- Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Spectra; Reissue edition (December 1, 1989)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780553281743
- ISBN-13: 978-0553281743
- ASIN: 0553281747
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 179 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,844 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Mona Lisa Overdrive Mass Market Paperback – February 6, 1997
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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.
Brilliant, gritty, densely textured. -- Kirkus Reviews
Gibson's most obsorbing story to date. -- People
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That said, this book is very inventive and action packed. He cleverly brings lots of story threads together. Stands up well technology-wise even all these years later.
Must read for fans of the genre. Best if you read the prequels, Neuromancer and Count Zero, first.
In this novel, the third in his openly-SF SPRAWL Trilogy, the lives of female "Simstim" (a kind of cross between VR Programs and music videos) star Angela with an at first confusing relationship to both Voodoo and the "Matrix" (Gibson's version of the Wild West Internet), the aforementioned junkie hooker Mona who bears some resemblance to Angela (and is later given plastic surgery to resemble her closely), a guy in seeming suspended animation attached to a supercomputer (the "Count"), Yakuza Goddaughter Kumiko sent to England to keep her safe during an apparent turf war that becomes a global conflagration, and Super-Buttkicking Hitwoman/"Businesswoman" Sally Shears (who later turns out to be another identity of "Mona Millions" from the classic NEUROMANCER) all end up intertwining with the lives of various down&outers in The Sprawl. A vast, elaborate blackmail/kidnapping plot, with multiple murders to grease the wheels, is bringing them all together - only those who set the plot in motion never planned for the cogs to meet up and/or turn things around in their own ways!
You'll spend at least half the novel utterly confused and gasping for relevance - but in the back half a great deal becomes clearer, even if the ending will leave you somewhat confused by what happened and why, exactly. In that way it's like most of Gibson's work - fascinating and frustrating in equal measure. If you have a taste for what Gibson's cooking, you'll rate this novel higher than I did - if not, you'll wonder WTF I gave it four stars for.
In general, "Mona Lisa Overdrive" reads pretty much like the previous two books: a well-written, interesting story with well-done characters and worlds. Even though I rate this book at a Very Good 4 stars out of 5, I'd also say that it's not quite as good as the previous book (which was similarly not quite as good as the original). Probably the biggest issue is that this book's pacing is just a bit off. First, he's running four sets of intertwined plot lines here. So, it takes a while to get things together and rolling. Also, he throws in a bit more of the artsy prose that successful authors seem to want to write instead of meat-and-potatoes stories. For instance, he's got one chapter dedicated to extolling the virtues of the production techniques used in a documentary a character is watching. But, those are fairly minor issues. Overall, it's a very good continuation (and conclusion) of the series.
The books in Gibson's Sprawl Trilogy are:
2. Count Zero
3. Mona Lisa Overdrive
If you have never read Gibson, I hardily recommend starting with Neuromancer, continuing then with Count Zero and Mona Lisa Overdrive.