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Idoru Mass Market Paperback – September 1, 1997
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When Rez, the lead singer for the rock band Lo/Rez is rumored to be engaged to an "idoru" or "idol singer"--an artificial celebrity creation of information software agents--14-year-old Chia Pet McKenzie is sent by the band's fan club to Tokyo to uncover the facts. At the same time, Colin Laney, a data specialist for Slitscan television, uncovers and publicizes a network scandal. He flees to Tokyo to escape the network's wrath. As Chia struggles to find the truth, Colin struggles to preserve it, in a futuristic society so media-saturated that only computers hold the hope for imagination, hope and spirituality. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
I'll start by saying I liked all of Gibson's previous work and I liked Idoru, too. I was a little stunned to read some people who seemed to find it went on too long, as the hardback edition I read is under 300 pages (large print, breaks between chapters.) The plot is admittedly simple: rock star plans to marry a virtual reality character. When do computers become alive? --- recurring theme for Gibson.
Rather than tell it from the POV of these two lovebirds, he alternates chapters between the book's two main characters. One, Chia, is a teen fan. One, Laney, has the the strange talent of... to put it in contemporary terms, he can separate the signal from the noise when websurfing. (That >would< be a useful skill!)
Things I liked? While the plot is straightforward, I preferred it to more overarching books that start out well and have things crumble by the end. There have been plenty of those. Second, I found the charactrers all well defined and appealing, especially Laney, a sort of everyman who ends up in the middle of a lot of weird stuff.
And of course, there's Gibson's writing, powerful and at times even hypnotic. Each chapter reads like a story unto itself, but they do all move towards a clear resolution. Even the title seemed like a subtle commentary on the story. ("Idoru" = "I adore you", perhaps?)
I give it a big thumbs-up.
It would be easy to dimiss it as a book about a hologram and an aging rock star, but what Gibson is really talking about is what exactly it means to live in the information age. And think about it -- do you know what it means? Think about the parts of us that already exist, independent of us, from our physical selves -- your Equifax credit report, tax records ... and what is the next logical creature to take hold? A creature of pure information. Who is Rez? An aging rock star with good spin control. Who is the Idoru? A creature of pure information. Who is Laney? A medium between the physical and the digital. Who is Chia? A collector of information about Lo Rez. What binds them together? Information, and the convergence between the hard and real (the physical) and the symbolic and abstract (information). Gibson is addressing where the information age is taking us, the metamorphasis we are all going through. That is his genius.
Gibson writes well and convincingly, even with lyricism. He incorporates the specifics of his futuristic world with such confidence that the reader can suspend disbelief for the duration of the novel. The problem is, he has done it better before, and with greater detail, so fans are not likely to forgive him for a simpler world and story. Still, reading any Gibson book is a treat, especially compared with much of what's out there. His ability to incorporate near-future technology with an exciting story that fits perfectly inside this fabricated world is astounding even on this smaller scale.
I recommend this highly-readable novel for cyperpunk/sci-fi fans, as long as they don't expect this to be another Neuromancer. The lackluster ending is a disappointment, but the rest is vibrant enough to capture the imaginations of most readers.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book seems rather prescient and beat a lot of others to the punch.Read more