Top positive review
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Still Relevant, Still a Good Read
on November 5, 2013
This isn't the best William Gibson novel, but it is still an enjoyable read, and I was glad to read it again on my Kindle. The Kindle conversion appears to be just fine--unlike some eBooks, this one doesn't have anything glaringly wrong with it and it does attempt to perfectly mimic the layout of the original hardcover that sits on my shelf.
Virtual Light is interesting to read today, decades after its publication. Set in San Francisco, the story centers around a bad decision made by a young courier named Chevette and the mad scramble from all sides to pursue the item she stole: a simple pair of glasses. Or are they? Telling you more might spoil the story, so I'll take a moment to mention instead that Gibson writes Virtual Light in his usual prosaic way, but it's a bit more accessible than Neuromancer. Something about the way he constructs metaphors and descriptions isn't going to be as hard to get into, and that may also be its only drawback, in that it won't be as rewarding as when, for example, Neuromancer assumes you know about Trobriand Islanders and how they change money.
There's also a bit more fast action here. In Gibson's Cyberpunk San Francisco, the Golden Gate bridge was condemned, and that's when a random moment transformed it into a living community of the homeless, the outcast, and things even stranger. It's a rough world, and Gibson's weaves a microcosm of off-the-grid community that survives in spite of the technological rampancy right outside its ramshackle walls.
If you're new to William Gibson's writing or to Cyberpunk fiction, Virtual Light might make a good book to get you into it. Other works of his are better for varying reasons, but I still enjoy reading this one today.