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Idoru
     

Idoru

3.9 28
by William Gibson
 

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2lst century Tokyo, after the millennial quake. Neon rain. Light everywhere blowing under any door you might try to close. Where the New Buildings, the largest in the world, erect themselves unaided, their slow rippling movements like the contractions of a sea-creature. Colin Laney is here looking for work. He is not, he is careful to point out, a voyeur. He is an

Overview

2lst century Tokyo, after the millennial quake. Neon rain. Light everywhere blowing under any door you might try to close. Where the New Buildings, the largest in the world, erect themselves unaided, their slow rippling movements like the contractions of a sea-creature. Colin Laney is here looking for work. He is not, he is careful to point out, a voyeur. He is an intuitive fisher of patterns of information, the "signature" a particular individual creates simply by going about the business of living. But Laney knows how to sift for the interesting (read: dangerous) bits. Which makes him very useful--to certain people. Chia McKenzie is here on a rescue mission. She's fourteen. Her idol is the singer Rez, of the band Lo/Rez. When the Seattle chapter of the Lo/Rez fan club decided that he might be in trouble, in Tokyo, they sent Chia to check it out. Rei Toei is the beautiful, entirely virtual media star adored by all Japan. The idoru. And Rez has declared that he will marry her. This is the rumor that brought Chia to Tokyo. But the things that bother Rez are not the things that bother most people. Is something different here, in the very nature of reality? Or is it that something violently New is about to happen? It's possible the idoru is as real as she wants or needs to be--or as real as Rez desires. When Colin Laney looks into her dark eyes, trying hard to think of her as no more than a hologram, he sees things he's never seen before. He sees how she might break a man's heart. And, whatever else may be true, the idoru and the powerful interests surrounding her are enough to put all their lives in danger.

Editorial Reviews

Washington Post Book World
Neuromancer made Gibson famous; Idoru cements that fame.
New York Times Book Review
An intoxicating stylist.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The founding father of cyberpunk again returns to the techno-decadent 21st century mapped in his other major works (Virtual Light, Neuromancer, etc.). As usual, Gibson offers a richly imagined tale that finds semi-innocents wading hip-deep into trouble. Colin Laney has taken a job in Japan to escape the revenge of his former employer, Slitscan, a kind of corporate gossip-mongerer on the Net that he has crossed out of scruples. Meanwhile, Chia Pet McKenzie is active in the fan clubs for Lo/Rez, a Japanese superstar rock duo; while visiting Japan to investigate some new rumors about the group, she is used to smuggle illegal nanoware to the Russian criminal underground. Both Laney and Chia get caught up in the intrigues swirling about the plans of Rez, one half of the band, to marry Rei Toei, an "idoru" (idol) who exists only in virtual reality. Gibson excels here in creating a warped but comprehensible future saturated with logical yet unexpected technologies. His settings are brilliantly realized, from high-tech hotel rooms and airplanes to the infamous Walled City of Kowloon. The pacing is slower than Virtual Light, but Gibson exhibits his greatest strength: intense speculation, expressed in dramatic form, about the near-term evolution and merging of cultural, social and technological trends, and how they affect character. Dark and disturbing, this novel represents no new departure for Gibson, but a further accretion of the insights that have made him the most precise, and perhaps the most prescient, visionary working in SF today. 100,000 first printing; $100,000 ad/promo; author tour. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Colin Laney has a gift very much in demand. He can see well-hidden secrets through "nodal points" in the digital wake of commerce. In the not-so-distant future, fame and fortune and their analogs, scandal and ruin, are the true binding agents in a fractured, ungovernable world. Fired from his television tabloid job for an indiscretion, Laney is hired by the manager of the superpopular band Lo/Rez to go to post-earthquake Tokyo and divine the meaning behind singer Lo's intention to marry an idorua sort of a semi-sentient hologram. In alternating chapters, Chia, deeply involved in the Seattle chapter of the Lo/Rez fan club, picks up word of Lo's intentions over a computer network and is sent to investigate. On the way, she acts as the unwitting mule for a smuggler and winds up holding some very dangerous information. Though the plotting is weak and obvious, Gibson's writing is thick with atmosphere, dislocating the reader with a future that is both familiar and unsettling. Gibson's legion of fans will enjoy this fine sf thriller. For all fiction collections.Adam Mazmanian, "Library Journal"
Poppy Z. Brite
Gibson's style is vivid, graceful, and dense at the same time. Idoru moves faster than the Road Runner on crack. A wonderful story. Don't pass it up -- even if you don't own a computer. -- The Village Voice
From the Publisher
“Idoru induces reader anxiety, an almost hurtful need to jack into the next page...Every word is where it should be—lean, evocative, tense. Popular culture is William Gibson’s playground. Enjoy the ride.”—Wired

