Finished reading Neuromancer today. I'm flabbergasted by this novel. Let me try to divide this thing into sections. This is a spoiler free review.
The characters are all silly, juvenile, ridiculous, shallow, uninteresting. Feels like you're reading a comic book. Motivation for some of them made me laugh out loud at points. There's an antagonist in there that basically says "I'm evil because, huh, I like it!". Even comic book villains at least have a motive like taking over the world bwah ha ha. Characters act like rpg characters. The thief does thief things, the hacker does hacking things, the assassin does assassin things and that's it, they never really become more than their primary function in the story. A Rastafarian character is only that; a Rastafarian with a funny accent. Couldn't bother to learn more than 3 or 4 characters' names they're so cardboard.
The plot is broken, confusing, disjointed, spasmodic, hard to follow and hard to find it. There are 3 or 4 very, very cool ideas in this but they're all buried under huge amounts overwrought, grating descriptions for mundane things. I'm tempted to say 80% of this book is composed of atmospheric passages, and atmosphere in Neuromancer means unending technobabble descriptions for acid rain, smoking a cigarette, a vending machine, drugging yourself… there must be about 30 paragraphs describing wet pants throughout this book.
You get a full page description for how depressing the sky in the sprawl looks like and how your pants are wet but then important information is given in a single, lost and short sentence. One thing that happens a lot is losing track if whatever is going on is happening inside the matrix or outside the matrix. The time and space the action happens are very poorly defined and jerky. Yet you get full pages about wet pants or how getting drunk feels like. The plot is put on hold constantly for these endless "atmosphere building" technobabble descriptions.
The language is very colorful but a lot of it turns to junk. There's so much invention here, it's not rare to lose track of what the hell the characters are talking about. And then, once you figure it out, you realize it didn't really matter. Because so much of the book is colorful, atmospheric paragraphs, the plot takes forever to get anywhere. Rather, it goes everywhere all the time. Just not anywhere that matters. Each chapter, sometimes each scene occurs in different places. It's quiPost too long. Click here to view the full text.