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Summary

The Peripheral by William Gibson is a thrilling new novel about two intertwined futures, from the best-selling author of Neuromancer.

Flynne Fisher lives down a country road, in a rural near-future America where jobs are scarce, unless you count illegal drug manufacture, which she's keen to avoid. Her brother Burton lives, or tries to, on money from the Veterans Association, in compensation for neurological damage suffered in a Marines elite unit. Flynne earns what she can by assembling product at the local 3D printshop. She used to make more as a combat scout in an online game, playing for a rich man, but she's had to let the shooter games go.

Wilf Netherton lives in London, seventy-some years later, on the far side of decades of slow-motion apocalypse. Things are pretty good now, for the haves, and there aren't many have-nots left. Wilf, a high-powered publicist and celebrity-minder, fancies himself as a romantic misfit in a society where reaching into the past is just another hobby.Burton's been moonlighting online, secretly working security in some game prototype, a virtual world that looks vaguely like London, but a lot weirder. He's got his sister taking over shifts, promised her the game's not a shooter. Still, the crime Flynne witnesses there is plenty bad.

Flynne and Wilf are about to meet one another. Her world will be altered utterly, irrevocably, and Wilf's, for all its decadence and power, will learn that some of these third-world types from the past can be badass.

According to the Guardian, in terms of influence Gibson is 'probably the most important novelist of the past two decades'. The Peripheral, which marks a return to the futurism of Neuromancer, will be adored by Gibson readers and will also appeal to fans of Ender's Game, Looper and Source Code.

©2014 William Gibson (P)2015 Penguin Random House

Critic reviews

"Superb....frantic with imagination and frantic with the appetite to see what happens next" (Ned Beauman, Observer)
"What a glorious ride! Like the woman said: brain 'splode" (Sam Leith, Guardian)
"This is a mesmerizing, captivating, haunting book - a wonderful addition to a brilliant oeuvre" (Harry Ritchie, Sunday Times)

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Somewhat disappointed

William Gibson is one of the stand out authors in the world for me. The man is a genius in his perceptive readings of the world and has a passing genius of the zeitgeist which always makes his books a great read. Unfortunately I found this last offering didn't really pull me into the story at all and I was left without that feeling of thrill or wonder which I have had from all his previous novels. Everyone should have one duffer in them and I hope this is WG's, to me he is a legend and it was only really the lovely voice of Lorelei King which saved the day. Sorry if you read this William but maybe my expectations were just too high as everything else from your wang (wink) is a masterpiece!

7 people found this helpful

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King of Dystopia

So. I have read other books by William Gibson and are some of my favourites.

Some of the reviews on here made me worried. Several saying they couldn't under stand it. It turned out it was William Gibson just doing his thing.

I love the way the book starts with several disconnected threads. Then, in the way he does, the all start to overlap and weave together. The result an engrossing, fast paced story that I enjoyed every second of.

If you find the first few chapters tough, keep with it. I promise it will be worth it.

6 people found this helpful

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Back to brilliant

This has shades of Neuromancer, Source Code and a hint of Nick Bostrum... and thoroughly William Gibson. A proper romp with 'time travel' that could almost make sense. I get the feeling I might be living in a weird quantum entangled stub. Loved it.

4 people found this helpful

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Excellent.

This is a fantastic book, using big ideas in a new and refreshing way. I don't want to say much about the plot but the way it all comes together is very clever.

3 people found this helpful

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a great book and a great audiobook

i enjoyed this so much that although it says a review is optional i am going to write 20 words basically i loved the book and i loved the audiobook too

3 people found this helpful

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Not overly impressed

Took a lot to finally work out what was going on then it all happened so easily and quickly. the juicy bits just fizzled.

3 people found this helpful

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Great

Brilliantly written and narrated. Immensely enjoyable.
Gibson at his fantastic best. Weaving two timelines seamlessly. Total immersion recommended. Thank-you





3 people found this helpful

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A palpable sense of atonal dislocation

The first one hundred pages of The Peripheral are unnecessarily obtuse and complicated, for what in the end is pretty much a murder mystery wrapped up in techno speak and some temporal quantum twists. but you have to pay attention to what happens in those first chapters because the bases of the plot happen there.
William Gibson can create some of the best dystopias and make up some of the best technology of what is sitting at the very edge of our newest creations, he also can foresee how society is shaped by this machines or the use and perception of data as the most basic component of reality.
Tattoos that move (nano tech), humans with so much technology inbeded they no longer feel human to themselves, quantum servers that can perceive other possible futures and pasts, assembler and disassemblers mining for molecular parts, reality,games, other segments other realities. infuse this novel with a palpable sense of atonal dislocation, where humanity is just data inhabiting peripherals with bone resonans for ultra secret communication.
Over all and enjoyable trip to what could be or will probably happen.
Clear reading that is faithful to the book.

11 people found this helpful

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poor story weird narration at times

what a terrible book 14 hrs and had no clue what was going on from start to finish. I tried I really did and I listen to alot of books! Narration was strange sometimes it seemed to be read as if she was reading a poem very strange. I've never bothered to leave a review before but I just felt this book was terrible.

2 people found this helpful

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Another great Gibson book

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This is a return to the high-future scifi of William Gibson's earlier books after the Bigend trilogy, but is still grounded in an unsettling sense of the present. It may not be the first of his books I'd recommend, but it is great nonetheless.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Peripheral?

The conclusion, without wanting to give anything away, is at once both rewarding and has a strange sense of continuity about it. The whole world of the book has stuck with me for days after finishing it.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 30-05-19

Challenging to follow

I found it a real challenge to follow what was going on in some parts of the book, but I’d definitely recommend persevering through to the end. Gibson’s text and the voice actor’s narration create a very believable and immersive future world for the listener/reader. I wonder if reading the physical book might make it less confusing as I could take my time?

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  • Tristram
  • 18-11-16

A Ripper!

Best Gibson in ages! And I've liked all the others. Narrator was an excellent match.