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In Case of Delays

Okay, your flight to Vegas may need more than just the one book, especially with the inevitable delays. So here’s a couple more books.

‘Zero History’ finishes Gibson’s ‘Blue Ant’ trilogy begun by ‘Pattern Recognition’ and continued in ‘Spook Country’; it features  Hollis Henry and Milgrim from Spook Country along with the recurring Hubertus Bigend.

Featuring the concept of secret brands; brands which are underground, where the heat is generated from the street and never revealed to the mainstream. In this case it’s a secret brand of jeans known as ‘Gabriel Hounds’. Bigend wants to know more about the brand for his agency and employs Hollis and Milgrim to discover more about it. At first they are working seperately but soon their paths cross and converge; with everyone eventually ending up in way over their heads.

The thread of the story shifts quickly and frequently drawing in many strands to weave a story which is much greater than the parts.

This is classic Gibson full of knowing references to brands, technology and in a world which is mostly familiar. And for a novel written by an American but set in London; it really captures the feel of my home city…

I’ve always enjoyed Gibson’s prose and even when the story hasn’t been the greatest, I find his rhythm and structure pleasing but this time, it’s coupled with fast-moving  and entertaining story.

And now for something completely different; ‘Don’t Sleep, There are Snakes: Life and Language in the Amazonian Jungle’ by Daniel Everett.

Daniel Everett started as a missionary to the Pirahãs tribe in the Amazon; sent there to learn their language so that he could translate the Bible into their language. He discovered a language which challenged his understanding of both linguistics and also his faith.

This book is fascinating as it demonstrates how language can change and colour our views and even our deepest held beliefs.  For example a language which has no counting system, no fixed words for colour or even personal property; a culture which accepts dreams as an equally valid reality to that of waking. A life lived entirely in present, where only eye-witness accounts have any value.

This account of Daniel’s personal journey is funny, exciting, moving and thought provoking. Well worth a go. And perhaps a good way to spend time being delayed in airport lounges.

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