I think a special type of reader would appreciate this book What type of reader that is exactly I am not sure Vurt started with a cool premise A future Manchester UK filled with an assortment of new species of human, a new social structure, and, the central feature of the book, a new drug game escape from reality called Vurt One of the problems with the book is that Vurt is Vurt Through the entire plot, we re left kind of fuzzy as to what it actually is People take feathers, and well we re not exactly sure what happens They see things differently, but sometimes act parts out in the real world Sometimes the others they are with in the real world are there, sometimes they are each experiencing their own thing Is it a drug Is it a game Is it real These things are never really addressed, and as a result a lot going on in the book is confusing The author plunges us into the middle of a futuristic cyberpunk world and never explains any of it to us It s assumed that we re caught up on what s going on While parts of it reveal themselves to us bit by bit, much of it is a mish mash of future sounding words and images that don t really make sense That however is not the major flaw in the book While the setting could have used some explaining here and there, the plot of the story was still clear enough to follow I got what was going on, even if I didn t understand everything in the world The book s fatal flaw was in the characters While they were certainly vivid, outgoing, and memorable, they were also flat and acting without sensible motivation As the plot progresses and secondary characters are risking their lives, helping, or loving the main character, there is no expiation as to why the go out of the way to help him Even when character motivation is attempted, it s done poorly One character claims to be aiding Scribble the lead for his brother While we know his brother, and their story, there is no link between what he does for Scribble, and the brother A new character is brought into the group at the beginning of the story, Scribble treats her poorly, and she puts her life on the line to help him be reunited with his sister The character interactions remind me of a table top role playing game You all are in a group, it doesn t matter why, but you have to help each other Even if it goes against what you think you re character is, in the end, you help because that s what keeps the game, and my plot, moving forward Speaking of lacking development, the main love story is dull The only thing it has going for it is the incest factor That makes it moderately interesting, but only in a socially deviant sort of way There s no warmth between them, we don t know WHY he loves her so much other than that she s hot , and there is little growth between the two of them Even though it s central to the story, we no little about her other than that she s the main character s sister, and she s hot I m sad I didn t like this book I love the genre and I liked the premise Unfortunately, the book is like a fireworks display than anything approaching a good read Some flash and bang, pretty pictures, but little logic from one scene to the next If you d like your home game of shadowrunner to be a book, this may be alright for you If you want exciting scene after exciting encounter with no rhythm, reason, or rational, you may like the book If you re looking for a good story, a well constructed world, and dynamic characters you can care about, stay away.
Vurt Is A Feather A Drug, A Dimension, A Dream State, A Virtual Reality It Comes In Many Colors Legal Blues For Lullaby Dreams Blacks, Filled With Tenderness And Pain, Just Beyond The Law Pink PornoVurts, Doorways To Bliss Silver Feathers For Techies Who Know How To Remix Colors And Open New Dimensions And Yellows The Feathers From Which There Is No EscapeThe Beautiful Young Desdemona Is Trapped In Curious Yellow, The Ultimate MetaVurt, A Feather Few Have Ever Seen And Fewer Still Have Dared Ingest Her Brother Scribble Will Risk Everything To Rescue His Beloved Sister Helped By His Gang, The Stash Riders, Hindered By Shadowcops, Robos, Rock And Roll Dogmen, And His Own Dread, Scribble Searches Along The Edges Of Civilization For A Feather That, If It Exists At All, Must Be Bought With The One Thing No Sane Person Would Willingly Give As Hip And Breathless As William Gibson, But Spiced With Dark Humor And The Horrible Realisation That Noon Knows Of What He WritesVurt Is Passionate, Distinctive, Demanding And Enthralling First Time Novelist Noon Has Started With A Bang The London Times I honestly don t what to think about this book.
On the one hand, it s like a jazz festival that mixes Naked Lunch with Trainspotting Add an alien feast, nanobot robot cooks, robodogs, The New Weird, and a vast dreamscape that goes from heaven to hell, from arty cafes to cop busts, to licking feathers to get high, to an outright possible reference to Tammuz and Geshtinana with an incestuous bent, and I STILL don t know what to think about this book.
