Review: Zero History

Gibson’s Zero History ties up a lot of the loose ends from Pattern Recognition and Spook Country, perhaps concluding his Big Ant stories.  Characters from Recognition and Country run through it, none more so than Hubertus Bigend, CEO of Big Ant, the hipper than thou advertising agency at the center of the stories.

Gibson’s beautiful turns of phrase and illuminating details guide the reader through the almost contemporary world of Blue Ant.  The only place his skill for the telling detail seems to fail him is that he seems obsessessed with the iPhone.  If Gibson didn’t get some product placement money out of this, Apple got a great deal.  The only non-iPhone used by a protagonist is a trap, and nearly everyone gushes whenever they touch one.  It’s almost out of place.

Thematically it is interesting that what appears to be the conclusion of this trilogy takes as its theme the rebirth of characters.  Virtually every character’s life is pivoting through the course of the novel, though at different rates.  Like the grooves on a phonograph some characters are turning slowly as their lives rearrange, while those on the inner groove are turning more quickly.  The different characters and different rates make the thematics powerful without being overly obvious.

It makes for an interesting read even if you have not picked up the earlier works in the series, but knowing who’s who makes the changes more resonant.


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