic and somewhat scientifically plausible, dystopic and frightening. London is trapped in a time warp. Japan is shiny and ultra-modern. Cleveland is a dump. The Sprawl is forbidding, amazing, huge, and imposing. Cyberspace is where everyone wants to be. In MONA LISA OVERDRIVE, he mainly succeeds at delivering his vision and an entertaining plot. Kudos to Gibson for creating this amazing fictional universe; this is his forte. I found the novel's ending somewhat confusing and unsatisfying. Don't let me dissuade you! MONA LISA OVERDRIVE is a fine novel and a successful conclusion to The Sprawl Trilogy; however, if you're new to Gibson, start with BURNING CHROME (short stories) or NEUROMANCER.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By M Eager on January 21, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The third in the Sprawl trilogy, I'd really recommend reading this but preferably if you've read Neuromancer and Count Zero first. It's an awesome book, but without the background knowledge from the two previous books it could be a struggle. The imagery Gibson concocts for us is exquisite, from the neon and chrome plated Sprawl, to the urban junkyard of the Factory, the dilapidated future London stuck in a time warp and of course the wonders of Gibson's Cyberspace, made even more fantastic here by some clever plot twists. It's all so real you're right there with his characters yet he doesn't bore you with over description - that's quite an achievement. His characters are complex and breathe life and aren't just mono dimensional cardboard cutouts - they each have their strengths and frailties. And by the end of the book it all makes sense .... almost .... but leaving you to ponder some aspects of the story. Which is just as it should be :) Well recommended.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 4, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I could seriously not put this book down. I read Neuromancer, which I thought was an awesome book, and I read Count Zero, which was good but sort of boring. Mona Lisa Overdrive however was a true masterpiece true to Gibson. The environment, so dark and un-organic paints a dark picture in your mind that is so real and tangible in a way. Cyberspace and the computer-driven networked world also played so much of a part in this simply amazing imaginary world. When it matches with the characters so nicely you can't discount the book because it's so enthralling. I loved this book and I know a lot of others that did too (although most of them tell me it's a cult following to like Gibson's work).
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Kat Hooper VINE VOICE on October 19, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In Mona Lisa Overdrive, the third and final novel in William Gibson's Sprawl trilogy, it's been seven years since Angie Mitchell (from Count Zero) was taken out of Maas Biolabs and now she's a famous simstim star who's trying to break her designer drug habit. But a jealous Lady 3Jane plans to kidnap Angie and replace her with a cheap prostitute named Mona Lisa who's addicted to stimulants and happens to look like Angie.

In a dilapidated section of New Jersey, Slick Henry makes large animated robotic sculptures out of scrap metal. He owes Kid Afrika a favor, so now he has to hide the comatose body of Bobby Newmark (aka "Count Zero"). Bobby is jacked into an Aleph where he's got some secret project going on. A Cleveland girl named Cherry Chesterfield is Bobby's nurse.

Kumiko is the daughter of a Japanese Yakuza crime boss. Her father has sent her to live in London while the Yakuza war is going on. There she meets Gibson's most iconic character, Molly Millions, who's going by the name Sally Shears. Molly is being blackmailed by Lady 3Jane, so Kumiko inadvertently gets dragged into the kidnapping plot.

Mona Lisa Overdrive contains several exciting action scenes which feature kidnappings, shoot-outs, helicopter escapes, remote-controlled robot warriors, collapsing catwalks, and falling refrigerators. These are loosely connected by the continuation and conclusion of the AI plot which began in Neuromancer. I wasn't completely satisfied with the sketchy ending or the wacky reveal on the last page, but that's okay. I was mainly reading Mona Lisa Overdrive for the style, anyway.

So much of Gibson's style and success stems from the mesmerizing world he's built -- a future Earth in which national governments have been replaced by large biotech companies.
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