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Snow Crash (Bantam Spectra Book) [Kindle Edition]

Neal Stephenson
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (875 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.00
Kindle Price: $7.99
You Save: $7.01 (47%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

Only once in a great while does  a writer come along who defies comparison -- a  writer so original he redefines the way we look at  the world. Neal Stephenson is such a writer and  Snow Crash is such a novel, weaving  virtual reality, Sumerian myth, and just about  everything in between with a cool, hip  cyber-sensibility to bring us the gigantic thriller of the  information age. In reality, Hiro Protagonist delivers  pizza for Uncle Enzo's Cosa Nostra Inc., but it  the Metaverse he's a warrior prince. Plunging  headlong into the enigma of a new computer virus that's  striking down hackers everywhere, he races along  the neon-lit streets on a search-and-destroy  mission for the shadowy virtual villain threatening to  bring about infocalypse. Snow Crash  is a mind-altering romp through a future America  so bizarre, so outrageous... you'll recognize it  immediately.


From the Paperback edition.

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

From the opening line of his breakthrough cyberpunk novel Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson plunges the reader into a not-too-distant future. It is a world where the Mafia controls pizza delivery, the United States exists as a patchwork of corporate-franchise city-states, and the Internet--incarnate as the Metaverse--looks something like last year's hype would lead you to believe it should. Enter Hiro Protagonist--hacker, samurai swordsman, and pizza-delivery driver. When his best friend fries his brain on a new designer drug called Snow Crash and his beautiful, brainy ex-girlfriend asks for his help, what's a guy with a name like that to do? He rushes to the rescue. A breakneck-paced 21st-century novel, Snow Crash interweaves everything from Sumerian myth to visions of a postmodern civilization on the brink of collapse. Faster than the speed of television and a whole lot more fun, Snow Crash is the portrayal of a future that is bizarre enough to be plausible.

From Publishers Weekly

In California of the near future, when the U.S. is only a "Burbclave" (city-state), the Mafia is just another franchise chain (CosaNostrastet Pizza, Incorporated) and there are no laws to speak of, Hiro Protagonist follows clues from the Bible, ancient Sumer and high technology to help thwart an attempt to take control of civilization--such as it is. When he logs on to Metaverse, an imaginary place entered via computer, Hiro encounters Juanita Marquez, a "radical" Catholic and computer whiz. She warns him off Snow Crash (a street drug named for computer failure) and gives him a file labeled Babel (as in Tower of Babel). Another friend, sp ok/pk Da5id, who ignores Juanita's warning, computer crashes out of Metaverse into the real world, where he physically collapses. Hiro, Juanita, Y.T. (a freewheeling, skateboard-riding courier) and sundry other Burbclave and franchise power figures see some action on the way to finding out who is behind this bizarre "drug" with ancient roots. Although Stephenson ( Zodiac ) provides more Sumerian culture than the story strictly needs (alternating intense activity with scholarship breaks), his imaginative juxtaposition of ancient and futuristic detail could make this a cult favorite.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 753 KB
  • Print Length: 480 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0553380958
  • Publisher: Spectra (August 26, 2003)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FBJCJE
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,539 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
348 of 400 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 1/2 stars, really April 29, 2001
Format:Paperback
I came to _Snow Crash_ on the recommendation of a few people who had read it (they called it "great!" and "hilarious!," and knowing that Neal Stephenson is sometimes listed as a "cyberpunk" writer along with William Gibson et al.
I had liked William Gibson's books, so I gave _Snow Crash_ a try.
_Snow Crash_ is primarily about Hiro, a young man who delivers pizzas and collects information for the Central Intelligence Corporation (freelance), for a living. He lives in a storage unit with a cult-hero rockstar named Vitaly Chernobyl. He owns a futon, two awesome Japanese swords, and a laptop computer, where he stays "jacked in" to the "Metaverse" a lot of the time, where he is the world's greatest swordfighter.
Hiro witnesses a crime while interacting with others in the Metaverse. One of his friends is deliberately exposed to a dangerous block of text, which fries his brain (in the real world), and renders him a vegetable. Hiro and his friend Y.T. (15-year old skateboarding female, and knee-slappingly funny smartaleck) set off to find out why, and save the world in the process.
From the getgo this is a funny book. Sure, the vision of the near-future is dark, a little alarming, and at times depressing (there are NO general laws in _Snow Crash_, for example, and private corporations run everything, even the police, just as an example). That's what cyberpunk is like. But the HUMOR is one thing that sets Neal Stephenson aside. Hiro Protagonist? Come on, that's FUNNY, PEOPLE! One reviewer called it an 'odd' name. Yes, it's odd, and it's absurd, and it's funny! Did this author mean it is an unusual choice for a character name? I don't know. I hope not.
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112 of 127 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Control Alt Delete Restart July 17, 2001
Format:Paperback
To the extent that a book can be described as original, "Snow Crash", by Neal Stephenson is deserving of the moniker. About the only common ground that his work shares with others is that ink is applied to paper using the same letters, and then pages are bound to create a book. Much beyond that and you are in the midst of this Author's view of a given world he has modified and created. He is not only incredibly unique; his wit passes the cutting edge to the bleeding edge of razor sharp sarcasm, and irony. And when he uses words he assembles them in arrangements you have never listened to before. An important aspect that sets his work apart in this genre is that while delivering enormous amounts of information, he keeps the reader informed, he does not lose you, he ensures you stay with his wickedly fast pace by keeping you educated. Other Authors of Science Fiction are weak on this point, and it weakens their books.
One date to remember when reading this work is that it was first released in June of 1992 after three years in the making. This is critical, as so much of what was absolute fiction then, may now be found within the pages of Wired Magazine. There are even words he originated that are common to most people who use a computer, especially if you have ever tried what he calls the Metaverse, touring it as an Avatar.
One of the reasons his work is so authentic and exceptionally good is that he knows his material. If he talks about code he's qualified, as he has written it. When he is speaking of Sumerian Mythology an Author who spent years researching his material is again relating it. And when he just lets go with dialogue or descriptive prose it is mind binding for being clever, unique, and hilarious. He also has raised sardonic prose to an art form.
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52 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm a victim... April 16, 2001
Format:Paperback
...of someone who took a previous reviewer's advice to have another buy the book, then lend it and be forced to buy another copy when it doesn't return!
From the opening description of Hiro Protagonist (the main character--couldn't you tell?), I was caught by the irony, sarcasm, wit, and sheer fun with the English language that Neal Stephenson has in his repertoire. Snow Crash is gutsy, innovative, witty, and fun. It rewards anyone who churn out code for a living. Anyone who wonders what happens to our brains with all the advertising thrown at us. Anyone who is tired of the same old science fiction. Anyone who has wondered if the Tower of Babel story, combined with Sumerian mythos, would make a good computer-age read... the answer is yes.
It's almost impossible to review a cyberpunk book without comparing it to uberauthor William Gibson's works. I find Gibson to be cooly intellectual, reserved, methodical--a great read for a day when I'm ready to think hard. Stephenson is white-hot, down and dirty, in the trenches, while not losing touch with the thoughtfulness and underlying structure that makes Gibson satisfying.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is not about the book, but about the Kindle edition November 20, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I give the book 5 stars, as I love the style & the humour. What I give 1 star is the Kindle edition compared to the printed book. Did this book not exist as an electronic file prior to the Kindle version? I find that hard to belive, but nevertheless, Amazon must have thought so because the Kindle edition has very obviously been scanned & OCR'd from the printed page, and the OCR software they used must have come from the same year when Stephenson wrote the book longhand on paper, apparently.

There are many, many OCR errors in the text, particularly misinterpretation of rn as m, which often makes non-words, or, worse, makes actual words which make no sense, or, even worse, makes actual words that change the meaning of a sentence and bring your reading to a grinding halt.

