Customer Reviews for

Mona Lisa Overdrive

Average Rating 4
( 24 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2004

    Exciting yet unsatisfying conclusion to Sprawl trilogy

    In Mona Lisa Overdrive, cyberpunk godfather William Gibson attempts to bring his high-flying Sprawl trilogy to a soft landing. Gibson re-introduces characters from the first two books of the series (Neuromancer and Count Zero) and brings them together with new characters while continuing to pursue his loose plot involving the evolution of artifical life. Gibson paints a bleak near-future landscape and populates it with edgy characters. The plot moves at a brisk clip, and Gibson's prose is typically poetic, but the ending, like those of many of Gibson's offerings, is unsatisfying. It still won't distract you from enjoying an otherwise great read.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Doesn't age well

    Borrow it or go to the library, but definitely read it before you buy it. Everything I read about this book painted is as some kind of revolutionary book that screams cyberpunk. I couldn't find the cyber. As for the punk, I don't know where it was hiding. I think 10-15 years ago this book would have blown minds. In 2009 it's rife with antique ideas and a limited view of cyber-society. I think the whole point of this novel was to wow the reader with crazy future inventions like "downloadable interactive movies" (MMO anyone) the proliferation of drugs (oh and plastic surgery). Like any older "future" story the future is stranger than they ever imagined. I like fantasy, I like some sci-fi, and I'm a fan of alternate reality fiction. For me it was like reading circa 1900 story about futuristic steam powered cars.

    1 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 29, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Mona Lisa Overdrive by William Gibson Mona Lisa Overdrive is a

    Mona Lisa Overdrive by William Gibson

    Mona Lisa Overdrive is a cyberpunk novel by William Gibson published in 1988 and the final novel of the Sprawl trilogy, following Neuromancer and Count Zero.

    Taking place eight years after the events of Count Zero and fifteen years after Neuromancer, the story is formed from several interconnecting plot threads.

    A young Japanese girl named Kumiko, daughter of a Yakuza boss is sent to London to keep her safe while her father engages in a gang war with other top Yakuza leaders. In London she is cared for by one of her father's retainers, Roger Swain, who is also a powerful member of the London Mob. She meets Molly Millions (having altered her appearance and now calling herself "Sally Shears", in order to conceal her identity from hostile parties who are implied to be pursuing her), who takes the girl under her wing.

    A reclusive artist named Slick Henry, who lives in a place named Factory in the Dog Solitude; a large, poisoned expanse of deserted factories and dumps, perhaps in New Jersey. Slick Henry is a convicted (and punished) car thief. As a result of the repetitive brainwashing nature of his punishment, he spends his days creating large robotic sculptures and periodically suffers episodes of time loss, returning to consciousness afterward with no memory of what he did during the blackout. His friends Gentry and Little Gird, help him take care of the place. He is hired by Kid Afrika, to whom he owes a big favor, to look after the comatose "Count" (Bobby Newmark from the second novel, Count Zero, who has hooked himself into a super-capacity cyber-harddrive called an Aleph). A theoretical "Aleph" would have the RAM capacity to literally contain all of reality, enough that a memory construct of a person would contain the complete personality of the individual and allow it to learn, grow and act independently. The "Count" comes with a med tech, Cherry Chesterfield.

    Mona, (Mona Lisa) an innocent young prostitute who has a more-than-passing resemblance to famed Simstim superstar Angie Mitchell. Her pimp, Eddy, sells her to perform a "gig" which later turns out to be part of a plot to abduct Angie. She is given plastic surgery by Gerald Chin, who turns Mona into Angie.

    Angela (Angie) Mitchell, famous simstim star and the girl from the second Sprawl novel Count Zero. Angie, thanks to brain manipulations by her father when she was a child, has always had the ability to access cyberspace directly (without a cyberspace deck), but drugs provided by her production company Sense/Net have severely impeded this ability.

    The story is told from the third person point of view, but half the time I did not know who was "she" or "he". It reads slowly, but perhaps it had a lot to do with the fact that I did not read the book in its intended order...

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  • Posted May 28, 2009

    William Gibson is one of the authors that has stepped over the line of political correctness in literature.

    Mona Lisa Overdrive is a very interesting novel. I do have to say William Gibson is one of the authors that has stepped over the line of political correctness in literature. The way he throws around sexuality and curse words is distasteful, even if it creates a realistic environment in our current time. I hate to say it, but his style facilitates the presentation of some very intuitive concepts about the world today. The creativity in the plot and new genre is impeccably different. Most stories have been told before but with a little different plot each time, however reading this book had me curious what was going to happen next. Mona Lisa Overdrive is hard to get into, especially if you have not read a William Gibson book before. Gibson uses this technique of writing two or more stories and them splitting them up into chapters. After that he intertwines them to make a book. This makes it especially hard for procrastinators like me to read his books because once they get back to reading the book, they forget what happened and need to reread. This book has four stories going on at once which makes it hard to get into and understand. Another thing that makes Gibson's books hard to read is his metaphors that go on for .oh about half a page, which is another short attention span folly of the currant generations.
    Conclusively I state, that the more you read his books, the easier they are to comprehend and follow. Personally, I secretly started to enjoy the formatting of his books because it added an element of mystery to my love of sifi. Although, If I were to rate this book on a scale from 1 to 5, I would give it a 3 because it is not very reader friendly.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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