- Hardcover: 496 pages
- Publisher: Berkley; First Edition edition (October 28, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0399158448
- ISBN-13: 978-0399158445
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.5 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 823 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #277,519 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Peripheral Hardcover – October 28, 2014
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“Spectacular, a piece of trenchant, far-future speculation that features all the eyeball kicks of Neuromancer and all the maturity and sly wit of Spook Country. It’s brilliant.”—Cory Doctorow
“From page one, The Peripheral ticks and sings with the same controlled, dark energy and effortless grace of language...Like the best of Gibson's early, groundbreaking work, it offers up the same kind of chewy, tactile future that you can taste and smell and feel on your skin; that you believe, immediately, like some impossible documentary, because the thing that Gibson has always been best at is offering up futures haunted by the past.”—NPR
More Praise for William Gibson
“His eye for the eerie in the everyday still lends events an otherworldly sheen.”—The New Yorker
“Like Pynchon and DeLillo, Gibson excels at pinpointing the hidden forces that shape our world.”—Details
“William Gibson can craft sentences of uncanny beauty, and is our great poet of crowds.”—San Francisco Chronicle Book Review
“Gibson’s radar is deftly tuned to the changes in the culture that many of us are missing.”—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
About the Author
William Gibson’s first novel, Neuromancer, won the Hugo Award, the Philip K. Dick Memorial Award, and the Nebula Award in 1984. He is also the New York Times bestselling author of Count Zero, Mona Lisa Overdrive, Burning Chrome, Virtual Light, Idoru, All Tomorrow’s Parties, Pattern Recognition, Spook Country, Zero History, Distrust That Particular Flavor, and The Peripheral. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, with his wife.
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Are they using some of that time travel that THEY GAVE AWAY as part of the book?
I smell a rat here ....
And now that this tripe is finally out, I gave it a chance. Honest to God I did.
I gave up after 50 pages. Can this guy write a simple, clear descriptive paragraph?!?
I think not. I wasted 12 beans on this bulls***. Don't be taken in like I was.
Imagine how 3D printers, virtual reality, Google Glass, and drones will be used in -- I don’t know -- a hundred years. We don’t know when this book takes place, only that it’s in the future.
I don’t think these things are all that interesting now, to be perfectly blunt, and this book doesn’t make them any more interesting to me. But that might be part of the point. The two future time periods the action of this book takes place in are far enough forward that the accessibility and ease of use of these devices is so ingrained in daily life, that they are simply taken for granted and used the way we use a phone.
The first 75 pages of “The Peripheral” were a difficult chore to read. I was thrown into the future and wasn’t given any assistance in deciphering the slangy technical vocabulary or just what was going on. Eventually things loosen up and we’re told enough through context and eventually exposition to start getting by. At this point, when mysteries become less mysterious, you’re supposed to be enjoying the book. Supposed to be. I wasn’t.
I could not get into the book at all. And I know that most Gibson fans will find that insulting and/or a confirmation of my ineptitude, but that’s nothing I can help. If you’re not familiar with Gibson, this is not the place to start. I fully intend to read more of his works (and if you’re a fan, please suggest something of his to start with in the comments while you vote down my review), because while I can’t say that reading this particular book was an enjoyable, entertaining or rewarding experience for me, it is very clear that Gibson is a unique, talented, and visionary writer.
What strikes me about this book is the very terse dialogue from most of the characters, largely because they are all on edge and trying to play catch-up at every moment as the story unfolds briskly. There are some excellent and unique science-fiction premises developed in the story along with Gibson's astute cultural commentary. As someone who is deeply concerned about climate change, it is pleasing to see that he addresses this as a key story element. He is not at all heavy-handed about it but I appreciate his perspective as he extrapolates present-day conditions into the future "Jackpot". Although it is not at all clear why he chose to use the word Jackpot to describe the catastrophic climate crash that kills 80% of humanity in his story.
I like the way he creates a very credible environment through the way his characters observe the worlds around them. You feel immersed in both the future British culture, and the present day gritty reality of American culture. I also enjoy the the fact that he writes about his characters needing to stop and eat and use the bathroom like normal people. Often authors gloss over these essentials leaving the characters groundless.
The story centers around a relatively unusual take on a combination of time travel and alternate universe, and I enjoyed how he handled that. He did not need to explain the mechanism by which communication between these universes occurred in any significant detail, it is just assumed from the outset and some of it is explained in a vague way somewhere in the middle of the book. As always with Gibson I delight in his evocations of future technology, particularly 3-D printing and nano tech and its impact on contemporary and future culture. Rather than doing a lot of third person exposition of the technology, it is always described from the perspective of one of the characters and this adds a layer of connection to the characters and the technology that surrounds them. Impressive writing overall as usual!