Pattern Recognition – William Gibson

It’s been a while since I read any William Gibson, many years, but I do recall enjoying his books, so I was pleased to get the Blue Ant trilogy for Christmas. I am very difficult to buy for, but this seems to be the ideal gift.

Pattern Recognition is set I guess in the world of advertising, or it lives in there but drifts into other worlds. I must say that I didn’t care for the characters. All very spoiled and self-centred. The main character has a phobia about certain brand icons, removes all labels from her clothes, yet is employed by the industry to decide, without needing to provide evidence, whether a style of brand will succeed at a glance. Maybe the advertising industry does work like that, but it’s totally alien to my world and I found it very difficult to believe in. Suspension of belief is OK in a novel, but the ridiculous is not.

Very little happens throughout the book. There is a plot of sorts. It’s very thin. The action moves between London, Tokyo and Moscow. The Twin Towers gets a mention. The heroine floats through, always winning. The ending was so boring as to make me wonder if that was really it. I didn’t care at all. Everything gets wrapped up in the end far too easily, not a deus ex machina because it wasn’t a complicated enough story to warrant it. I got the impression the author was bored and couldn’t see the way out but just wanted it all to end, any way please.

The only time I raised an eyebrow of interest was when the heroine referred to Poole in Dorset as a city, I had to read that part a couple of times as it was so wrong I thought maybe I’d missed something, maybe her mistake was part of a code or something. It wasn’t.

I was never tempted to stop reading, the plot did drift along, it just never arrived anywhere and I didn’t care. The other two books in the trilogy are on the table. I will read them, I just hope they are more interesting.


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