Spook Country by Bill Gibson.
The reviews I have seen of this have missed what to me seems the obvious point - consciously or unconsciously, this is an X-files spin-off novel. Hollis is Scully, Bigend is (probably) Skinner. It is not as irksome or dense as the first paragraph (which I quoted a few days ago) or the blurb suggest. Nor is it particularly interesting.
There are points when one almost suspects that Gibson is taking the piss out of arty types he gets introduced to whilst touring, but he is too nice a guy to stick the knife in to any great degree.
In the final analysis he is too old. He is 58. It is probably significant that it ends in Vancouver, where he lives. As, indeed, is Doug Coupland's latest. They are white Van men. Too old and too happy.
Bad Monkeys by Mat Ruff (of this parish)
Ruff is a warm and wonderful human being, and Sewer, Gas and Electric was the last (reasonably) contemporary SF novel I really enjoyed. However, this didn't do it for me. I am finding it hard to say why. I think it is because it is too wacky in a cartoony multiple-layers of reality and conspiracies way to be engaging. Mad Magazine's spy vs spy meets Roadrunner vs Wile E. Coyote going on slightly interminably.
Attack of the Unsinkable Rubber Ducks by Christopher Brookmyre
A partial return to form. Brookmyre is someone who has on the whole got worse rather than better with each novel. The last one, in which he covers the ground of teenagers at school and their rivalries, cruelties etc. which he covered better in One Fine Day In The Middle Of The Night, was the first that I put down to languish in the 'to finish eventually pile' and the two prior to that were also essentially Not Very Good (TM). However, this one is better, albeit it has a number of first person narrators and one is someone who stands for many things Brookmyre despises and who therefore utterly fails to convince.