If you’re at all interested in cyberpunk, futurism or science fiction in general, you should really read this book. Neuromancer has influenced a huge number of films, books, video games and many other works – as you read this book, you’ll find a wide range of tropes and influences jumping out at you. It’s truly easy to read this book and be amazed at how influential and seminal it is, but nothing you’ll find here feels rehashed or overly familiar, which is a testament to how original and well-written it is. Despite being William Gibson’s first book, the level of urgency and proficiency at which he writes in this novel is something to behold.
There’s so much here you’re not told, so many dots to connect on your own – but nothing that feels overly obtuse or difficult to understand. It’s all very much beautifully written and gives you just enough information to feel compelled to keep going, and there’s plenty to get hooked into here – the narrative pushes you forward while providing you with enough compelling plot to keep going.
Essentially, this novel takes place in the world of Case – a hacker who lives a few years in the future, in a world that’s just barely fleshed out but provides so much feeling and depth that there is really no need to have a great deal of exposition. William Gibson is a true master of delivering backstory and plot development as a natural and coherent part of the narrative with barely any exposition – and when a character does explain part of the story, it always feels very natural and not like the writer is simply delivering important plot points directly to you.
As the characters move throughout the world Gibson creates, you get a truly different sense of what each location consists of. There are a wide cast of characters, and you’re sure to get attached to some of them – Molly and Case are the two protagonists, and they have a great deal of depth. Everyone supporting them is great too, and it’s really remarkable how similar to real-world locations Gibson has made his futuristic locales. The places that are based upon real locations (Istanbul, Orly etc.) really seem as though Gibson has visited these places and is willing to incorporate his knowledge into his descriptions.