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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.
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
Flawed and somewhat unsatisfactory ending... but such a thoroughly interesting concept and characters isn't remains fascinating and rewarding.Published 21 days ago by Matthew M.
One of my favorite Gibson books. A great comment on the "branding" of everything and the invasive nature of advertising.Published 1 month ago by CJM
I had to read this book for a class in university and I got rather into it despite it not being the kind of story I would usually read. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Toni
It started out so well, but by the end I was struck with a feeling of, "who cares?" I generally enjoy William Gibson, but I have about decided that any story that involves... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
I loved this book. OK, I have a personal connection to "pattern recognition" as a subject. The main character's super power is pattern recognition of trends and branding. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Frederick Woyach
Wonderful - just wonderful. Story was riveting, and it rewarded my intelligence rather than impugn it.Published 3 months ago by Shannon M Parry