Tuesday, October 18, 2005

A Tree Was Cut For This?

I’d like to use this forum to post a literary PSA: William Gibson’s new novel “Pattern Recognition” is an atrocious waste of time. “Pattern Recognition” is a bad book, it both sucks and blows.

Not that google will necessarily pick that up in a search, or that I’ll even rank...my motivation to post is merely the self-satisfaction of a big *pppppbbbt* to all those amazon.com raves and the complete lack of a dissenting party with the exception of one fellow posting “It’s an Oprah’s Book Club Selection in the making....”

That lack of any opposition is unnerving, as this book is a huge departure from his typical work. It would seem that the reviewers/fans just couldn’t stand up and say “He WAS a great sci-fi novelist, and still may have a good book in him....this ain’t it and for that you get 1-star. Learn from this and get off those laurels, Mr. Gibson!”

The fact that I could be crazy and just have missed the point of the novel is also under investigation. At my bookclub on Sunday, the two other people who showed up to discuss this book thought it was pretty good, but they're a fairly agreeable bunch and not prone to rants (my friend C who also thought it was a waste of tree, could not unfortunately attend!)

Enough snarking, and on with a critique! Overall, the writing style is very uncomfortable to read, the author seems to be striving for a “conversational tone” and stream of consciousness effect....what he gets is choppy blocks of text, bad grammar and the reader wondering who gave him permission to stop Ritalin. He is also in dire need of a compass and a patient editor; the first 300 pages are a mismash circular tract detailing a kitchen remodel and tertiary characters who never reappear..... problem is, there are only 367 pages!!! He also uses 9/11 as a plot device, which left me quite uneasy. There will perhaps come a time, many years from now when the events of September 11 are looked back upon as a faded memory and nonchalantly referred to often in popular books, movies and television....the public mind typically being amnesiatic and fickle.

This is not the time.

While Mr. Gibson was reasonably careful in his handling of the material, the fact that it was tacked on to the manuscript as an indicator of present day versus his sci-fi reality highlights his lack of imagination. If one were to be quite cynical, it was a device to sell books.....my faith in humanity is willing to live in naiveté and give the author the benefit of being a just hack, not a vile being.

Okay, hey, wasn’t that just a bassinet full of vipers? There are good people out in the world, here’s one of them!


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