Thursday, February 23, 2012

Pattern Recognition by William Gibson

The story opens with everyday happenings in the life of Cayce (pronounced Case) Pollard. She is a 30-something 'cool' finder. She recognizes patterns and trends in fashion and points a corporation to the next thing that will be desired by the masses. She is often used as a consultant for new logos - what works and what doesn't. Her special gift derives from her condition - apophenia.

But with this gift comes the flip-side. Certain logos/trademarks freak her out; they cause terror, tears, vomiting, anxiety to some degree or other. Personally, I can sympathize with Cayce's feelings concerning the early Michelin Man.

William Gibson
put together a fascinating read with Pattern Recognition, the first book in the Bigend trilogy. Cayce's hobby is following a website that is all about this most engaging film that is being released in snippets in various places throughout El Internet. Pretty soon her hobby turns more into an obsession. She partners with a new boss, Hubertes Bigend, and a computer wizard Boon Chu to track down the maker of the film footage. Bigend believes it could be the next big cool and he wants to market it. Boon Chu has his own motivations and Cayce has to admit to herself that she would try to find the maker on her own anyway.

But soon enough this quest becomes much more dangerous and convoluted that Cayce had expected. She travels from England to Tokyo and eventually Moscow to try to unravel this mystery. In the background, she is plagued with unanswered questions concerning her father, presumed deceased. He disappeared in NY on the morning of 9/11/01. However, no body was ever found. Her mother is convinced that he is gone and that she has received messages from him from the other side, messages directed at Cayce.

The reader, Shelly Fraser, was awesome. From the first disc, her voice was Cayce Pollard. She also pulled off a variety of accents, imbued her voice with incredulity, boredom, frustration, fear, and awe at the correct times.

+++++: This book goes on my ETERNAL shelf. The world building and leading up to the crux of the mystery were excellent.

-: Hmmm... can't really think of anything negative.....Maybe a few more humorous emails from Cayce's British friend Damien would have been welcome.


  1. That dog doesn't seem particularly enthused about this photo op.

  2.  He's dying of cancer. This was one of his good days lately. He's 13+ years, 80 lbs. pitbull. He can have all the treats he wants over the next few days - weeks.

  3.  Damn straight he can! Poor guy :(

  4. poor puppy. :(  He definitely gets to eat anything he wants, whenever he wants. :(

    on a happier note, Pattern Recognition is my favorite Gibson. I know everyone thinks of Neuromancer when they think Gibson. . .  but Pattern Recognition is so much more accessible and readable!