Neuromancer

Neuromancer

by

William Gibson

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A psychopath and drug addict, Riviera cares only about himself, and finds pleasure only in inflicting pain—physical or psychological. Case describes Riviera as beautiful, modified by plastic surgery that renders him stunning and ageless. Riviera replaced his own left lung with an implant that allows him to create holographic hallucinations in others. This is why Armitage recruits him—this and his violent interests, which Armitage hopes will pique the interest of 3Jane, who will invite him into Villa Straylight. Armitage accomplishes this though a disturbing holographic stage show featuring him and Molly having sex, before she rips him apart with her claws. This intrigues 3Jane, who invites Riviera into Straylight, where he promptly switches his allegiance to her. Riviera dies inside Straylight. His death occurs in the shadows, and so the exact cause is unclear—either he dies from poisoned drugs Molly delivered to him, or 3Jane’s bodyguard, Hideo, killed him after Riviera attacked him. Riviera has a special obsession with Molly, creating holograms of her on more than one occasion. Molly, in turn, despises him.

Riviera Quotes in Neuromancer

The Neuromancer quotes below are all either spoken by Riviera or refer to Riviera. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Technology and the Body Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin edition of Neuromancer published in 1984.
Chapter 2 Quotes

“Our profile says you’re trying to con the street into killing you when you’re not looking.”

“Profile?”

“We’ve built up a detailed model. Bought a go-to for each of your aliases and ran the skim through some military software. You’re suicidal, Case. The model gives you a month on the outside. And our medical projection says you’ll need a new pancreas inside a year.”

Related Characters: Henry Dorsett Case (speaker), Molly (speaker), Armitage / Corto, Wintermute, Riviera
Page Number: 28
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation long mobile
Chapter 11 Quotes

He vomited over a rosewood railing into the quiet waters of the lake. Something that had seemed to close around his head like a vise had released him now. Kneeling, his cheek against the cool wood, he stared across the shallow lake at the bright aura of the Rue Jules Verne.

Case had seen the medium before; when he’d been a teenager in the Sprawl, they’d called it, “dreaming real.” He remembered thin Puerto Ricans under East Side streetlights, dreaming real to the quick beat of a salsa, dreamgirls shuddering and turning, the onlookers clapping in time. But that had needed a van full of gear and a clumsy trode helmet.

What Riviera dreamed, you got. Case shook his aching head and spat into the lake.

He could guess the end, the finale. There was an inverted symmetry: Riviera puts the dreamgirl together, the dreamgirl takes him apart. With those hands. Dreamblood soaking the rotten lace.

Cheers from the restaurant, applause. Case stood and ran his hands over his clothes. He turned and walked back into the Vingtiéme Siécle.

Molly’s chair was empty. The stage was deserted. Armitage sat alone, still staring at the stage, the stem of the wineglass between his fingers.

Page Number: 141
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 16 Quotes

He closed his eyes. He saw the sacs of toxin dissolving in his arteries. He saw Molly hauling herself up the endless steel rungs. He opened his eyes.

“I dunno, man,” he said, a strange taste in his mouth. He looked down at his desk, at his hands. “I don’t know.” He looked back up. The brown face was calm now, intent. Maelcum’s chin was hidden by the high helmet ring of his old blue suit. “She’s inside,” he said. “Molly’s inside. In Straylight, it’s called. If there’s any Babylon, man, that’s it. We leave on her, she ain’t comin’ out, Steppin’ Razor or not.”

Maelcum nodded, the dreadbag bobbing behind him like a captive balloon of crocheted cotton. “She you woman, Case?”

“I dunno. Nobody’s woman, maybe.” He shrugged. And found his anger again, real as a shard of hot rock beneath his ribs. “Fuck this,” he said. “Fuck Armitage, fuck Wintermute, and fuck you. I’m stayin’ right here.”

Maelcum’s smile spread across his face like light breaking. “Maelcum a rude boy, Case. Garvey Maelcum boat.” His gloved hand slapped a panel and the bass-heavy rocksteady of Zion dub came pulsing from the tug’s speakers. “Maelcum not runnin’, no. I talk wi’ Aerol, he certain t’ see it in similar light.”