Amazon; if you must OCR books to Kindle, spare a few hours to proof-read them. This is my first bad Kindle experience. Very amateur electronic publishing job.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read
This book is extremely entertaining. I love the world that Stephenson creates - not exactly a distopia, but a more realistic chaotic future.
Published 1 hour ago by J. Kristoff
5.0 out of 5 stars Still Great after Twenty Yeats
Yes, after 20 years, some of the technology has been superseded, but some is still amazingly prescient. It's a mixture of science, sci-fi and pre-Babylonian mythology. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Craig K. Lewis
5.0 out of 5 stars Still great after all these years.
Still great after all these years. Anything that ages it is cute rather than painful. A favourite, an suspect it always will be.
Published 4 days ago by Troy Boulton
4.0 out of 5 stars overall great
Some parts were slow and I made me want to quit. I kept at it and was rewarded by an amazing book. Surprising how he gets the future so right...
Published 6 days ago by A. Zapata
1.0 out of 5 stars Integrating People and technology.
I had to read this for a class, with that said, I read fantasy for fun and enjoy some Sci Fi books. This book starts out as if an angsty teenager were writing it. Read more
Published 9 days ago by William Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book
One of the best and well written books I have ever read. I have read it several times and enjoy it each time.
Published 10 days ago by Sue Dorman
4.0 out of 5 stars A thought-provoking Sci-fi dystopian novel
Interesting book. Very edgy writing--fun, eclectic, fast paced. A bit like how I remember Junot Diez writing. Some language, a single sex scene (kind of hot). Read more
Published 11 days ago by Adam Ford
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
I read this book first time just before I tried world's first graphical browser (Erwise) 1992. The possibilities of Internet and beyond just stroke to me. Read more
Published 13 days ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Highly technical at times, but very entertaining, definitely a page turner. Love the linguistics stuff, it's right up my alley.
Published 15 days ago by Anna Ka
1.0 out of 5 stars Neal Stephenson books? Never again!
Terrible! Not worth your time our money. Verisimilitude? None. Suspension of disbelief? Laughable. Plot holes? Swiss cheese like. Read more
Published 17 days ago by Daniel Tannus
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More About the Author

Neal Town Stephenson (born October 31, 1959) is an American writer, known for his speculative fiction works, which have been variously categorized science fiction, historical fiction, maximalism, cyberpunk, and postcyberpunk. Stephenson explores areas such as mathematics, cryptography, philosophy, currency, and the history of science. He also writes non-fiction articles about technology in publications such as Wired Magazine, and has worked part-time as an advisor for Blue Origin, a company (funded by Jeff Bezos) developing a manned sub-orbital launch system.
Born in Fort Meade, Maryland (home of the NSA and the National Cryptologic Museum) Stephenson came from a family comprising engineers and hard scientists he dubs "propeller heads". His father is a professor of electrical engineering whose father was a physics professor; his mother worked in a biochemistry laboratory, while her father was a biochemistry professor. Stephenson's family moved to Champaign-Urbana, Illinois in 1960 and then to Ames, Iowa in 1966 where he graduated from Ames High School in 1977. Stephenson furthered his studies at Boston University. He first specialized in physics, then switched to geography after he found that it would allow him to spend more time on the university mainframe. He graduated in 1981 with a B.A. in Geography and a minor in physics. Since 1984, Stephenson has lived mostly in the Pacific Northwest and currently resides in Seattle with his family.
Neal Stephenson is the author of the three-volume historical epic "The Baroque Cycle" (Quicksilver, The Confusion, and The System of the World) and the novels Cryptonomicon, The Diamond Age, Snow Crash, and Zodiac. He lives in Seattle, Washington.

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kindle price
10.99 now, more than the paperback.
Jul 23, 2012 by Steven Green |  See all 2 posts
$150.00 msrp?
I actually expect it to sell out at 150, and consider getting one at sub 100 is a great deal. In my opinion, this was one of the most important science fiction books written. Additionally, it is being illustrated by Patrick Arrasmith who is a very talented artist who should be able to really... Read more
Jan 23, 2008 by Russell Hayes |  See all 2 posts
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