The Matrix: a world within a world, a graphic representation of the databanks of every computer in the human system; a consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate users in the Sprawl alone.
And by Case, computer cowboy, until his nervous system is grievously maimed by a client he double crossed. Japanese experts in nerve splicing and microbionics have left him broken and close to death. But at last Case has found a cure. He’s going back into the system.
Not for the bliss of cyberspace but to steal again, this time from the big boys, the almighty megacorps. In return, should he survive, he will stay cured.
By William Gibson, first publication in 1984 (ISBN 978-0-441-56956-4) and since reissued many times .
Neuromancer is not the first cyberpunk book (one would think more of The Shockwave Rider) but the one that came at the right time. While science fiction was stuck in its classics (futuristic utopias populated by whites of the upper classes), William Gibson comes to bring it a new breath, much more punk.
This breath of fresh air earned him the most prestigious awards of its kind: Nebula (1984), Hugo (1985), Philip K. Dick (1985) and Science Fiction Chronicle (1985).
With Neuromancer, we touch the essence of cyberpunk. Cyber with science fiction, new technologies and hacking. And Punk with its communities completely outside the system and cynically individualistic which gives it all its originality.
On the style side, following the fashion of his time, Gibson produced a choppy text that was very difficult to follow. Stuffed with neologisms and unexpected ellipses, we are too often lost in vainly attempting to follow a common thread. I no longer count the number of breaks where I put the book aside, finally coming back only to finish it.
Don't wait for the plot to save the story either. The heroes are completely lost too. manipulated like puppets of almighty force. A permanent deus ex machina which will end, against all expectations and completely breaking the general atmosphere, with a happy end (as if the author did not accept his choice of dark universe and finally fit the mold).
Too bad. By focusing on a fashionable style, sets, atmospheres and disjointed action scenes, the book ultimately tells nothing.
- The book at Les Libraires