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Editor reviews

The pioneering novel for the cyberspace genre and winner of the Hugo Award, Nebula Award and Philip K. Dick Award, Neuromancer is the masterpiece science fiction audiobook written by William Gibson and narrated by American actor Jeff Harding. Humans spend every second hooked up to The Matrix, a complex technical cyber-reality. Case is a cyber-thief working his way through The Matrix stealing whatever he can until he is caught and banished to the dangerous outside world, the real world. When he’s tempted with a chance to go back in again he could risk losing everything, including his life. Available now from Audible.

Summary

The Matrix: a world within a world, a graphic representation of the databanks of every computer in the human system; a consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate users in the Sprawl alone. And by Case, computer cowboy, until his nervous system is grievously maimed by a client he double crossed. Japanese experts in nerve splicing and micro bionics have left him broken and close to death. But at last, Case has found a cure. He’s going back into the system. Not for the bliss of cyberspace, but to steal again, this time from the big boys, the almighty mega corps. In return, should he survive, he will stay cured.

©2012 William Gibson (P)2012 Audible Ltd

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    131
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

READ THIS INSTEAD OF THE (RUBBISH) BLURB ABOVE

Oh dear. Whoever wrote the official blurb above has clearly not even bothered to read the book. Here's something slightly more accurate courtesy of me and Amazon.com:

"Here is the novel that started it all, launching the Cyberpunk generation, and the first novel to win the holy trinity of science fiction: the Hugo Award, the Nebula Award and the Philip K. Dick Award. With Neuromancer, William Gibson introduced the world to cyberspace - and science fiction has never been the same."

Case was a cowboy cruising the information superhighway; one of the best - jacking his consciousness into the Matrix, soaring through tactile latices of data and logic, rustling encoded secrets for anyone with the money to buy his skills. But then he made the classic mistake and stole from his employers - who caught him and burned the talent out of his brain, micron by micron. Banished from cyberspace, trapped in the meat of his physical body, Case courts death in the high-tech Chiba underworld...until a new employer, and his scary little razorgirl, scoops him up and offers him the cure he thought didn't exist - in return for one last run.


All of the above is for the book, of course. And I would add that, although most reviews concentrate on its massive impact on the SF genre and indeed wider culture, personally I just love the way Gibson uses words. He's a real artist (which sometimes disappoints those looking for something more prosaic) and what he does with language - and his eerie grasp of the human condition - at times approaches the sublime.

As for the audiobook: the narrator could be better. I can just about handle the massively macho American timbre (amusing rather than grating; unlike Gibson's other Audible narrators) but the careless mistakes, clunky artistic choices (the Finn's accent; oh dear) and lack of talent depicting female characters are harder to forgive. But forgive them, I do, because the quality of the writing shines through making such minor quibbles irrelevant.

111 of 119 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Really came alive, excellent

Very well read and the characterisation worked well, some accents took a little getting used to - the Molly in my head didn't sound quite so weedy, but it worked and I enjoyed the listen immensely

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Not a good narrator

I'm sure if you know the book already it's brilliant, but the accent, the monotonous style and the quick speaking makes it difficult to keep up with at times, making this more of a chore than a read

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Terrible Female Persona Used By VO

Is there anything you would change about this book?

A really dense story, hard to get to grips with. Could have benefited from multiple VO actors. The whimsically ditsy voice narration for the razor girl Molly really was not in keeping with er bad ass character. I thought even border line sexist though I did get it was picking up ojn tendencies within noir.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Very good story but not my type of narrator

This is absolutely a personal preference but I struggled with the cadence and rythm of the narration. The narrator has that contiuous sort of question-ending tone where all the sentences seem to be finished in a strange, up-going intonation. It's difficult to explain but I like my narration to be a bit less acted, like it would sound in my head if I was reading it myself I guess.

More to that, the language is difficult enough and the accents made it even more obscure, so I had to read the wiki plot summary to be able to follow the action entirely.

All in all a good story, perhaps not Gibson'a best, but not my kind of performance.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Broken sentences.

Narrator made it impossible to listen to. Tried it about 8 times but its too much.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • HT
  • 31-07-17

Hard to get into. Annoying narration.

I've listened to the first 2 hours and it's clear this is a book I'll have to put aside and perhaps come back to. It's hard to get in to, and he narration is pretty awful. So unnecessarily macho and American and poorly paced. I just can't be bothered to listen to any more.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

the narration is bad

I found some of this pretty much impossible to listen to and only stuck with it because I was committed to the story. It would be good if an alternative version was available as this does disservice to a classic.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Narration

Great story, however, the Narration was a little annoying at first. I did get used to it though...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Stylish but very, very confusing

Gibson may be a great stylist but don't expect to understand what's going on. Frustrating stuff.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Leon
  • 01-07-12

A Mind-Bender Of A Read.

Any additional comments?

It has all the elements of a top rate science fiction and a post-industrial dystopian novel. First published in 1984, it was ahead of its time. It coined the term "cyberspace" which Gibson, long before the internet and other virtual technologies were integrated into everyday life, described as "a three-dimensional representation of computer data through which users communicate and do business, alongside a whole host of more dubious activities." In fact, this book said to have inspired a generation of technophiles.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 16-08-16

Great book, good performance

Enough has been said about the book over the last 30 years that I don't need to add anything more. As for the performance, it's pretty good, the narrator slips in his accents every once in a while, which can be a little distracting. The female voices are also kind of comical. Overall a pleasurable listening experience.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Nicholas
  • 24-02-15

Bad narration

Would you try another book from William Gibson and/or Jeff Harding?

Gibson is one of the stars of the genre, and I was looking forward to revisiting Neuromancer after I first read it years ago. Sadly, this performance is betrayed by terrible narration; Harding's voice is horribly annoying, and when he tries to do characters' voices he descends to amateurish depths. I wasn't able to stand more than about fifteen minutes of it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Lemonsqueezy
  • 16-08-15

Neuromancer Unplugged

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Not really relevant. I pulled the plug on this audiobook a third of the way in, still waiting for plot direction to kick in. Additionally, no character development had occurred and I felt no empathy towards either of the main characters. The only thing that kept me in that far was the time investment already expended and the hope that it had to get better.

Has Neuromancer turned you off from other books in this genre?

Of course not. There's lots of great books of this genre out there.

What didn’t you like about Jeff Harding’s performance?

The thing I am trying to erase from my mind is his voice describing a soft-sex scene. It is distinctive and better suited elsewhere. Maybe westerns or action-hero type stories.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Neuromancer?

I like the title. Everything else can go!

Any additional comments?

I am not at all a demanding reader. I just need a plot or character that keep me coming back - don't we all. You'll have to make that decision about this book yourself if you're unsure.

0 of 4 people found this review helpful