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Zero History Hardcover – September 7, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
The other big disappointment of this book was the very lazy plotting. The characters are incredibly passive with almost all the action occurring around them while they merely react. Because of this no one does anything to move the plot forward; developments just drop into their laps, primarily due to unlikely coincidences. And therein lies my biggest complaint. Many writers use coincidence to propel a narrative. But in Zero History coincidence is the only driver of the plot. The primary action (if you can call it that) is around Hollis and Milgrim's search for a super-secretive fashion designer.Read more ›
This book isn't a series of observations about society and how we are effected by it in subtle ways, but a series of detailed descriptions of roads, hotel bathrooms, tea shops, desert plates, armored cars and other uninteresting fill. Instead of a book of ideas, ideas, ideas, Gibson has written a book of descriptions, descriptions, descriptions.
This accentuates a trend in Mr Gibson's recent novels. Starting with 2003's "Pattern Recognition", the settings of his books have pulled closer and closer to the contemporary world, even as his storylines have pushed further into la-la land. You almost wonder if he's being deliberately perverse. How else to explain "Zero History's" bizarre concoction of macho military fashion designers, ninja rock drummers, Japanese tailors and base-jumping super-spies? And that Mission Impossible-as-done-by-the-A Team ending? Please dear God, let that be a joke.
Don't get me wrong, Mr Gibson remains one of the most effortlessly stylish and readable authors out there. It's his choice of subject matter. I feel like I'm watching Michelangelo doing potato painting.
Let me explain.
"Zero History" completes the trilogy begun with "Pattern Recognition" and continued in 2007's "Spook Country", though it is much more closely tied to the latter. Freelance journalist Hollis Henry returns, again in the employ of insatiably curious marketing bigwig Hubertus Bigend. So is Milgrim, the benzo-addicted translator from "Spook Country", now straight thanks to Bigend's largesse and a stint at a clinic in Switzerland.
Also making a reappearance is the style of "Spook Country", which ratcheted down the flowery language in favor of bare-bones structures, non-linear conversations and off-beat settings. When it works, and it usually does, the words glide effortlessly, supple as old-fashioned denim.Read more ›
Bigend: "Hollis!....I need to spend insane amounts of money on vague nothingness!....and you, being a woman of dubious talents and with no grasp of finances, need a job!"
Hollis: "I know.....it's true....(pouts)"
Hollis: "I'm being followed...or maybe not...oooo weird wallpaper......why hasn't my boyfriend called?"
Bigend: "Peel me a grape!...here's $10,0000!...I need you in Ulan Bator at 25:00 hours!...Something may or may not occur!"
Milgrim: "Who?......what?....will there be snacks?"
Hollis: "He's talking to me.....well, will there?......I mean, okay...(pouts)"
Fiona: "You may be under surveillance....motorcycles are cool"
Garreth: "I know a very interesting rich guy....No, you don't get to meet him.....oh, and I watched 2 seasons of The Unit"
Evil Spec Ops Villain (off screen): "I killed an entire Afghani village with a dead parrot...now I steal fashion designs and forgot everything I ever learned in sniper school"
Secret Clothing Designer: "I am too cool, to...you know...like, sell OUT?..you know....oh my god..."
Everyone: "Aren't we PRECIOUS!!!.....Hugs all around!"
PS: Huge William Gibson fan, just starting to wonder a bit ; )
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Gibson worked this one well. Whip out your dictionary 'cause he really flexed his vocabulary muscles. Written with great character depth and texture.Published 21 days ago by s t scott
Zero History is a good book, not a great book though there are some things that hold it back. The book follows two characters that it alternates through with each chapter. Read morePublished 25 days ago by Amazon Customer
This is my favorite William Gibson novel since his early cyberpunk writing that got me and everyone else hooked. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Steven Petersen
Not up to Gibson's quality. At times confusing as a plot. Lots of unnecessarily obscure words. Difficult to establish the main point/argument of the story. Read morePublished 2 months ago by ANTHONY P. KEFALAS
Zero History is a novel about the future of stealth marketing.Published 2 months ago by Brooke Neal
The negative reviews of this book are the result of incorrect expectations --- it is not a Sci-Fi potboiler, it is a finely-crafted comedy of manners set in 2010. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
William Gibson's books are always full of surprising characters, some of which appear in more than one novel, so there's a kind of continuity between books, makes the character... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Roisin Seatle
... but aimless, as if they're just wandering around with no special purpose in mind. Parts of the plot center around clothing design, industrial espionage, and something a lot... Read morePublished 3 months ago by wiredweird