Spook Country


I just finished Spook Country, William Gibson's latest novel. The book is a mystery, set in a world that could be today or the near future. Geolocative art is bigger than you might find to be the case today, but that's about it. I liked Pattern Recognition quite a bit, but I think Spook Country is head and shoulders above it as a story.

Gibson's writing is what I enjoy the most. It's rare that I read a book that I find myself going back and rereading sentences or paragraphs just to savor the language. Gibson's sentences can be dense and he doesn't hit you over the head with his plot devices, but it's just excellent writing. Here are a few examples. From page 9:

The old man reminded Tito or those ghost-signs, fading high on the windowless sides of blackened buildings, spelling out the names of products made meaningless by time.

And here's one from page 208:

Earlier the track had passed near streets of tiny row houses, in neighborhoods where poverty seemed to have been as efficient as the neutron bomb was said to be. Streets as denuded of population as their windows were of glass. The houses themselves seemed to belong less to another time than to another country; Belfast perhaps, after some sectarian biological attack. The shells of Japanese cars in the streets, belly down on bare rims.

This was one of those books that you're sorry to see end because you know it's going to be a while before you read prose this good again.

Amazon has a video and Gibson's original book proposal on their site. Very fun.