William Gibson, Spook Country

I got William Gibson’s Spook Country at 20% off, in Palo Alto, in the middle of a recent business trip. It provided good entertainment when, later on during that trip, seat pitch was too tight to even open a laptop. The story that Gibson tells in …

I got William Gibson’s Spook Country at 20% off, in Palo Alto, in the middle of a recent business trip. It provided good entertainment when, later on during that trip, seat pitch was too tight to even open a laptop.The story that Gibson tells in this book is a fun tale of intricate, expensive, and illegal pranks, spiced with technology, pop culture, politics, and geotagging taken to the extreme (“locative art”). It’s an entertaining story well-told.Gibson knows enough about today’s technology (and is a good enough writer) to get away with talking a lot about MacGuffins without making me wince. Unfortunately, however, his prose is ridden with trademark and technology babble: The security guard has one ear Bluetoothed. Hollis hauls around her PowerBook. Tito is told to escape through the restaurant of the W. Bobby doesn’t bother to WEP his wi-fi. The cool characters fly Virgin. While all that is preferable to Stephenson’s sometimes ridiculous name obfuscation in Cryptonomicon (“Finux”, anyone?), it’s still annoying this reader. As Joe Gregor puts it, it’s like a year of boing-boing, with a plot.I’d have preferred the plot with a somewhat smaller dose of boing-boing, I guess.