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Neuromancer

Written by: William Gibson
Narrated by: Jeff Harding
Length: 9 hrs and 23 mins
4 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The Matrix: a world within a world, a graphic representation of the databanks of every computer in the human system; a consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate users in the Sprawl alone. And by Case, computer cowboy, until his nervous system is grievously maimed by a client he double crossed. Japanese experts in nerve splicing and micro bionics have left him broken and close to death. But at last, Case has found a cure. He’s going back into the system. Not for the bliss of cyberspace, but to steal again, this time from the big boys, the almighty mega corps. In return, should he survive, he will stay cured.

©2012 William Gibson (P)2012 Audible Ltd

The pioneering novel for the cyberspace genre and winner of the Hugo Award, Nebula Award and Philip K. Dick Award, Neuromancer is the masterpiece science fiction audiobook written by William Gibson and narrated by American actor Jeff Harding. Humans spend every second hooked up to The Matrix, a complex technical cyber-reality. Case is a cyber-thief working his way through The Matrix stealing whatever he can until he is caught and banished to the dangerous outside world, the real world. When he’s tempted with a chance to go back in again he could risk losing everything, including his life. Available now from Audible.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Leon
  • 01-07-12

A Mind-Bender Of A Read.

Any additional comments?

It has all the elements of a top rate science fiction and a post-industrial dystopian novel. First published in 1984, it was ahead of its time. It coined the term "cyberspace" which Gibson, long before the internet and other virtual technologies were integrated into everyday life, described as "a three-dimensional representation of computer data through which users communicate and do business, alongside a whole host of more dubious activities." In fact, this book said to have inspired a generation of technophiles.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 16-08-16

Great book, good performance

Enough has been said about the book over the last 30 years that I don't need to add anything more. As for the performance, it's pretty good, the narrator slips in his accents every once in a while, which can be a little distracting. The female voices are also kind of comical. Overall a pleasurable listening experience.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Nicholas
  • 24-02-15

Bad narration

Would you try another book from William Gibson and/or Jeff Harding?

Gibson is one of the stars of the genre, and I was looking forward to revisiting Neuromancer after I first read it years ago. Sadly, this performance is betrayed by terrible narration; Harding's voice is horribly annoying, and when he tries to do characters' voices he descends to amateurish depths. I wasn't able to stand more than about fifteen minutes of it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lemonsqueezy
  • 16-08-15

Neuromancer Unplugged

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Not really relevant. I pulled the plug on this audiobook a third of the way in, still waiting for plot direction to kick in. Additionally, no character development had occurred and I felt no empathy towards either of the main characters. The only thing that kept me in that far was the time investment already expended and the hope that it had to get better.

Has Neuromancer turned you off from other books in this genre?

Of course not. There's lots of great books of this genre out there.

What didn’t you like about Jeff Harding’s performance?

The thing I am trying to erase from my mind is his voice describing a soft-sex scene. It is distinctive and better suited elsewhere. Maybe westerns or action-hero type stories.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Neuromancer?

I like the title. Everything else can go!

Any additional comments?

I am not at all a demanding reader. I just need a plot or character that keep me coming back - don't we all. You'll have to make that decision about this book yourself if you're unsure.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jelrae
  • 10-04-18

Not a good narrator

I'm sure if you know the book already it's brilliant, but the accent, the monotonous style and the quick speaking makes it difficult to keep up with at times, making this more of a chore than a read

11 people found this helpful

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  • DjanSeriy2020
  • 29-06-12

READ THIS INSTEAD OF THE (RUBBISH) BLURB ABOVE

Oh dear. Whoever wrote the official blurb above has clearly not even bothered to read the book. Here's something slightly more accurate courtesy of me and Amazon.com:

"Here is the novel that started it all, launching the Cyberpunk generation, and the first novel to win the holy trinity of science fiction: the Hugo Award, the Nebula Award and the Philip K. Dick Award. With Neuromancer, William Gibson introduced the world to cyberspace - and science fiction has never been the same."

Case was a cowboy cruising the information superhighway; one of the best - jacking his consciousness into the Matrix, soaring through tactile latices of data and logic, rustling encoded secrets for anyone with the money to buy his skills. But then he made the classic mistake and stole from his employers - who caught him and burned the talent out of his brain, micron by micron. Banished from cyberspace, trapped in the meat of his physical body, Case courts death in the high-tech Chiba underworld...until a new employer, and his scary little razorgirl, scoops him up and offers him the cure he thought didn't exist - in return for one last run.


All of the above is for the book, of course. And I would add that, although most reviews concentrate on its massive impact on the SF genre and indeed wider culture, personally I just love the way Gibson uses words. He's a real artist (which sometimes disappoints those looking for something more prosaic) and what he does with language - and his eerie grasp of the human condition - at times approaches the sublime.

As for the audiobook: the narrator could be better. I can just about handle the massively macho American timbre (amusing rather than grating; unlike Gibson's other Audible narrators) but the careless mistakes, clunky artistic choices (the Finn's accent; oh dear) and lack of talent depicting female characters are harder to forgive. But forgive them, I do, because the quality of the writing shines through making such minor quibbles irrelevant.

142 people found this helpful

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  • Anna Alabau
  • 05-02-18

Very good story but not my type of narrator

This is absolutely a personal preference but I struggled with the cadence and rythm of the narration. The narrator has that contiuous sort of question-ending tone where all the sentences seem to be finished in a strange, up-going intonation. It's difficult to explain but I like my narration to be a bit less acted, like it would sound in my head if I was reading it myself I guess.