It has a clear jazzy style that jumps all over the place easily, filling in backstory in a fun way, but at the same time, there are so many odd references to a world so alien and just like a drug filled afternoon, that I can t quite say it was comfortable at all.
And yet it was very creative I loved the virtual meta moments, the way it felt like a mix between Matrix and Strange Days years before those movies were ever made It also felt like Existenz in a HUGE way Again, this was written long before that, as well.
So here I am, looking at the genuine article, the haze of the utterly strange and fascinating and brilliant, and I m wondering if I even like it.
On one hand, I will absolutely respect it and give it major props for existing and to myself for having read it, but I can t say that it was all that pleasant However, I have also said the same things about China Mieville and Vandermeer, so it may be a tolerance thing and a mood thing rather than an exacting approbation or me being amazed Of course, I could be both at the same time Love, and hate Or beauty and ugliness My reaction fits quite well with the contents of the book, from imagery to spelled out themes So perhaps this was the whole point, to begin with.
First let me say I REALLY wanted to like this book Hell, there are several reasons why I didn t want to NOT like this book, not the least of which are It was recommended by a friend whose opinion I respect I feel like I ve hated on all the books I ve read so far this year It is highly rated among fellow Goodreaders like all of the other books I ve hated on lately Seriously, that last one really gets me I ve never had such a bad streak of books Wool, Southern Reach, Casual Vacancy, and now Vurt It makes me wonder what the fuck is wrong with my taste Am I that picky Am I that out of touch Am I just too fucking stupid to grok the depth of these works Have I lost my seat at the Cool Kids Table What the fuck Anyway, part of me would be content leaving this book two stars and a four word review What The Actual Fuck But instead I ll give it the good ol college try Here goesVurt is a near future, sort of cyberpunk, dystopia where people escape reality by entering via different colored feathers tickled upon their throats a shared dream state known as the Vurt The story is told through the eyes of Scribble, a member of a gang of Vurt junkies known as the Stash Riders Scribble has entered the Vurt so often and has such talent with it that he s able to go there without the use of a feather This leads to a majority of the book sounding like the escapades of someone on an LSD trip as retold by a paranoid schizophrenic I spent half my time with this book trying to figure out what was reality and what wasn t Of course, that s a kudos to Noon, as it perfectly inserts us into the mindset of such a fucked up character, but it makes the reading work than pleasure The effect would be perfect for a short story, but over a 300 page novel it is just too much The closest thing I can compare it to is this Imagine reading the novelization of Inception where the rules and logic of the dream world are never explained and the dreams therein make little to no sense Sounds good, right The characters Let s talk about them for a second I couldn t relate to any of them Perhaps I m not British enough Perhaps I haven t done enough of the right drugs Perhaps and I think this may be it they are just shit There was a single character I felt a touch than nothing for and she disappears before the halfway mark only to make a brief and inconsequential appearance toward the end Awesome.
Scribble the eyes through which we see this world and the obvious protagonist let s talk about him He s a junkie You feel for him initially because he lost his lover in the Vurt and is trying to find her Then you realize that this lost lover is also his sister and, surprisingly, you just don t care for him that much any Could I ever care about a main character in an incestual relationship Sure, if you give me a million words spread across five books and your name is George RR Martin.
The Beetle the leader of the Stash Riders A horrible human I was endeared to him in the opening pages as he was careening the Stashmobile through the streets of Manchester because he reminded me of Nux from Mad Max Fury Road What a day What a lovely day Of course that all ends when they get to their apartment and he starts being physically abusive to his friends and fucks a girl that s not his girlfriend loud enough for his girlfriend to hear How sweet He semi redeemed himself by the end of the book, but I stopped caring about him long before that happened.
Mandy the previously mentioned not girlfriend girl that has about as much depth as a rain puddle in the midday sun Seriously, I m lucky to have remembered her name.
