Final Thoughts on Neuromancer

The title had me worried.

Neuromancer is, no question, a silly name for a book. It conjures (har har) images of terrible scifi/fantasy paperback cover art like this:

Fortunately, this is a novel whose author took more cues from Raymond Chandler, William S. Burroughs, and Rene Descartes than from The Werwile of the Crystal Crypt. Though this was a book I had to get in the public library’s young adult science fiction section (as reported earlier), it is certainly not young adult – if you’ve read it you’ll know there’s more kinky sex, graphic violence, and rampant drug abuse than in a Chuck Palahniuk bedtime story. I mean, this thing was raw, man.

A title like Neuromancer and the book’s own cover art don’t do it justice. It is a very adult, very meticulously crafted work of fiction that, with its inventiveness, wordplay, and surprisingly thoughtful themes marks it in my mind as a work of art, not a piece of pulp to be picked up in a special section of the bookstore. It is becoming haut monde, as a form of political theater, to take books from one section of the bookstore and move them to another. Instead of politicians, I recommend moving books like this one. Readers! Go to your local store, take this book out of the scifi section and put it in the literature section. It demands your respect!

My final impression of this that the best compliment you can give a book is to buy it and keep it on your bookshelf. I plan on buying a copy of Neuromancer and I look forward to rereading it someday. I am not an avid sci-fi fan. Honestly, I shy away from it because I assume (wrongly, of course) that all sci-fi is nerd porn; badly written books about geeks hooking up with hot girls and saving the day with their technical know-how. Okay, okay, that is the exact plot of this book, but as any English professor will tell you, there are only so many ways to tell a story (I heard once there were only seven) and so it is not the tale but the telling that makes a novel great. This is a classic story told well. Bravo!

Next up: The Witches of Eastwick. Get your copy now!

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