More to that, the language is difficult enough and the accents made it even more obscure, so I had to read the wiki plot summary to be able to follow the action entirely.

All in all a good story, perhaps not Gibson'a best, but not my kind of performance.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Jane
  • 31-07-17

Hard to get into. Annoying narration.

I've listened to the first 2 hours and it's clear this is a book I'll have to put aside and perhaps come back to. It's hard to get in to, and he narration is pretty awful. So unnecessarily macho and American and poorly paced. I just can't be bothered to listen to any more.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Icewraithuk
  • 08-02-15

Really came alive, excellent

Very well read and the characterisation worked well, some accents took a little getting used to - the Molly in my head didn't sound quite so weedy, but it worked and I enjoyed the listen immensely

9 people found this helpful

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  • James R.
  • 04-03-18

Terrible Female Persona Used By VO

Is there anything you would change about this book?

A really dense story, hard to get to grips with. Could have benefited from multiple VO actors. The whimsically ditsy voice narration for the razor girl Molly really was not in keeping with er bad ass character. I thought even border line sexist though I did get it was picking up ojn tendencies within noir.

3 people found this helpful

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  • James
  • 01-02-19

A real struggle

Unsure whether this was the narrator or the writing, but I was listening to this on the train, and I just did not care enough about the story. I struggled to grasp, even, the main premise of the story, or why we should care about any of the characters or their situations. Maybe I came in with different expectations, excited to have finally found a 'Cyberpunk' story...but...this was a huge dissapointment.

2 people found this helpful

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  • dot_stockport
  • 18-07-17

the narration is bad

I found some of this pretty much impossible to listen to and only stuck with it because I was committed to the story. It would be good if an alternative version was available as this does disservice to a classic.

2 people found this helpful

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  • shoutshout
  • 11-06-17

Let down by poor narration

What didn’t you like about Jeff Harding’s performance?

Some of the accents are so thick, it's difficult to hear the words.The tone of the narrator is flat. There is no sense of excitement, humour is dull.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

disappointment

Any additional comments?

I hope Audible Studios can produce a new narration of this great book.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Lodo
  • 10-02-19

Very hard to enjoy with all the annoying voices.

This book is so hard to understand as the narrator voice is very monotone when narrating and keeps changing pace and tone when characters are talking, story is already complicated on itself.

1 person found this helpful

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  • V
  • 04-05-17

Please speak up.

The narration itself, as in the voices used, and rhythm of reading was good. But the volume varied so greatly that if you want to hear the women, and some other side characters talking, the you will go deaf when the main character speaks.
Very hard to follow without hearing half the characters. Needed to replay a lot of the book to work out what was said.

6 people found this helpful

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  • briandamagespg
  • 16-01-16

Not a fan of reading

I found the narrator's voice quite harsh. With the volume down it was too hard to follow but with the volume up his voice was quite hard on my ears

3 people found this helpful

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  • Ken
  • 22-07-18

Hard to follow as an audiobook. Get the Kindle.

I wouldn't dare be too critical of the story itself, since it was such a ground-breaking, seminal work in the cyberpunk genre. However it's not the easiest story to follow - lots of made up words and lots of Japanese words certainly didnt make it easy. I found it helpful to Google a glossary. I think it would have been near impossible to follow along as just an audiobook. Thankfully they discounted the price when buying the Kindle edition first. Following along with the text helped to clarify things.

A lot of people have complained about soft voices for female characters. I have good speakers so that didn't bother me much but the accents for some characters were very hard to understand, especially the Brazilian boy.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 21-07-18

Awful accents, terrible imitations, poor plot

The reader’s versions of the women sounded like someone had stepped on his balls, breathy and high pitched. The accents were abominable, and I found myself laughing out loud in what should have been serious parts of the plot. The story itself follows show don’t tell, but subverts it to just, “don’t tell,” and I needed study guides, chapter summaries and 2 listens just to dislike it less. Some lovely descriptions but thoroughly unfulfilling story and abysmal narration.

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-04-18

Could be better

Generally not bad reading, however all of the female characters were portrayed in a quasi-sexual transvestite like voice at a severely reduced volume. This made an already complex story extremely hard to follow. When listening in a car, I found I constantly altered the volume to hear the female characters and would have to rewind they audio at time several minutes to understand the plot. In the end I had very little idea what was happening and was just glad to finish. I was looking forward to "reading" this book and was overall disappointed.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Duncan
  • 05-11-17

Volume is inconsistent

The narrator is great but all of the female voice are done in a quiet, whispery tone that meant I was constantly needing to adjust the volume up and down

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-10-17

Audio frustrating.

Loved the story but the volume balance between the narration, the main character and voices was incredibley frustrating.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Hawk
  • 13-09-17

inconsistent volume

different character voices have different volume levels making this book almost impossible to enjoy, causing deafening loud periods and infuriating quiet episodes of unheard dialogue.

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Alex.D
  • 16-04-20

Very hard to follow

This book is a collection of seemingly random futuristic sounding words strung together to build its story.

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  • Graham P
  • 28-02-20

did not manage to grip my attention.

Did not manage to grip my attention. did not finish. 15 words needed, hmm, hmm.