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Monday, January 30, 2023

Review: The Peripheral

 I bought The Peripheral back when it was a $2 special.  I bounced off it and put it away without a thought. Then I started watching the Amazon TV show and decided that hey, I can read a book way faster than watching a TV show, so I tried again.

I realized now that William Gibson is actually not a very good writer. He's a great ideas person, with certain characters like Molly Millions which have obviously become iconic and will stick with you long after you're done with the book or story. But the actual writing style is detached, and the characters actually never develop during the story. What it's replaced by is a world-building style where the in-cluing is done densely, at a fast clip, and without long exposition. That style was innovative and unique when Gibson introduced it in the 1980s, but to be honest more modern writers have surpassed even Gibson at this point.

It's a cliche that the book is better than the TV show, but in this case the TV show is actually quite a bit better than the book. So I'm stuck watching video anyway in addition to reading the book. A win for Gibson, not so much a win for me.

1 comment:

G C said...

Yeah, agreed.

The TV show is great. I bought the book, but I am finding it quite hard to follow, at least in the first few chapters.

Loved Gibson's Neuromancer, but I can't vouch for this book, either.