Saturday, November 20, 2010

Zero History

"Zero History" is William Gibson's latest. He once again turns to the modern world of "Pattern Recognition" and "Spook Country", where he somehow is able to make anti-marketing fashion trends seem numinous and liminal. These are his best books since "Neuromancer" in 1984.

There were at least a couple of dozen places where Gibson's surreal metaphors and turn of phrase made me laugh out loud. I almost wanted to be kind of live-blogging as I read it and capturing them.

One of the main characters is a recovering drug addict (diazepams). He talks about how "when you first get an addiction, it is bright and shiny and makes everything more interesting. But then it gradually starts making all your decisions, and it has less brain than a goldfish." In terms of the number of neurons involved, that may not be too far off.

He also makes a statement that reading was his gateway drug. Hmmm. I wonder if there is a correlation between liking to get out of the normal world into a book and liking to get out of your normal mind into a drugged state. I saw a headline recently on a correlation between youthful genius and alcoholism in later years, but I didn't read the article.

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