I’ve been running a roleplaying game campaign in the cyberpunk genre lately using the GURPS system, so I wanted to re-read some cyberpunk stuff to get in the right frame of mind. So I downloaded Willliam Gibson’s Neuromancer to my Kindle.
I read it back in the early 1990s, after reading some non-fiction stuff about computer hackers. I dug it, and when I saw that I could learn about the internet by getting a masters degree in library science, that’s what I did. So really, it was William Gibson’s Sprawl Trilogy that got me interested in my profession, not some love of literacy and reading (that stuff developed later).
So I’m about halfway through Neuromancer, and I realize that I need to start over.
I just don’t find Gibson’s style easy to read. It’s written in that whole film noir style with lots of fictional jargon and cyberspace tomfoolery added in. Really, I think it needs to be read aloud. Some books just demand it — to be read out loud and listened to. They need to be read with some drama. I feel the same way about Jack Kerouac’s On the Road. If you just try to blast through it like you were reading an instruction manual, it doesn’t work. If you hear it out loud, it’s fantastic. You need to hear the author’s rythym.
Thing is, I’ll feel like a lunatic sitting somewhere reading this thing out loud. “Hey, there’s that guy reading out loud! Let’s steal his lunch money!”.
On a somewhat contradictory note, I think that about halfway into a book like this, the reader starts to come to grips with the language and slang, and the reading gets easier. I had this experience when reading A Clockwork Orange years ago.
I’m really beginning to appreciate a good audio book. I may seriously look into audio for this novel. Hell, I’ve already read it once. Now why not listen to it being read really well?
EDIT: Holy Smokes! Audiobooks are really expensive!