Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Product placement and William Gibson?

In between working on vacation, as a way to distract myself and attempt to get a little vacation, I spent time reading Spook Country. I really enjoyed Gibson's last book, Pattern Recognition. This new novel contains Bigend again, the head of Blue Ant, and a main character who seems like a half sister of Cayce Pollard. I enjoyed Spook Country, but perhaps enjoyed the premise and the general outline a lot more than the specific writing.

But the product placement! That Cayce makes a living from her allergy to brand was simply brilliant in Pattern Recognition. If she had read Spook Country she would have gagged! Although Bigend drives a Maybach, otherwise everything else is VW including multiple Phaetons. What is that about?? Did Gibson get a kickback from VW? Is he prepping this book for a movie? Or is there some meaning in this overt product placement? He does suggest that Blue Ant uses Phaetons because they look almost like Passats and therefore are a more anonymous luxury car. Maybe Bigend got them on remainder discount because the car didn't sell well at all. But also, does everyone have to use an Apple computer? I can't figure it out. Any ideas? For me it really put a vein of rot through the book.

(Similar sentiments on a blog called Where am I?)
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