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Snow Crash Mass Market Paperback – April 1, 1993
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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.
"Brilliantly realized... Stephenson turns out to be an engaging guide to an onrushing tomorrow." -- The New York Times Book Review.
"Snow Crash takes on a whole slew of nasty contemporary trends and extrapolates them hilariously into a pessimistic and unlikely newar future... this is one book to chill out with this summer." -- Mondo 2000.
"Stylish noir extrapolation becomes gloriously witty social satire... savor Stephenson's delicious prose and cheerfully impudent wit. Cyberpunk isn't dead -- it has just (belatedly) developed a sense of humor." --Locus.
"A fantastic, slam-bang-overdrive, supersurrealistic, comic-spooky whirl through a tomorrow that is already happening. Neal Stephenson is intelligent, perceptive, hip and will become a major force in American writing." -- Timothy Leary.
"A cross between Neuromancer and Thomas Pynchon's Vineland. This is no mere hyperbole." -- San Francisco Bay Guardian.
"Fast-forwarded free-style mall mythology for the 21st Century." -- William Gibson.
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With those two books as my previous experience I was a little hesitant to dive into one of Neal's massive tomes with endless paragraphs of info dump and esoteric scientific explanations.
I was PLEASENTLY surprised to find none of that. Yes, there are large chunks of Stephenson's verbose prose. But while action packed and with an amazing world that only Stephenson can build this was still "light" compared to those novels.
A semi-dystopian future where the US is chopped into different enclaves and the mafia are the good guys this story blends real world action with VR/Matrix/Ready Player One simulated drama.
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.
From a prose stand point, this is not the easiest book to read. There is plenty of tech jargon (some of it made up) and a lot of linguistics vocabulary you might need to parse as you are reading. Also, his description of the corporate states is a little head scratching at first, but I feel pretty confident in saying that if you ignore it early on, you'll get it by the end.
Otherwise, it is an entertaining yarn. I didn't like it as much the 2nd time I read it, but I still think it is a very good book.
As for the story, it still feels solid with the tech still holding its own which is saying something for a science fiction story that is nearly 25 years old. I'd love to see a modern rewrite like John Scalzi did with Fuzzy Nation. Our even if Neal would do it again. I'd love to see it as the 1000 page more nuanced story that he is capable of now.
First off....someone needs to make this into a series.
It's a great story and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the cyberpunk type science fiction.
The only complaint about this work will be that the author gets into a bit of a detailed description that some people might find slow, but he does it in little chunks, so it's doable.
The action-adventure stuff is great and fast moving.
The "coming-of-age" aspect is good, the dual hero aspect is really well done.
The villains are terrible.
The tech is great to read about.
Highly recommend this.
Most recent customer reviews
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