If I could sum this book up in one word, I'd use: trite.
Hardly a glowing review; average, run-of-the-mill, generic... but sadly all of these words sum up the second instalment of Gibson's Bridge Trilogy. As a world renowned author, Gibson is widely known for his Sprawl Trilogy released throughout the 1980s, which essentially birthed the cyberpunk genre and garnered international acclaim for the visionary science-fiction writer. I enjoyed that original trilogy so much that I'm now grafting my way through these books purely on the basis that I know he is (was?) a fantastic author, capable of rattling my imagination with his world-building and visions of a technocratic future.
However, two books in an I'm not impressed. Idoru tells of an ageing, yet globally recognised rockstar, Rez, and his unorthodox desire to marry a synthetic Japanese virtual-reality personality. The news is met with much anguish in his principally female fan groups and one young girl is sent from a Seattle chapter to liaise with her Japanese counterparts and uncover more information on the matter.
Meanwhile, Rez's behaviour is puzzling his own management team who move to hire a outsider, Laney, based on his ability to identify 'nodal points' amongst vast amounts of miscellaneous data. What 'nodal points' actually are remains fairly ambiguous in the book, but Gibson intended the skill to describe his own real-life abilities of identifying points of interest in every-day culture that he could elaborate on and proliferate as a futurologist author. The two main characters take turns across alternating chapters, seemingly dedicated to having both build up a supporting party of eccentrics, before both arms of the story inevitably meet at the climax of the novel.
Disappointingly, Gibson's imagined world of a Tokyo blossoming out of the ruins of a devastating earthquake does not seem to inspire or interest, and all of his ideas involving the trademark virtual reality otherworld seem hackneyed. The much built-up 'nodal point' ability is clunkily described and never used in a satisfactory manner, even when it must be used in a seemingly do-or-die fashion at the novel's end, it feels profoundly anti-climactic.
Combine this with a plot-line that feels completely insignificant and uninvolved, and that the only interesting characters were cameoing from Gibson's previous book (one of which was the least interesting character from Virtual Light anyway), and I'm seriously considering whether it is worth finishing the trilogy at all.