Thursday, July 02, 2015

Spook Country

Spook Country is a 2007 political thriller by science fiction author William Gibson. I'm writing this so I'll remember not to try this one again. Years ago I got half-way through this book before giving up, putting it on my TBR shelf, and forgetting all about it. Getting it out again, I remember nothing from my first experience. It's like I've never seen it before. I just can't get into it, struggling with figuring out who is who and what's going on. I don't mind having to put a bit of effort into a book, but this one isn't rewarding the effort. I'm passing it along to a more appreciative reader.

favorite quotes:
He'd once dated a woman who liked to say that the windows of army surplus stores constituted hymns to male powerlessness.
There are times when saying the least you can is the best thing to do.
... calls it "a strange book" and enjoyed it, but closed with this: "Spook Country — which could have had a lot to say about the notion of a surveillance society and governments that overstep their bounds and step on civil liberties in the name of security and fighting terrorism — doesn't." The Guardian describes it this way: "This novel is a political thriller that is also a satire on advertising, music and the geekocracy, a finely machined mystery whose main pleasures lie in its rich store of miniature aesthetic jolts and unexpected textures." Strange Horizons says, "If there’s one specific criticism I’d make of the book, it’s that it seems less readable, less driven, than any Gibson novel I can remember—which is odd, given how closely it flirts with the spy thriller genre."

SF Site calls it "relevant" and says, "it explores moral behavior within an impersonal society of global corporate and government interests saturated by advanced technology and mass media." Entertainment Weekly gives it a grade of B, says, "His ninth novel, only his second set in the present day, finds the man who coined the word cyberspace as clearly enamored with the manifestations of technology in our time as he ever was with the distant, neon-lit horizon" and concludes, "If only Gibson studied human behavior as closely, his characters might exceed their gadgets."


  1. Ok, I'll take a pass on this one. I did enjoy the quotes though.


    1. It won't keep me away from his other work, but I'm done with this one. Maybe it's just his non-science fiction work I don't like, or maybe it's just this book. I have liked some of his other books.