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Snow Crash Paperback – January 1, 2000
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“[Snow Crash is] a cross between Neuromancer and Thomas Pynchon’s Vineland. This is no mere hyperbole.”—The San Francisco Bay Guardian
“Fast-forward free-style mall mythology for the twenty-first century.”—William Gibson
“Brilliantly realized . . . Stephenson turns out to be an engaging guide to an onrushing tomorrow.”—The New York Times Book Review
From the Inside Flap
In reality, Hiro Protagonist delivers pizza for Uncle Enzo's CosaNostra Pizza Inc., but in 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.
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The biggest downfall of me was that this book was so incredibly dense. On the one hand, Stephenson created a fictional world based on the real world where I live (Los Angeles) and described it with immense detail. (And I can totally see the city/country heading this way, btw.) But on the other hand, there was so much description to slog through that I found myself re-reading some things over and over trying to absorb it and not always quite getting it. Definitely a gripping story overall, but was left many times confused as to what was going on.
Plus In the end, there were many questions left unanswered, but it is what it is. Would still recommend it for anyone who likes Futuristic Sci Fi.
UPDATE: Amazon set me a replacement for the copy we received with the pages out of order. The replacement has the same print errors. AVOID THE 2017 DEL RAY TRADE PAPERBACK EDITION
I would recommend to any Sci-Fi, cyberpunk, and history buffs
Interesting book. I found individual elements very entertaining but couldn’t really grasp what was going on until the last 25% of the novel. I found Y.T’s story and character a heck of a lot more interesting than Hero’s, and found the juxtaposition of events, places, and characters confusing at times. That being said, I did read it all the way through, and I was on the whole, glad that I did.
I think the virtual reality, cyberpunk, and dystopian corporate future themes were well thought out, but the interpretation of Babel and the separation of languages was a little too out there for me.
If you are looking for a Neal Stephenson book to read, I recommend you skip this and go straight to Seveneves unless you are really into cyberpunk and virtual reality.
Top international reviews
El autor nos presenta descripciones, acciones y estrategias en el "metaverso", lo que ahora llamamos realidad virtual, pero ese metaverso es aun más potente de lo que al presente se hace y disfruta.
Introduce el concepto de "virus" psicológicos, es decir, afectaciones mentales por medio de imágenes y sonidos. Cosa que creo ya es realidad.
Es un libro que deja huella, buena huella.
Understandably, although it is an ambitious, intelligent, and entertaining novel, Snow Crash couldn't possibly live up to my expectations. It is a fun and thrilling read, no question. And yet, as much as I enjoyed it, I don't feel that it's the sort of literary work that lingers within your mind long after you have finished it.
Here's the blurb:
One of Time magazine's 100 all-time best English-language novels.
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 cybersensibility to bring us the gigathriller of the information age.
In reality, Hiro Protagonist delivers pizza for Uncle Enzo’s CosoNostra Pizza Inc., but in 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.
The worldbuilding is simply awesome. In a not-so-distant future, the USA has become a fragmented ensembles of smaller Burbclaves and city-states. As is usually the author's wont, the witty narrative is full of satiric social and political commentary. What's even more brilliant is the fact that Snow Crash was written between 1988 and 1991. To realize just how on the money Stephenson turned out to be regarding the information age and virtual reality, it's simply astonishing. The same thing goes for the technology now in use, both in terms of software and hardware. Truly, Neal Stephenson was a visionary.
The characterization is well-done, especially considering that having teenagers as your principal protagonists can sometimes be quite tricky. Yet both Hiro Protagonist, the Deliverator and katana-wielding hacker, and Y.T., a pesky Kourier, are well-defined characters you just have to root for. When Hiro is involved in an accident and is about to be late delivering a pizza, Y.T. delivers the pie on time, thus earning a favor from the Mafia and joining her fate to Hiro's, though none of them are quite aware of that fact just yet. Although the narrative follows the POVs of these two protagonists for the better part of the book, they are joined by a colorful cast of secondary characters that give Snow Crash its unforgettable flavor. Chief among those include Uncle Enzo, the Librarian, and Raven.
