The Peripheral

  • by William Gibson
  • Narrated by Lorelei King
  • 14 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The Peripheral by William Gibson is a thrilling new novel about two intertwined futures, from the best-selling author of Neuromancer.
Flynne Fisher lives down a country road, in a rural near-future America where jobs are scarce, unless you count illegal drug manufacture, which she's keen to avoid. Her brother Burton lives, or tries to, on money from the Veterans Association, in compensation for neurological damage suffered in a Marines elite unit. Flynne earns what she can by assembling product at the local 3D printshop. She used to make more as a combat scout in an online game, playing for a rich man, but she's had to let the shooter games go.
Wilf Netherton lives in London, seventy-some years later, on the far side of decades of slow-motion apocalypse. Things are pretty good now, for the haves, and there aren't many have-nots left. Wilf, a high-powered publicist and celebrity-minder, fancies himself as a romantic misfit in a society where reaching into the past is just another hobby.Burton's been moonlighting online, secretly working security in some game prototype, a virtual world that looks vaguely like London, but a lot weirder. He's got his sister taking over shifts, promised her the game's not a shooter. Still, the crime Flynne witnesses there is plenty bad.
Flynne and Wilf are about to meet one another. Her world will be altered utterly, irrevocably, and Wilf's, for all its decadence and power, will learn that some of these third-world types from the past can be badass.
According to the Guardian, in terms of influence Gibson is 'probably the most important novelist of the past two decades'. The Peripheral, which marks a return to the futurism of Neuromancer, will be adored by Gibson readers and will also appeal to fans of Ender's Game, Looper and Source Code.

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What the Critics Say

"Superb....frantic with imagination and frantic with the appetite to see what happens next" (Ned Beauman, Observer)
"What a glorious ride! Like the woman said: brain 'splode" (Sam Leith, Guardian)
"This is a mesmerizing, captivating, haunting book - a wonderful addition to a brilliant oeuvre" (Harry Ritchie, Sunday Times)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A palpable sense of atonal dislocation

The first one hundred pages of The Peripheral are unnecessarily obtuse and complicated, for what in the end is pretty much a murder mystery wrapped up in techno speak and some temporal quantum twists. but you have to pay attention to what happens in those first chapters because the bases of the plot happen there.
William Gibson can create some of the best dystopias and make up some of the best technology of what is sitting at the very edge of our newest creations, he also can foresee how society is shaped by this machines or the use and perception of data as the most basic component of reality.
Tattoos that move (nano tech), humans with so much technology inbeded they no longer feel human to themselves, quantum servers that can perceive other possible futures and pasts, assembler and disassemblers mining for molecular parts, reality,games, other segments other realities. infuse this novel with a palpable sense of atonal dislocation, where humanity is just data inhabiting peripherals with bone resonans for ultra secret communication.
Over all and enjoyable trip to what could be or will probably happen.
Clear reading that is faithful to the book.
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- Wras "Kildonan by the sea"

The 1st Audio Book I've Given Up On

What disappointed you about The Peripheral?

I did not get this book at all and I really tried. But I just gave up after 3hrs of listening and asking myself: WHAT? WHO? WHEN? WHAT? WHY? WHO? WHEN? and so it went on. I struggled to keep up with the various characters and the jumps between the different futures. After a while, I was not even listening the book properly and my attention was drifting off. I knew it was time to end it.


What will your next listen be?

I have already downloaded Critical Failures (Caverns and Creatures). I am in a need of good lough and easy listening.


Did Lorelei King do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?

I really like Lorelei's voice but her range of “male” voices is quite limited and as there were more men in the story (at least in the 3 hrs I made it through) I would prefer a male performer.


What character would you cut from The Peripheral?

I'd cut about half of the characters.


Any additional comments?

Many people really like this book but it was so not working for me.

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- Veronika

Book Details

  • Release Date: 28-05-2015
  • Publisher: Audible Studios