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Distrust That Particular Flavor
     

Distrust That Particular Flavor

4.3 13
by William Gibson, Robertson Dean (Narrated by)
 

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William Gibson is known primarily as a novelist, with his work ranging from his groundbreaking first novel, Neuromancer, to his more recent contemporary bestsellers Pattern Recognition, Spook Country, and Zero History. During those nearly thirty years, though, Gibson has been sought out by widely varying publications for his insights into contemporary culture. Wired

Overview

William Gibson is known primarily as a novelist, with his work ranging from his groundbreaking first novel, Neuromancer, to his more recent contemporary bestsellers Pattern Recognition, Spook Country, and Zero History. During those nearly thirty years, though, Gibson has been sought out by widely varying publications for his insights into contemporary culture. Wired magazine sent him to Singapore to report on one of the world's most buttoned-up states. The New York Times Magazine asked him to describe what was wrong with the Internet. Rolling Stone published his essay on the ways our lives are all "soundtracked" by the music and the culture around us. And in a speech at the 2010 Book Expo, he memorably described the interactive relationship between writer and reader. These essays and articles have never been collected-until now. Some have never appeared in print at all. In addition, Distrust That Particular Flavor includes journalism from small publishers, online sources, and magazines no longer in existence. This volume will be essential listening for any lover of William Gibson's novels. Distrust That Particular Flavor offers listeners a privileged view into the mind of a writer whose thinking has shaped not only a generation of writers but our entire culture.

Editorial Reviews

Pagan Kennedy
In Distrust That Particular Flavor, Gibson pulls off a dazzling trick. Instead of predicting the future, he finds the future all around him, mashed up with the past, and reveals our own domain to us as a science-fictional marvel…Gibson's writing enters the bloodstream like a drug, producing a mild hallucinogenic effect that lasts for hours…Such is the power of his prose that when I glanced up from the pages of this book and surveyed the street-side around me, I felt as if I were wearing Gibson-glasses.
—The New York Times Book Review
From the Publisher
“Gibson pulls off a dazzling trick. Instead of predicting the future, he finds the future all around him, mashed up with the past, and reveals our own domain to us.”—The New York Times Book Review

“I forget that in addition to being a major novelist (Zero History, Neuromancer, etc.), he’s one of the best essayists and critical observers currently operating within our sociocultural sphere. This is his first essay collection, and it’s messed up how good it is: raw, weird, honest, smart.”—Lev Grossman, Time Entertainment

“Exquisitely written, done to a turn with both insight and that unmistakable prose that is just shy of spectacular.…This is a fine and even essential complement to the Gibson canon, and a delight to read.”—BoingBoing.net

“Though he’s often lauded as a big-picture man, these pieces make one thing clear: He’s even better with the little details.”—A.V. Club

“The most startling pieces here crackle with his excitement at discovering some unexpected aspect of the new.”—The Globe and Mail (Canada)

“A breezy, engaging read.”—The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“Potent…elegant prose.”—The Seattle Times

Library Journal
From Neuromancer, his edgy opener over 25 years ago, to last year's techno-insightful Zero History, Gibson has written arresting fiction. Perhaps less well known but just as arresting is his nonfiction. Gibson's pieces have appeared in many venues, e.g., Wired (drug trafficking in Singapore). This volume collects 30 years' worth of journalism, including material that was never published, appeared only online, or graced magazines that no longer exist. A kaleidoscope likely to interest anyone interested in current culture.
Kirkus Reviews
Cyberpunk's patron saint of prose proves that his reality is every bit as trippy as his fiction. Gibson's gift for language is such that banal discussions of Steely Dan and even eBay easily take on otherworldly aspects. In his universe, Singapore is left of Pluto, London lies in the Crab Nebula and Tokyo, of course, might well have its own extra-dimensional zip code. Fans of Mona Lisa Overdrive, Neuromancer and Gibson's other popular sci-fi novels will not find this at all strange. There is an element of exclusivity to Gibson's writing that almost lies at the polar end of exposition—or as the author might write, "geared in some achingly complex sphere within sphere way." The illumination in this text comes from the extent to which the complex author reveals himself to be entirely ordinary, just an average Joe trying to make a living off his writing. Recollections of learning the craft, avoiding the Vietnam War, meeting a woman and getting married show that the man who pioneered "cyberspace" (while actually coining the term) is actually just a normal guy. The welcome humanity seeping through the cracks of this matrix serve as an intriguing counterpoint to the esoteric musings heaped on everything from Japanese movie stars to curious storefront windows. Other targets of the author's wonder include the Internet, Futurism and one dude's particularly snazzy pair of jeans. Gibson bolsters the good feelings even further by following up each of these original entries with a brief explanation of what he was thinking about at the time of their creation. In this case, understanding the writer a little better makes the fantastic thoughts emanating from his head all the more captivating and strange. A provocative, surprising look at the lesser-known parts of a sci-fi superstar's writing career.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781452655994
Publisher:
Tantor Media, Inc.
Publication date:
01/17/2012
Edition description:
MP3 - Unabridged CD
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.60(d)

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
“Gibson pulls off a dazzling trick. Instead of predicting the future, he finds the future all around him, mashed up with the past, and reveals our own domain to us.”—The New York Times Book Review

“I forget that in addition to being a major novelist (Zero History, Neuromancer, etc.), he’s one of the best essayists and critical observers currently operating within our sociocultural sphere. This is his first essay collection, and it’s messed up how good it is: raw, weird, honest, smart.”—Lev Grossman, Time Entertainment

“Exquisitely written, done to a turn with both insight and that unmistakable prose that is just shy of spectacular.…This is a fine and even essential complement to the Gibson canon, and a delight to read.”—BoingBoing.net

“Though he’s often lauded as a big-picture man, these pieces make one thing clear: He’s even better with the little details.”—A.V. Club

“The most startling pieces here crackle with his excitement at discovering some unexpected aspect of the new.”—The Globe and Mail (Canada)

“A breezy, engaging read.”—The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“Potent…elegant prose.”—The Seattle Times

Meet the Author

William Gibson is the author of books including Neuromancer, Mona Lisa Overdrive, and Burning Chrome.

Robertson Dean has recorded hundreds of audiobooks in almost every genre. He's been nominated for several Audie Awards, won nine Earphones Awards, and was named one of AudioFile magazine's Best Voices of 2010. He lives in Los Angeles, where he records books and acts in film, TV, and (especially) on stage.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Date of Birth:
March 17, 1948
Place of Birth:
Conway, South Carolina
Education:
B.A., University of British Columbia, 1977

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Distrust That Particular Flavor 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
GordonF More than 1 year ago
I remember reading a lot of these articles in the original context of their time frame. Now, years later, the paint a picture of a society that was so excited about the future of social technology that it ran headlong into a kind of guarded curiosity. Gibson's collected articles and insights here point us at a weirdly optimistic past that was simultaneously mildly frightening. On the other hand, it is only one science fiction authors view of the idea of the future, not any actual predictions. Which is some relief. Whether you're looking back at your own recent history - as I am - or grew up towards adulthood (you'd only be 22 if you were born the same year as the oldest article in here) and are using this as a little window in a slightly manic 1990s, it's a great collection of information and thoughts on the then presents view of right now.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Even though it's non-fiction, not his normal modality, you will still find the dense prose, wry humor, and tech smarts we've come to know and love and expect from William Gibson.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is really good. I thought it was very helpful with what kimd of sweets i liked and did not like
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read up on Vannever Bush first.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found these essays as witty as they are perceptive. My favorite is the one about Singapore, which he calls "Disneyland with the Death Penalty." -- catwak
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