The pace is fluid and the chapters relatively short, making this novel a real page-turner. Indeed, there is never a dull moment. The early portions about the Sumerian myths and their importance are a bit more nebulous and hard to understand, but everything is explained later on in the book. Hence, for a while at least, you are sort of left in the dark as to what this new computer virus is all about. Be that as it may, you just need to buckle up and enjoy the ride. From beginning to end, Snow Crash remains a dense and surreal work of fiction full of humor that will make you think as much as it makes you laugh.
As I mentioned, what is even more impressive is the fact that this novel was initially published two decades ago. Discovering just how right Stephenson was concerning everything that has to do with the information age and virtual reality will have you shaking your head in bewilderment.
Snow Crash is a smart, cool, funny, witty, and action-packed adventure featuring a pair of unlikely heroes who must save the world from infocalypse. If you enjoy roller-coaster rides, Snow Crash is definitely for you! You will never again look at toilet paper quite the same way afterwards. . .
If, like me, you haven't read it yet, Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash could be perfect vacation reading material for you.
Check out Pat's Fantasy Hotlist!
Hiro is a pizza delivery person working for CosaNostra Pizza. When he pulls up one night to CosaNostra Piza #3569 to pick up a pizza to deliver the place is on fire and when he finaly gets the distributor to give him a pizza to deliver it already has 20 minutes on the box. This is a problem as all pizzas must be delivered within 30 minutes or all you know what happens.
Shouldn't be a problem as he has 10 minutes to cover 12 miles. At least it's not a problem until he drives into an empty pool short of his delivery spot.
Y.T. who is a Kourier who was pooning (short version of harpoon which is explained in the book) his vehicle prior to the crash comes to the rescue and delivers his pizza on time thus setting up a relationship of both people running into each other at opportune times to help each other out.
Hiro is also a computer hacker and according to himself the "Greatest Sword Fighter in the World".
The adventure soon starts when an unknown enemy releases a virus called Snow Crash that incapacitates hackers like Hiro and turns regular people into babbling slaves.
This all ties into the millennium old Sumerian Race and Religion having to do with everyone's base memory (core memory in computer circles).
There is a metaverse where anyone with a computer can be anybody they want to be through their created avatar. In this environment Hiro lives in a posh house versus his real world digs which is a 20 by 30 storage unit he shares with a buddy.
Both Hiro and Y.T. are on a collision course with the bad guys which includes Raven (maniac with a nuclear bomb attached to his motorcycle), Lagos (fellow hacker and miscreant) and L. Bob Rife (fantastically rich psycho).
Our hero Hiro prevails in the end. I rally enjoyed this book which was the first I have read of Neal Stephenson
After playing Deus Ex: Human Revolution and rewatching the Matrix Trilogy, I've desperately been looking for some gritty/noire cyberpunk content that would leave my mind thinking and dreaming. I've never liked reading when I was young; most of it was force fed by school teachers. Still, having grown up some, I decided to give a shot to novels again. After reading some reviews and synopsis online, you've guessed it, I purchased Snow Crash @ 17$ CAD.
It's absolutely incredible how overrated this book is. Since I hate leaving things unfinished, I forced myself through reading a quarter of it. I then decided to stop when reading more than 10 pages became a chore. Stopped about when the author describes the actions of a mechanical dog in a *dog thinking* way.
-Dog usually like people
-But dog doesn't like this guy
-Dog decide to run really fast at bad guy
For a book that was written in the 90s, the author was a visionary. However, for our current time, the book is boring.
Also, not only is it poorly written, the timeline makes no sense at all and there are wayyyyyy too many pitiful attempts at humor. Should have known better after seeing that the main character was named Hiro Protagonist (LOL!).
I'll leave the actual review to the more word-talented individuals. Just read the 1 stars reviews, they share most of my opinion in a better written way.