When I read Hemingway, in all the minimalism and tense dialogue, I notice that he really does a rather florid job of describing alcohol: the taste, the smell, the experience of getting shellaced, all that. Alcohol was his intimate friend, how could he not write that way about it? He notes its every movement on the table, who orders first, what they order.
They tell you to write what you know, but how can you not? I sense Gibson has a rich experience staying in various hotel rooms, meeting weirdos who have a vague sense of his minor celebrity, and jet lag. He writes movingly about those experiences, and does an excellent job capturing people when they are alone and thinking to themselves, how they talk to the inanimate, twiddle with their computers, consider the hotel shampoo. (Damn you, keys. I know you couldn't have gotten far.)
Everything else? Maybe not so much. The plot is almost painfully retreaded from other Gibson novels. The girl main character feels too much like Cayce Pollard of the shared-world novel, Pattern Recognition
, but without something I can't quite define. The boy main character, Tito, I just didn't buy. The junkie main character, Milgrim, was totally funny, and the source of much of the very wry comedy that was the best part of the novel.
I still finished reading it though, so that's something.