Case stared. “I don’t understand you guys at all,” he said.

“Don’ ’stan’ you, mon,” the Zionite said, nodding to the beat, “but we mus’ move by Jah love, each one.”

Page Number: 192
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 18 Quotes

“Wintermute won’t be the first to have made the same mistake. Underestimating me…He talked with me, Molly. I suppose he talked to all of us. You, and Case, whatever there is of Armitage to talk to. He can’t really understand us, you know. He has his profiles, but those are only statistics. You may be the statistical animal, darling, and Case is nothing but, but I possess a quality unquantifiable by its very nature.” He drank.

“And what exactly is that, Peter?” Molly asked, her voice flat.

Riviera beamed. “Perversity.”

Page Number: 219
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Get the entire Neuromancer LitChart as a printable PDF.
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Riviera Character Timeline in Neuromancer

The timeline below shows where the character Riviera appears in Neuromancer. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Self-Interest vs. Human Connection Theme Icon
...Case wonders what else is on the to-do list, other than Dixie. Molly says Peter Riviera, who is a “real ugly customer,” according to his profile. Molly asks if Case wants... (full context)
Chapter 7
Technology and the Body Theme Icon
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Reality and Perception Theme Icon
...to engage or disclose.  Terzibashjian arrives soon after, he tells them about the man they’re after—Riviera—who has implants that allow him to create life-like holograms. (full context)
Technology and the Body Theme Icon
Addiction and Dependency Theme Icon
Reality and Perception Theme Icon
...Finn, and Terzibashjian take a car to the grand bazaar. Terzibashjian gives more backstory on Riviera—one of his lungs has been replaced with implants that allow him to create illusions and... (full context)
Technology and the Body Theme Icon
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Addiction and Dependency Theme Icon
Reality and Perception Theme Icon
Riviera is in the bazar to buy his favorite drug cocktail. Molly is watching from a... (full context)
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Self-Interest vs. Human Connection Theme Icon
The Finn and a hired hand transport Riviera to the hotel where Case and Molly are staying. Terzibashjian takes off, but only after... (full context)
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Case tries to change the subject and asks Molly about Riviera. She’s read his profile and hates him. He’s a sadist—a “compulsive Judas,” who “can’t get... (full context)
Technology and the Body Theme Icon
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Addiction and Dependency Theme Icon
In the hotel lobby, waiting to leave, Case examines Riviera. His face is beautiful, and Case suspects Chiba surgeons sculpted it. He resentfully wonders if... (full context)
Chapter 8
Reality and Perception Theme Icon
Case, Riviera, Molly, and Armitage fly into space. Riviera creates illusions as they fly—including a giant sperm... (full context)
Addiction and Dependency Theme Icon
Reality and Perception Theme Icon
Case watches Riviera inject himself with an intravenous drug. Riviera performs a kind of show as he does—the... (full context)
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Armitage briefs Case, Molly, and Riviera on Freeside. Freeside is the shape of a “cigar,” most of the infrastructure is in... (full context)
Chapter 10
Addiction and Dependency Theme Icon
Riviera and Armitage arrive. Riviera asks Molly for more “medicine,” which she threatens to withhold. Armitage... (full context)
Chapter 11
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Reality and Perception Theme Icon
Armitage has arranged dinner so they can watch Riviera’s “audition.” He is performing a “holographic cabaret,” which, he announces as he appears on stage,... (full context)
Reality and Perception Theme Icon
Riviera performs a one-man holographic show. He projects a worn-down room, with a wooden chair and... (full context)
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Self-Interest vs. Human Connection Theme Icon
Case asks Armitage where Molly has gone, but Armitage doesn’t answer. Case asks why Riviera did that to her, but Armitage just tells him to get some sleep. Their run... (full context)
Technology and the Body Theme Icon
Reality and Perception Theme Icon
