Terry’s thoughts on our latest Book Club selection — “The Peripheral” by William Gibson
True confessions of a sort. I am a sci-fi nut. I love the genre. Okay, I love lots of genres, but anything in future time is up there, circling in the top section of things I can’t do without.
So there I was, about 100 pages into “The Peripheral,” William Gibson’s latest, with him just a week or so away from an appearance on “Well Read.” I was lost.
I had no idea what he was writing about or where he was going. I couldn’t envision the scene. I couldn’t figure out the characters. I was struggling. And in something of a panic.
Perhaps you get the picture. The book must be finished; research on Gibson needs to be done; questions need to be formed; too late to say, “I have what I’m sure will be a two-month-long migraine and won’t be able to do the show.”
The guy is a genius. And I was just going to sit there. An android whose internal workings had been zapped.
I plunged on. And I got it. I have no idea what happened. I just got it. Suddenly I was into the book, understood where he had taken me so far and couldn’t wait to see how this world worked out – or didn’t.
Came the day of the taping with William Gibson. You can’t help but like the guy right off the bat. Personable, sharp, funny, leaning into the conversation and talking and talking. I was entranced – I admit it. More than anything I wanted to tell him what had happened, at the same time wondering whether that would be completely uncool. How do you appear uncool in the eyes of William Gibson.
I risked uncool. I told him. His eyes lit up. “You are my perfect reader!” he said.
I just stared at him. ME?!
“You kept going. You didn’t stop,” he said.
It’s what he likes in a reader. Someone who just keeps going, works at getting into his world, works at figuring it out, seeing things.
I have to tell you, that was one of the happiest moments of my book-reading life. He likes me!
I’ll calm down now.