At last I finished the Sprawl trilogy from William Gibson, about which maybe I’ll write a global post in the future.
Original title: Mona Lisa Overdrive. Spanish title: Mona Lisa Acelerada. Author: William Gibson (USA, 1948 - ). Year: 1988. Genre: Sci-Fi, Cyberpunk. Language: English. Read in: English. Publisher: HarperCollins - Voyager. Pages: 316. Size: 196 x 127 mm. ISBN: 0-00-648044-6.
Plot outline Kumiko Yanaka, the daughter of one of the most powerful Yakuzas is moved to London for her safeti before a Yakuza’s gang wars. Angie Mitchell, a simstim star, goes back to work after spending some time in a rehabilitation clinic. Slick Henry, who lives creating artistic robots, to return a “favor” has to take care of a comatose body plugged to a strange machine. Mona, a teenager prostitute with a great resemblance to Angie Mitchel, is hired to do a “gig”.
Comment without spoilers As I previously said, Mona Lisa Overdrive is part of William Gibson’s Sprawl trilogy, which is composed by Neuromancer , Count Zero and Mona Lisa Overdrive. It has influenced lots of later works, including films, books, sculptures and music.
This novel shares a lot of characteristics with its predecessor (Count Zero), the most notable, its easiness to read compared to Neuromancer, again probably due to being more focused in relationships in the real world than in exploring technological achievements; and despite the presence of Gibson’s typical dense descriptions.
Another common point with Gibson’s previous novel, is that of having diverse point of view telling different parts of the story, composing a very interesting mosaic of events. But this time, doing it with 4 different characters instead of 3. And here, the end is not so sudden as in Count Zero.
The characters are not much stereotypical (the least probably would be Slick Henry) and are, as usual, well defined from the beginning. Some of them have a very strong and great character, leading to very solid behaviors in diverse scenes, giving also a better overall impression about the novel.
The atmosphere keeps adding layers and discovering us new social and political layers, as well as unexpected places in the Neuromancer world, making it richer and more complete, and creating a more realistic feeling about it in the readers.
The edition by HarperCollins - Voyager is more than satisfactory, being a robust book with a pretty decent size and a big and clear typography. However, the pages are a little bit grayish. Also, I really like the cover art, which is an illustration by Gary Marsh.
Despite this book can be read independently from the other, I think it’s a big error to do so, as this is a great ending for such an important trilogy like the Sprawl one, and has to be read in proper order. Sincerely, I enjoyed this book a lot, so much that I read it in just two sessions because I was unable to release it.
I really love how here, Gibson mixes characters from his 2 previous novels, showing us how they have evolved in the past years (for some, 14 years have passed since their first appearance), and mixing them with the new character. In the beginning I thought it could be a disappointing experience, but I was completely wrong.
End of SPOILERS
mrithail.com: Sprawl Trilogy.
mrithail.com: Burning Chrome.
mrithail.com: Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology.
mrithail.com: The Difference Engine (with Bruce Sterling).