Bridget Beetle s girlfriend She s abused and cheated on by him and I m rooting for her and then she disappears Mr Noon, if you re only going to endear us to a single character, how about you make sure they stick around to have their story told Thanks.
The world Hmmm Well there s the Vurt, a shared dream state that I couldn t care less about There are dream snakes apparently both inside and outside of the Vurt What s a dream snake Good fucking question What else Oh, there s the Thing from Outer Space , which isn t really from outer space, but is instead an amorphous, tentacled creature that crossed over from the Vurt There s people that fuck their sister And people that fuck dogs And people that are half human and half dog that masturbate robot dogs, so that s cool Oh, and don t forget, this is cyberpunk How can you tell Well, because Noon throws robo in front of random nouns like robodog and calls regular old dreadlocks droidlocks because IT S CYBERPUNK, MAN And finally the plot Scribble lost his sister fuck buddy in the Vurt He trips balls for 300 pages to bring her home The end Should you read Vurt Probably I m obviously missing the point with this book and I m in a small minority with that That s fine If anything I m learning that the average rating a book is granted via thousands of reviews is one of the last metrics I should consider when determining what to read next Go get feathered up and see for yourself.
Birds of a feather flock together A blue feather had landed on the stomach of the Thing from Outer Space One of his tentacles reached out for it His spiky fingers took a hold, and a hole opened up in his flesh, a greasy orifice He turned the feather in his feelers and then stroked it in, direct, to the hole He started to change I wasn t sure which feather he d loaded, but from the way he was moving his feelers I guess he was swimming with the Thermo Fish So to be knocked down with a feather just read Vurt.
If Alice s Adventures in Wonderland were written in the genre of dystopia and in the cyberpunk style it would ve become Vurt.
The novel is very extravagant and exotic but some serious holes in the plot prevent it from turning into a masterpiece.
This is such a smart book, but for some reason doesn t have the recognition that it deserves, at least not in literary circles It speaks intelligently on hybridity, drug culture, game culture, created communities, fantasy spaces, writing as escapeit s just crazy good I had a prof who called this a game narrative, one of the first novels to use the conventions of video games as part of its narrative strucure, which is, trust me, extremely cool I have a big love for this novel, and recommend it heartily.
This was amazing No idea how to explain it but in simple terms, society or some of society taste these different coloured feathers for different dream responses The Vurt is this dreamworld, but separating the real world from this fantasy dream world becomes the difficult part, not only for the characters but also for the reader Funny, smart, transgressive, literary, bold, complex and weird The writing was exquisite for me, and I was lost in my own Vurt whilst reading this Loved the characters, the plot although complicated and strange, for me was quite easy to follow and disect as you became engrossed into the world story I havent read anything this original for a very long time Mr Noon requires attention as a writer, although alot of his last works are very hard to find Would reccomend this to any avid scifi reader, or anyone wanting a challenging thought provoking mind warped rewarding read.
I was given this book when it first came out in the early 90 s and was completely blown away I re read the book last year and it still is as enjoyable as it was 15 years ago Noon takes the reader through the drug riddled streets of future London Everyone is addicted to feathers You tickle your tongue with a feather and depending on the color of the feather you go on a certain trip If you like to eat aliens, if you worship the game cat, if you think people should mate and have offspring with dogs, if you have ever wanted to be so close to your lover that your hair grows together for twenty feet, or if you just like early psychedelic cyber punk, read this book It is crazy good.
I don t leave books unfinished very often, but I just couldn t bring myself to keep reading Vurt Noon s cyberpunk drug culture epic strives to describe a psychedelic future alternate Manchester, but fails quite obviously halfway through the book, his cast of characters have yet to spend than a few moments in the eponymous cyber drug world In addition, his characters are wooden and, despite their depressing hijinks filled lifestyle, largely uninteresting I didn t care about them, and the potentially rich tapestry of their world wasn t sufficiently embroidered to make up for it.