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I read widely and in most genres but romance and westerns. Here you'll find my reviews since 2007, with a few reviews of previously read books as well.


In 2012, I completed an "authors of the world" challenge, reading a book for every country (and a few other entities) by someone who'd lived there for at least two years. I expect to tag these books by challenge and country in the near future. I'm still refining my list by adding books that better meet my challenge criteria.

Spook Country - William Gibson Spook Country is less about its plot than it is about the idea that activities and images occur around you and you may never see or know about them. This is illustrated by a number of related narratives and descriptions that demonstrate this idea in action.Spook Country is not about the story, but about the witnessing of the story. Nominal protagonist Hollis's role is to see, not to do. "Spook country" here takes multiple forms--CIA spooks, spirits, systema, virtual art installations, data and fake data, radiation. The tale of the locative art is also the tale of the mysterious shipping container--you can only detect it with specialized access, but it's there. Doing what? Sometimes just existing, and at other times meaning something.Just as Tito's father was shot for no good reason, sometimes meaning is obscure or inheres only in our perceptions and fantasies, not in the data itself. Numinous moments are followed by more benzodiazepines. However, unanswered questions about meaning bother me: What's in it for Bigend? What's the danger of observers? Why does Bobby sleep or not sleep in particular squares of the grid? The answer "it doesn't mean anything" is as unsatisfying as the explanations "it was all a dream," "it was the drugs," or "he was insane."Though "selling out" doesn't appear to be an explicit theme, it happens several times near the end. Perhaps this is to highlight that there are principles, and there is pragmatism.I thought this was Gibson's best and most substantial novel since Idoru, which I am apparently alone in liking.