I haven't read any Gibson in years, mostly because my life was too busy to allow for much recreational reading. About 10 years ago I plowed through Neuromancer and Idoru and completely fell in love with Gibson's style and gift for painting engaging characters and settings. The mix of technology and gritty humanism really grabbed me and pulled me in.
Maybe it's unfair to compare The Peripheral to those earlier works but they're all I have to go on, and this book stands squarely and deeply in their shadow. The "visual" aspects of the story were still quite good but I felt disconnected from and unsympathetic for the characters. The pacing of the story was also jarring at times, whipping back and forth without any apparent intention. I still enjoyed his vision for how technology may drive the evolution of society in an interesting direction, and how different the world could be in the future based on seemingly less-than-significant events in the present. The whole thing just felt like it was missing the soul that was present in his earlier works.
Ultimately I didn't feel like it was a waste of time to read this book, but when I finished it I was perfectly happy to put it on the shelf and then take down Neuromancer to restore my fascination with Gibson's imagination.