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VWN Product Reviews: All Tomorrow's Parties
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All Tomorrow's Parties is the final novel in William Gibson's Bridge trilogy, the other two novels being Virtual Light and Idoru. Like the other Bridge novels, All Tomorrow's Parties is not from the advanced world of Neuromancer, but rather something halfway between that and our world, showing the same dystopian overtones of both.

As All Tomorrow?s Parties ends the Bridge trilogy, Gibson decided for some reason to use the same style found in Mona Lisa Overdrive: Three almost entirely separate stories about different characters exist side by side for the vast majority of the book, only coming together on the San Francisco bridge, at the end of the book.

Pivot points between the three stories are managed by secondary characters who overlap from story to story, such that until the end, the three protagonists never meet. Its an odd style, and it adds many lyers of complexity to what would otherwise be a straightforward and easy to follow tale.

The first of the three stories features the familiar former rent-a-cop Berry Rydell, from Virtual Light. It follows his life as he quits a job as a security guard for a respectible firm, and signs on with a cyberspace cowboy as a bodyguard. The cowboy happening to be Colin Laney, the protagonist of Idoru. In this way All Tomorrow?s Parties serves to tie the other books together, and on its own, this convoluted plot has enough meat to be a book, even without the other two threads.

The second story concerns ex-bicycle messenger Chevette Washington, also from Virtual Light, who is on the run from her ex-boyfriend.

The third story follows a mysterious, left-handed Taoist swordsman named Konrad, directed by his own motives, and the will of the Tao.

This is a far less muddy book than Mona Lisa Overdrive, despite sharing the same narrative style. It brings the other two books together, and completes them, in a way neither of its predecessors had really managed to do.

 

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