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Pattern Recognition Mass Market Paperback – February 1, 2005
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Pollard is among a cult-like group of Internet obsessives that strives to find meaning and patterns within a mysterious collection of video moments, merely called "the footage," let loose onto the Internet by an unknown source. Her hobby and work collide when a megalomaniac client hires her to track down whoever is behind the footage. Cayce's quest will take her in and out of harm's way in a high-stakes game that ultimately coincides with her desire to reconcile her fathers disappearance during the September 11 attacks in New York.
Although he forgoes his usual future-think tactics, this is very much a William Gibson novel, more so for fans who realize that Gibson's brilliance lies not in constructing new futures but in using astute observations of present-day cultural flotsam to create those futures. With Pattern Recognition, Gibson skips the extrapolation and focuses his acumen on our confusing contemporary world, using the precocious Pollard to personify and humanize the uncertain anxiety, optimistic hope, and downright fear many feel when looking to the future. The novel is filled with Gibson's lyric descriptions and astute observations of modern life, making it worth the read for both cool hunters and their prey. --Jeremy Pugh --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
As his protagonist, Gibson creates Cayce Pollard, something of a marketing prodigy whose claim to fame is that she can unerringly determine whether or not a brand logo will be successful on first sight. It is therefore intensely ironic that she has a phobia of all commercial branding that manifests itself through something that is akin to a cross between a panic attack and a migraine. Her revulsion to consumer culture is so intense, she goes so far as to remove labels from everything she owns, and dresses in the most stripped down manner possible.
Wrapped inside this duality is the additional one that Cayce, despite her odd phobias, who seems to be an inherently trusting and positive person, is grappling with the death, or more accurately the disappearance of her father in the events surrounding 9/11. Thus her vision of the future is touched by the background, but pervasive, fear that seems to have become part and parcel to our new century.
Cayce's escape from these twin phantoms is an oddly alluring film that is being released piece by piece on the internet (those familiar with Mark Danielewski's "House of Leaves" may see an echo here).Read more ›
Some will probably say that PR is science fiction. Without doubt, there is much in the book that smacks of the genre, especially the sub-genre Gibson is famous for creating. Technology and it's accouterment are ubiquitous: cell-phones, laptops, software, the internet, chatrooms, servers--all the usual suspects of a Gibson environment. Lights either hurt the eyes or barely exist. Surfaces are hard and shiny, clothing dark, edges lethal, and people all of the above. The lines between corporate executives, crime bosses, and government leaders are blurry, at best. And, as in all Gibson's work, the super-rich are above it all, somehow both less and more human than ordinary people.
However, this book is set squarely in the barely-past-September 11 present. Further, the technology all exists already. There is no prediction and no more speculation than any novel that invents institutions and locales.Read more ›
We read it aloud on a long drive together, an hour or so at a time. The "mystery" of the plot and the oblique excitement to know what happens next that it engenders kept us looking forward to each reading session. At the end, however, we finished the novel with a vague feeling of disappointment, of loose-ends being tied up too neatly, of the resolution being essentially too banal for the detail and complexity that lead up to it. Perhaps that was Mr. Gibson's point. Dunno.
However, I must say, that in the months since, points of view about current world culture that are expressed (both implicitly and explicitly) in the novel have kept returning to our casual conversation. I conclude that much of the book is profound in some subtle sense that may not effect you right away, but which will have a long lasting influence on each reader's consciousness of popular trends and their expression in media and merchandise.
A warning: as with most of William Gibson's books, there are layers here. If you are a pop and internet culture enthusiast (not to mention technologically "aware"), that is, if you are "hip" you'll "get" almost all of the book. If not, well, you may not "catch" enough of the (many) cultural references or enough of the interplay between ideas, character, and plot to make it worth your read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Pattern Recognition is my 2nd of Gibson's books, following the reading of Neuromancer. The book is captivating in that it somehow melds subjects like post-9/11 world, art and its... Read morePublished 1 day ago by Hosub William Kim
Completely unexpected from William Gibson. Great imagery and descriptive writing. I was captivated by what Cayce was going through. Good ending tooPublished 25 days ago by Thomas R. Smith
Uses lots. Sentence fragments. When he does write a longer or more complete sentence, it often doesn't make a lot of sense beginning the ten prehensile. Read morePublished 27 days ago by Yolanda in San Francisco
I was pleasantly surprised by this tale. Gibson moves it along briskly - and it's hard to see where he is going next. Read morePublished 3 months ago by J. Copeland
One of my favourite Gibson books. It's not hardcore sci-fi like some of his other books, but still deals with some really interesting concepts (eg. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Quentin M MacMillan
One of the most thrilling among Gibson's novels. Keeps you stuck to your Kindle and has a deep poetical layer. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Iulian Comanescu
Pattern Recognition is Gibson's most "literary" book. Character development is at his greatest point, and the story line is both subtle and engaging. Read morePublished 4 months ago by qfalconer