Spook Country

William Gibson

Putnam Adult (August 7, 2007)

ISBN-10: 0399154302

ISBN-13: 978-0399154300 Amazon (Hardback)

Not the Future

William Gibson's latest effort surprised me, quite pleasantly, and I definitely recommend reading it. In fact, I may hang onto this copy and read it again before I let it go. Gibson has recently admitted that he no longer feels comfortable writing about the future, and so this novel is set in 2006. And nothing in it is fictional or unbelievable except perhaps the identities of the people.

I'm not Telling

So much that is wonderful about the book cannot be directly discussed in a review without spoiling the fun. Although the plot moves along fairly quickly, as typical of Gibson's work, the exposition is very slow and deliberate. In fact the central point of the major plot seems to be a box, and it's contents are not confirmed until very close to the end of the novel. Another good aspect of the book is that although nearly all of the major characters (all of the protagonists and antagonists, if you will) of the individual stories are introduced in the first few chapters, and their various stories started there, the intersection of those stories is woven carefully into the gradual but deliberate exposition as the overall plot develops. It compares quite favourably to say Tom Clancy's tome The Sum of All Fears in this way that many disparate characters and stories are drawn together in a way that is creative and surprising.


And thus I have said nothing about the story of the characters themselves, any of the thouroughly amusing plot devices and stunts or the cultural themes of the book, so I shall tease some.

* iPods full of music being shipped all around the world * the mingling of KGB [tradecraft] and [Voodoun] * lots of locative art ([AR] that only works in a specific place) * Completely unsubtle political jabs about contemporary American politics and surveillance states

Powell's Interview

If you want to know a little more about how Gibson wrote the book, check out the interview Powell's Books did with him: