Snow Crash

(Bantam spectra book)

Paperback, 438 pages

English language

Published Jan. 4, 2000 by Bantam Books.

ISBN:
9780553380958

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4 stars (66 reviews)

Within the Metaverse, Hiro is offered a datafile named Snow Crash by a man named Raven who hints that it is a form of narcotic. Hiro's friend and fellow hacker Da5id views a bitmap image contained in the file which causes his computer to crash and Da5id to suffer brain damage in the real world.

This is the future we now live where all can be brought to life in the metaverse and now all can be taken away. Follow on an adventure with Hiro and YT as they work with the mob to uncover a plot of biblical proportions.

9 editions

Review of 'Snow Crash' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

Boy-o-boy am I surprised I didn't like this more. Its rating here on Goodreads is very good. People whose opinions usually align with mine gave it 5-stars. 10 years ago I read Stephenson's 'Cryptonomicon' and really liked it: I gave it 5 stars. Esquire put Snow Crash on their list "The 50 Best Sci-Fi Books of All Time"!

Some of the ideas are pretty interesting, and the story outline is good. But the thing is, I just never really got into it. I found the writing to be bland. (Detail: The writing 'voice' of the robot dog felt like a person trying to write in the voice of a robot dog.) I found the protagonist Hiro to be kinda boring, the love interest was unconvincing, and the big bad never felt super menacing. I did like the Aleut assassin Raven, and kinda liked Y.T. I did not like their …

Review of 'Snow Crash' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

I had higher expectations for this book, and it's clearly a beloved classic among fans of the sci-fi genre, but the execution was poor.

The present-tense narration was excellent. The world created around the characters was superb. It has all the hallmarks of great cyperpunk, and I felt the characters of Hiro and YT were well-developed, if not exaggerated, anime-esque caricatures. It was fast-paced, and we got satisfying glimpses into a dystopian future in which everything is run by large corporations.

But the story was lacking in substance, and the metaverse was a failed plot device; it did not add much to the story, other than its use as a library for Hiro to gather information, which ultimately led to a contrived whodunnit that detracted my enjoyment of the story. The backstory was interesting enough to keep me engaged, but it was far-fetched, and I'm still not certain of Rife's …

Review of 'Snow Crash' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

I like Neal Stephenson's talks (e.g., Authors@Google, his Slashdot interview, etc.) a lot, so I've felt ok with letting Cryptonomicon and Quicksilver sit on my shelf for years. I picked up Snow Crash after enjoying reading his brother-in-law's blog https://sawiggins.wordpress.com---this is relevant because Stephenson credits discussions with said brother-in-law for a lot of the Asherah and Sumerian mythology backstory---and then recently getting more interested in Sumerian and Canaanite mythology through my own brother-in-law. What I mean is, I wanted to see how a hacker-cum-speculative fiction writer addresses ancient and modern religion. Most hackers (technical term used in this book and in regular life to mean "maker"), I think, are interested in religion. Well, most hackers are interested in everything---and being interested in everything will help finish reading this book.

Stephenson's writing is awkward and ugly, contrasting equally with the euphony of, say, Tolkien and the slickness of the average …

Review of 'Snow Crash' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

In a time in the not so distance future where the federal government of the United States has yielded most of its power to private organizations and entrepreneurs, franchising individual sovereignty reigns supreme. Merchant armies complete national defence, highway companies compete for drivers and the mafia own the pizza delivery game. Hiro Protagonist, “Last of the freelance hackers and greatest swordfighter in the world”, finds himself without his pizza delivery job when a young skateboard “Kourier” named Y.T. tries to hitch a ride on his vehicle. Leading them on a grand scale adventure trying to uncover just what exactly Snow Crash is.

Like all of Neal Stephenson books, you can expect this one to cover subjects like history, linguistics, anthropology, archaeology, religion, computer science, politics, cryptography, and philosophy, all while keeping to his cyberpunk thriller style. He says this book was named after the early mac software failure mode:

“When …

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Subjects

  • Science fiction, American
  • American fiction -- 20th century

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