I grew up with cyberpunk novels and I loved them! It made me feel thrilled, scared and hopeful about the future at the same time. So when I heard that William Gibson, father of cyberpunk, published this relatively recently, I thought I was going to see how cyberpunk evolves through the ages, post '90s, but before the true Internet age.
I rejoiced at that heavy read-a-paragraph-three-times-to-understand style and with a name like Pattern Recognition I was ready for a feast! Only... the main character is a marketing consultant for company logos. The thing is fantastical, but not set in the future. In fact, it reads more like fashion-punk than cyber anything!
It gets worse! The antagonists are weird and ineffectual, the tension a mere nuisance for the main character rather than a driving force, the end goal finding McGuffiny McGuffinFace, the details boring and not interesting to me. At all! And when things get tough, you have a Deus ex Machina person stepping in and solving the problem. And every character is a hipster! This book, the first of a trilogy, sucks!
I felt personally betrayed when reading something so antithetical to my interests, yet written in the familiar Gibsonesque punk style. I had planned a deep dive in Gibson's work and now I am terrified that I am going to reread the books I loved as a child and find them just as pretentious and empty, with characters that believe themselves much cooler than they actually are. Was Henry Dorset Case just another self absorbed hipster and I failed to notice it because the cyberpunk was cool and I was a kid?
Bottom line: I did not like it.