“Idoru is a prophecy, a prayer for information baths that never drown the supplicant. It is also a text on paper, beautifully written, dense with metaphors that open the eyes to the new, dreamlike, intensely imagined, deeply plausible. It is a profoundly cunning advertisement for a world whose enclosed spaces—and infinite domains within the skull—we had better be prepared to join.”—The Washington Post Book World
 
“Gibson’s vision is disturbing, his speculation brilliant and his prose immaculate, cementing his reputation as the premier visionary working in SF today.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
 
“Gibson envisions a future in which the lines between the virtual and the actual are terminally blurred. How ‘real’ are today's celebrities?...What will happen when the Web allows anyone—anyone at all—to be a star? With characteristic brilliance, the writer who invented the word cyberspace looks for answers.”—Rolling Stone

“Gibson remains, like Chandler, an intoxicating stylist...Clever and provocative scenery...vivid, slangy prose. Chia is one of his most winning creations.”—The New York Times Book Review
 
“Spooky...[Idoru is] a sharp satire on the uses and abuses of technology and has much to tell us about the dangerous path science has laid out for us.”—Baltimore Sun

“Gibson's trademark of high-tech pyrotechnics and dark psychological comedy is in evidence throughout Idoru, and his characters are as compelling as ever. Gibson’s novel should come with a warning label: Objects in novel may be closer than they appear.”—Time Out

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101158050
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
01/07/2003
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
151,356
File size:
304 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

William Gibson’s first novel, Neuromancer, won the Hugo Award, the Philip K. Dick Memorial Award, and the Nebula Award in 1984. He is also the New York Times bestselling author of Count ZeroMona Lisa Overdrive, Burning ChromeVirtual LightIdoruAll Tomorrow’s Parties, Pattern RecognitionSpook CountryZero History, Distrust That Particular Flavor, and The Peripheral. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, with his wife.

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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Idoru 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is heartening to see what nearly 20 years of seasoning can do for an author. Idoru is a sophisticated, delightful twist on Gibson's previous formula. The characters are more real and engaging, the plot more intuitive and less formulaic than his previous endeavors. Idoru is like great jazz music: when you try to pin down what makes it work, the full answers slip through your fingers. I had respect for Gibson when I read Neuromancer, but despite being more famous, it reads like a first novel. This book is seasoned talent let out to play, and it's a joy to behold.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have been a big fan of William Gibson's work since I read Neuromancer so many years ago. Although I was somewhat disappointed by Virtual Light, the follow-up, Idoru, renewed my faith. As the middle book in the Bridge Trilogy, Idoru sets up a diverse cast of characters, including a virtual pop star, a rock star, an avid fan, and a computer technician (for lack of a better term) who sees patterns in fields of data, and draws them all together in post-earthquake Japan. Although Gibson's plot takes some unusual, typically-Gibsonesque leaps, it is the interaction of the characters that will draw you in. A lesser writer would have bungled this, but Gibson's poetic prose is up to the challenge. Like most good science-fiction, Gibson uses his created world to make points about our own, lingering especially long over the topics of the nature of celebrity and the fine line between advanced artificial intelligence and human life.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After I stumbled upon 'Neuromancer' a couple of years ago I read nearly all of Gibson's books (I have tried to pace myself as I would otherwise run out of his titles). Of both triologies I think that 'Idoru' is the best story he has written and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'd recommend Gibson to anyone, but I would especially recommend this title if you're ready to pursue a really fantastic cyber punk story.
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