05 June 2015

Hicksville

Google tells me that it has been three years since my last post. Fittingly then it is at least 10 years, and probably more like 13-15 since I last read Hicksville.

At the time I was living in the Todman St flat and I think Chris lent me his copy. It was one of those, not pressured, no obligation, I think you'll like it moments. Even if it wasn't and this is completely misremembered then I'll go to my grave thinking about this moment.

It was this moment and the reading experience that followed that has cemented Hicksville as an Important Book for me. It sits on the same shelf as Neuromancer. And I'm unsure why.

I read it ONCE. Only once. Neuromancer, shit I've read that dozens of times. I can fall into that world at a drop of a hat. Hicksville, on the other hand, was an immediate force but one I got to put down, put aside, but never forget.

In fact the only immediate reaction to reading Hicksville in early 2000's was to buy it... and then send it... to my sister in Canada.

The reason for that was obvious and justified. My sister needed to read it. I could tell. I could also justify sending away a thing I loved, because I said to myself that I would read this precious thing while sitting in the cabin by the lake my sister had spoken of and the visions of which had made me want to travel to Canada with a need.

So let's say 15 years later, I'm home with my family and look at my book shelf and see my copy of Neuromancer, and think of Hicksville.

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The follow up to this story is that of course this thought process resulted in me purchasing myself another copy. I've just finished re-reading it. It took months before I started the re-read. I was scared that this precious thing would, after 15 years, be tarnished.

It's not, at all. But I'm still mystified about why this book has got me.

I'm now the very proud owner of another book that I will reach to on occasion. It can sit on my shelf, next to Neurmancer and, like this post, be an outward sign of who I am.

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The only regret that my copy brings is the fifteen year failure to feed the need to sit and read it in Canada... with my sister.

2 comments:

Morgan Davie said...

yay! I have two copies of Hicksville, the first overseas edition and the new VUP one with extra material. Must re-read it soon!
And Neuromancer, I should re-read that again soon too...

billy said...

The power of RSS catchers is great. Chuck blogs!
I reread Neuromancer a few years ago, it was solid, though very much a caper with excellent world building and setting; and I got a lot more of the references, which reveal just how crazy out there Gibson was at the time.