My rating: 3 of 5 stars
When it comes down to it, I’m really more of a Fantasy fan than a Science Fiction fan. I can pretty much pick up any old Fantasy novel and enjoy it. With Science Fiction, however, I tend to stick with the classics. I picked up Neuromancer for that reason.
Overall, I really wanted to love this novel, but I just didn’t. I liked it without question, but I found it far too easy to put down and far too difficult to pick back up to give it any higher than 3 stars.
With that said, from a literary perspective, Neuromancer is a work of art. Gibson is truly a master wordsmith. It’s been some time since I’ve read a novel that actually challenged my abilities as a reader. Gibson has this strange knack for finding the shortest way to describe things and every word counts. I found that I would often have to read passages several times to make sure that I took away all its meanings, or at least everything I could hope to understand.
For me, that’s both a good and a bad thing. It was nice having that literary challenge, but, at times, I found it very difficult to imagine of Gibson’s abstract concepts. That leaves things open for unique experiences among readers (which I would consider a good thing) and, yet, sometimes I really just wanted a clear explanation.
However, it wasn’t just Gibson’s wordage that made it difficult to conjure up mental images. I think part of the blame must also go to my own preconceived notions. For example, when Gibson uses the phrase “cyberspace,” it’s hard not to just think of the experience of using a web site on the Internet.
In the end, this novel is a classic and for a lot of good reasons. The story was fast paced and intriguing. The characters were interesting and multi-layered. The scientific concepts were plausible, almost frighteningly so. The settings were vast and varied. The list goes on.
No, I didn’t like it as much as some others, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a classic. I firmly believe that Neuromancer is a must-read for any Science Fiction fan.