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Zero History Hardcover – September 7, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
The other big disappointment of this book was the very lazy plotting. The characters are incredibly passive with almost all the action occurring around them while they merely react. Because of this no one does anything to move the plot forward; developments just drop into their laps, primarily due to unlikely coincidences. And therein lies my biggest complaint. Many writers use coincidence to propel a narrative. But in Zero History coincidence is the only driver of the plot. The primary action (if you can call it that) is around Hollis and Milgrim's search for a super-secretive fashion designer.Read more ›
This book isn't a series of observations about society and how we are effected by it in subtle ways, but a series of detailed descriptions of roads, hotel bathrooms, tea shops, desert plates, armored cars and other uninteresting fill. Instead of a book of ideas, ideas, ideas, Gibson has written a book of descriptions, descriptions, descriptions.
This accentuates a trend in Mr Gibson's recent novels. Starting with 2003's "Pattern Recognition", the settings of his books have pulled closer and closer to the contemporary world, even as his storylines have pushed further into la-la land. You almost wonder if he's being deliberately perverse. How else to explain "Zero History's" bizarre concoction of macho military fashion designers, ninja rock drummers, Japanese tailors and base-jumping super-spies? And that Mission Impossible-as-done-by-the-A Team ending? Please dear God, let that be a joke.
Don't get me wrong, Mr Gibson remains one of the most effortlessly stylish and readable authors out there. It's his choice of subject matter. I feel like I'm watching Michelangelo doing potato painting.
Let me explain.
"Zero History" completes the trilogy begun with "Pattern Recognition" and continued in 2007's "Spook Country", though it is much more closely tied to the latter. Freelance journalist Hollis Henry returns, again in the employ of insatiably curious marketing bigwig Hubertus Bigend. So is Milgrim, the benzo-addicted translator from "Spook Country", now straight thanks to Bigend's largesse and a stint at a clinic in Switzerland.
Also making a reappearance is the style of "Spook Country", which ratcheted down the flowery language in favor of bare-bones structures, non-linear conversations and off-beat settings. When it works, and it usually does, the words glide effortlessly, supple as old-fashioned denim.Read more ›
Bigend: "Hollis!....I need to spend insane amounts of money on vague nothingness!....and you, being a woman of dubious talents and with no grasp of finances, need a job!"
Hollis: "I know.....it's true....(pouts)"
Hollis: "I'm being followed...or maybe not...oooo weird wallpaper......why hasn't my boyfriend called?"
Bigend: "Peel me a grape!...here's $10,0000!...I need you in Ulan Bator at 25:00 hours!...Something may or may not occur!"
Milgrim: "Who?......what?....will there be snacks?"
Hollis: "He's talking to me.....well, will there?......I mean, okay...(pouts)"
Fiona: "You may be under surveillance....motorcycles are cool"
Garreth: "I know a very interesting rich guy....No, you don't get to meet him.....oh, and I watched 2 seasons of The Unit"
Evil Spec Ops Villain (off screen): "I killed an entire Afghani village with a dead parrot...now I steal fashion designs and forgot everything I ever learned in sniper school"
Secret Clothing Designer: "I am too cool, to...you know...like, sell OUT?..you know....oh my god..."
Everyone: "Aren't we PRECIOUS!!!.....Hugs all around!"
PS: Huge William Gibson fan, just starting to wonder a bit ; )
Most Recent Customer Reviews
OK, there are some very well-written, clever, convincing negative reviews posted above. You make valid points. But lighten up people. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Phyl P.
Nuff said [Amazon says I need 18 more words for this review, a haiku + 1, so here they are].Published 1 month ago by George
Doubters of my headline need only to skip to Gibson's credits for a whirlwind tour of the "turf" of this story. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Boni Mollins
I managed to get to page 13 before chucking it across the living room into a box marked "sell". Read morePublished 2 months ago by Nir
A lot of people weren't as fond of this as his other books. I am. I loved this book. I think it's just as good as almost any of his others, though a few of his are just beyond... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Gibson is normally awesome, but not this time. I understand the need for character development, but he spends way too much time in this novel just relating daily minutiae. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Ken
Gibson worked this one well. Whip out your dictionary 'cause he really flexed his vocabulary muscles. Written with great character depth and texture.Published 7 months ago by s t scott
Zero History is a good book, not a great book though there are some things that hold it back. The book follows two characters that it alternates through with each chapter. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Amazon Customer