Q: What did you like best about this story?
A: I'm a William Gibson fan, and I applaud his wilingness to try new things, honing his craft along new and unexpected vectors every time. What makes Pattern Recognition one of my favorites is Gibson's ability to see situations, scenes, and narrative connections with an eye that has, simultaneously, a child's innocent wonder and a great-grandmother's deep appreciation of history and the mysterious tides which rule the human heart. His prose is like nothing else I've read, and can wrench sudden hoots of laughter from me in one moment, then steal my breath in another.
Pattern Recognition takes place in 2002, a full decade before the date of this review, yet I consider it a subtle, fresh kind of science fiction. It views our world through a filter that sharpens the reader's appreciation of the ways in which our present day is already profoundly science-fictional. When was the last time you really thought about the miraculous nature of email, or the bizarre way advertising has mutated and evolved in the last couple of decades?
I suspect Gibson had only the barest notion of where this tale might lead when he began writing it, and perhaps none at all. Often that method falls flat, but here the process of discovery infuses the story with an organic flavor that succeeds brilliantly.
Q: Which scene was your favorite?
A: It would be impossible to pick a favorite.
Q: Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
A: There were several deeply moving scenes in Pattern Recognition, but I am unable to discuss them without spoiling. I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.
So I'll speak in code: Cayce, the protagonist, is moved to tears by what she finds at the source of the digital Nile (Gibson's term) she's been exploring. I shared her tears because of a deep appreciation for the delicate, beautiful, tragic, and utterly unexpected nature of her discovery.
Q: Would you consider the audio edition of Pattern Recognition to be better than the print version?
A: I enjoyed both print and audio editions of Pattern Recognition, but Ms. Fraser's performance adds a subtlety and depth which greatly amplifies Gibson's velvety prose.
Q: Any additional comments?
A: Pattern Recognition is not for everyone. If your tastes run to Twilight or Bond, this won't do a thing for you. But if you enjoy lovingly-crafted prose and an eye that turns the mundane into the wondrous, I suggest you give it a read.