Devouring

I haven’t had this for a long time with any book …. I have started reading Pattern Recognition which I got yesterday and I just couldn’t stop reading. If reason had not got hold of me by midnight last night, I’d be done reading the book by now and would not be writing this but be still in bed. At first the main character Cayce took some getting used to with her views and allergies. But then all of a sudden the story starts and takes a few turns and then there are connections, theories and randomness, it is strange and ordinary at the same time. The story is absolutely tantalizing and full of suspense. The writing style is just like it was in Neuromancer: to say it is taxing would be an understatement. But very enjoyable the whole book and I cannot wait to get home to continue reading.

Two things put me off. None of them about the book itself. Stoopid me read the comment on the back of the book.

Pattern Recognition is William Gibson’s best book since he rewrote all the rules in Neuromancer. Gibson casts a master extrapolator’s eye on our present, and shows it to us as if for the first time.” — Neil Gaiman, author of American Gods

Maybe I am repeating myself. I am sick of reading everything in context. Fine sometimes it is necessary but a good many books, articles, art-works can simply speak for themselves (and if they can’t well that’s another topic). It’s always generation-this and era-that … there are sooo many books “that hit the nerve of our time”, they will all be out-dated soon. Those that will not can well be read without the context of “now”, “the latest hype”, “current affairs” and “our culture as it is NOW”. I think those that are timeless survive. Who wants to read “Generation Golf” in 30 years? But there will still be people reading Goethe, Tolstoi and Balzac. Of course time might prove me wrong …. but so I want to enjoy this book without the context. Admittedly the context is all there in the book itself (he keeps mentionning “the Bubble” meaning the dot.com hype) but even without it the story will work. By reminding readers continously of the context, the context becomes more important than the content …. Geez and I haven’t even finished reading yet[1].

The second thing is that they had to mention that Neil Gaiman wrote American Gods; a book that was defined by its context and hyped so very much that it ended up a big disappointment to me. Neil Gaiman wrote other books I enjoyed much more but of course they had to connect Pattern Recognition with the one I didn’t like. So that one is (only) personal.

fn1. Addendum sorry for this but I published the post before finishing my train of thought there in the middle …. so I added the complete paragraph 🙁