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I Am Skooter
So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
i wanna hold you in the bible black pre-dawn / you're quite a quiet domino
— Wilco, I am Trying to Break Your Heart
September 2, 2007
Spook Country, William Gibson

I’ve just finished Spook Country, the new novel by William Gibson and the first on released since my daily life included passing in front of his house twice a day.

The man has an unhealthy Volkswagen obsession…both in the book, and in the rotation of three Jetta’s that are the only cars I’ve ever seen parked in front of his house. One green. One silver. One black…that one’s very rare, and older.

The Volkswagen obsession is a part of what makes Gibson’s writing riveting though: his ability to capture the seemingly meaningless details that make a scene memorable, while also shedding those that aren’t necessary.

Spook Country deals in the present, not the future. it also ends in Vancouver, quite significantly. Gibson has been slowly reverting to the present day since Neuromancer with one side trip to Victorian England in The Difference Engine, his collaboration with Bruce Sterling.

There are three storylines running through the novel, seemingly disconnected. These eventually intertwine and the connections are complex. The plot is unclear at first but reveals itself with patience, and the best thing about it is that it’s essentially about…nothing. A movie of this book would be interesting to watch…the climax lacks the splash that Hollywood would expect and I suspect they would have difficulty with it.

If the book has a message (and I’m not certain that all works of fiction need to) it seems to be a thesis on the similarities between art and terrorism: both are a matter of perspective, really…just as one man’s art is another man’s trash, so is one man’s terrorist another’s patriot.

This reminded me of a Don DeLillo quote that came my through Laurie Anderson. DeLillo, according to Anderson, claimed several years ago that:

Terrorists are the only true artists left in the world. They’re the only ones who can surpise us anymore.

Art and terrorism are intertwined in the world: both have the power to change it forever.
True art…art that moves the world forward…is inextricably intertwined with te

Posted by skooter at 4:57 PM This entry is filed under Entertainment, Technology.
This entry is tagged: Books, William Gibson

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