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Showing 1-10 of 38 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 114 reviews
VINE VOICEon 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.
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on April 12, 2017
So great to read another genuine "cyberpunk" novel (high tech for low life). Real people having real adventures make the best stories. Unfortunately, I have to agree with some other reviewers that this book never really hooks you in. The central symbol in the book, the VR glasses that the female protagonist steals at a party, are just a prop: it's never revealed as to what's in them, why they're so heavy or even why they're so important that our two heroes are chased all over California so the bad guys can get them back. Finally, the ending is relatively short and unsatisfying: everything is neatly wrapped up within a few pages, including a final "showdown" between our hero and his former employer, but this ending is not quite as coherent as one would like. The little series ending with Mona Lisa Overdrive was SO good that this book shrinks in comparison.
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on November 13, 2013
William Gibson's "Virtual Light" is the first book in his "Bridge Trilogy." As I noted in my review of Idoru, I read this first book after having read the second. I'm happy to say that the ordering issue wasn't a problem since the books are almost entirely independent. Similarly, the writing in this book is almost identical to that in Idoru: "Gibson does a fine job here. It's his usual futuristic cyber-type of world, well-written, with good characters. My only complaint is that there's a bit of padding in the book." The word "padding" isn't really correct for this book. Instead, I'd like to characterize the excess verbiage as too much zealousness in describing the world he's created. I guess I'll have to get over that characteristic in Gibson's writing since all of his books that I've read seem to suffer from the same malady. He just seems to want to describe his world regardless of how it interrupts the flow of the story. Anyway, I'm rating the book (barely) at a Very Good 4 stars out of 5. I'd have been happier without out so much descriptive prose, but it's still well worth reading.

The books in Gibson's Bridge Trilogy are:

1. Virtual Light
2. Idoru
3. All Tomorrow's Parties
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on April 6, 2017
Surprised that I missed this Gibson, but it does not feel dated. The wonders of cyberspace are put aside in favor of a fuller description of a physical world, especially the ad hoc society of squatters on the SF-Oakland Bay Bridge. Characters are engaging as ever.
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on March 15, 2017
This book started out very slow. It was hard to continue but once you get into it it picks up. Has a couple good characters that are never filled out. Overall it's readable but I probably will never reread it.
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on April 6, 2014
One of the challenges of near future fiction is that it so frequently feels dated only a handful of years after publication. The bridge trilogy is still my favorite set of Gibson novels even though the were meant to happen in 2006 and some of the technological predictions made at the time were hilariously off course (the distinctive VR interface of the internet is a great example). Still he managed to predict the birth of an Anonymous type group and the widening gulf between the 1% and everyone else, so hardware issues aside the book still feels near future twenty years after it was written.
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on September 11, 2016
This is one of my favorite books. Moving away from the vat-grown ninjas and orbital Rastafari colonies of the Sprawl trilogy, with this trilogy Gibson has begun to explore themes much closer to our own lives: interstitial communities, urbanism, nanotech, even religion. It's an incredible book.
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on March 28, 2017
Hard to follow for pleasure reading g but it has a good plot. It's a decent read.
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on May 18, 2015
Awesome book . if you like sci-fi you suck if you don't LOVE Gibson. ;) the best thing about his work is that it always seems realistic enough to be too far-fetched . everything he writes about is futuristically believable , .
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on February 9, 2017
I love science fiction, and I understand William Gibson is a total writing hero, but his style of writing just doesn't engage me. It was as though he was trying to explore every artistic, creative turn of a phrase right at the first and never got to the meat of the story. I dropped it before I got to the second chapter - never engaged me or drew me in.
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