...is briefing her from a screen on the wall, and she needed to decompress after Riviera’s performance. She tells Case if she stuck around, she “might have killed Riviera.” (full context)
Technology and the Body Theme Icon
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Molly explains to Case that Riviera’s performance disturbed her because it reminded her of when she worked as a sex doll.... (full context)
Self-Interest vs. Human Connection Theme Icon
Molly finishes her story, explaining Riviera hit a nerve. She thinks Wintermute somehow set up his show, so that she would... (full context)
Chapter 17
Self-Interest vs. Human Connection Theme Icon
Addiction and Dependency Theme Icon
...begins to talk to him through their link. She tells him if she dies before Riviera, she wants Case to tell him “It was Molly.” (full context)
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Reality and Perception Theme Icon
...soldier, feeding on him. Disgusted, Molly stands. She recognizes now more than ever how disturbed Riviera is, but also that his dysfunction is what drew 3Jane to him and convinced her... (full context)
Chapter 18
Technology and the Body Theme Icon
Reality and Perception Theme Icon
...fires a grenade at the boy and darts at Ashpool, but the figures dissolve—they are Riviera’s holograms, meant to distract her as Hideo takes care of her. However, before Hideo even... (full context)
Addiction and Dependency Theme Icon
Riviera appears and restrains Molly, who is already debilitated by the pain in her leg. He... (full context)
Technology and the Body Theme Icon
Self-Interest vs. Human Connection Theme Icon
Reality and Perception Theme Icon
...after Molly. He knows that she’s in no state to finish the mission alone: kill Riviera, get the magic word out of 3Jane, and get 3Jane to say it to the... (full context)
Technology and the Body Theme Icon
Self-Interest vs. Human Connection Theme Icon
...the ship into the Villa. Case and Maelcum will find 3Jane, get the word, kill Riviera, and get the physical key from Molly. Case can check on the virus’s progress by... (full context)
Self-Interest vs. Human Connection Theme Icon
Reality and Perception Theme Icon
...to ask Molly what her plan had been. Molly explains that she would have killed Riviera because of the show. She also would have tried to kill Hideo, because a man like... (full context)
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Riviera returns from some corner where he was shooting up. He tells Molly that Wintermute underestimated... (full context)
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Self-Interest vs. Human Connection Theme Icon
Addiction and Dependency Theme Icon
...but still sends stimulus back to Case. 3Jane is upset that Molly is injured, but Riviera tries to argue he saved 3Jane’s life. 3Jane explains Hideo could have easily done that.... (full context)
Chapter 19
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Addiction and Dependency Theme Icon
...Molly’s simstim. 3Jane is bandaging her head and broken eye. 3Jane tells Molly that although Riviera wants to fight Molly, 3Jane won’t let him. She tells Molly she wants to nurse... (full context)
Chapter 22
Self-Interest vs. Human Connection Theme Icon
...Maelcum down the hallway towards 3Jane’s lair. Case tells Maelcum the situation inside: Molly’s incapacitated, Riviera might have Molly’s fletcher and can also throw holograms, and Hideo is an incredibly powerful... (full context)
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
...suddenly one of Hideo’s arrows hits Maelcum in the arm; he falls to the ground. Riviera steps out of the shadows, holding Molly’s fletcher. He’s surprised to see Case, having expected... (full context)
Self-Interest vs. Human Connection Theme Icon
Case realizes that Riviera doesn’t know about Molly’s simstim, although Hideo and 3Jane probably do, having patted her down.... (full context)
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Reality and Perception Theme Icon
...help bandage Maelcum’s wound. As Hideo works, Case tells 3Jane they’re running out of time. Riviera tries to interrupt Case’s plea, but 3Jane shuts him down. Case tells her Neuromancer and... (full context)
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Reality and Perception Theme Icon
Riviera interrupts them with a shot from the fletcher. Hideo shoots an arrow back at Riviera,... (full context)
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Addiction and Dependency Theme Icon
...and asks 3Jane to take her restraints off. Case asks 3Jane if Hideo will get Riviera, even blind, and 3Jane affirms that he will. Molly adds that she poisoned Riviera’s drugs,... (full context)