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Snow Crash: A Novel Kindle Edition
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|Length: 480 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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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
- Publication date : August 26, 2003
- File size : 4056 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 480 pages
- Publisher : Spectra (August 26, 2003)
- ASIN : B000FBJCJE
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Language: : English
- Page numbers source ISBN : 0553380958
- Best Sellers Rank: #9,238 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Tonal shifts. “Snow Crash” starts with some legendary levels of satire, but the consistency for said tone drops off after 50 or 60 pages. The satire remains, but the more the novel progresses, the more an afterthought that satire seems. In the middle of the book, the tone becomes one of ‘discovery/revelation’ that persists until the end… at which point the tone graduates to ‘let’s get this over.’ The shifts are never quite abrupt, but are somewhat stark.
Changing voice. “Snow Crash” never quite feels like it’s written by three different people, but the beginning, middle and end all feel radically different from one another. Some difference is to be expected as a story nearly 500 pages in the telling is unraveled… but there’s a difference between progression of events having a subtle impact on how the story is told and the feeling that the author is changing how they’re drafting the story in their own mind.
Wandering plot. Why did Hiro need to go to Oregon to learn that thing about Raven? The Raft was cool, but did it need to occupy so much time or focus for the reader to grasp its significance or otherwise appreciate the information Stephenson was offering? There are a couple of other plot points that beg the question ‘why that’ or ‘why present it this way,’ but the goal is to remain as spoiler-free as possible, so those points will remain unmentioned. There is a fair amount of wandering/meandering in the storytelling that’s hit or miss; for every enjoyable moment of superfluous world building or character development, there is a head-scratching moment to offset it.
The Deliverator (the first ~50 pages, really). Y.T. The ideas behind Babel, protolanguage and religion, in general.
Entertaining if a bit dated (as far as many of the technical predictions or conventions are concerned). “Snow Crash” was no doubt a hell of a read when it was released: immensely entertaining; rife with observations and commentary regarding the era in which it was written (much of which is still shockingly relevant); offering statements about how we got to where we are; great observations about people, their hopes, dreams and motivations.
Recommended for: fans of cyberpunk; those interested in a topical examination of neurolinguistics; people looking for a wild, trippy ride that will trigger some fierce 90s nostalgia. Anyone that enjoyed “Neuromancer” or “Lexicon” may want to give “Snow Crash” a shot.
“It was, of course, nothing more than sexism, the especially virulent type espoused by male techies who sincerely believe that they are too smart to be sexists.”
“Software development, like professional sports, has a way of making thirty-year old men feel decrepit.”
“To condense fact from the vapor of nuance.”
“The Deliverator lets out an involuntary roar and puts the hammer down. His emotions tell him to go back and kill that manager, get his swords out of the trunk, dive in through the little sliding window like a ninja, track him down through the moiling chaos of the microwaved franchise and confront him in a climactic thick-crust apocalypse. But he thinks the same thing when someone cuts him off on the freeway, and he’s never done it-yet.”
“They do a lot of talking about Jesus, but like many self-described Christian churches, it has nothing to do with Christianity except that they use his name. It’s a postrational religion.”
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.
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.
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.
I do have to say that it took me quite a while to read this novel. Some of that may be my fault as I was dealing with personal issues. But I do feel that it took longer than usual for the novel to shape into the story it tells. I was about 50% through before it became apparent that something was going on besides the unfolding action story. I was about 75% through before Stephenson started to reveal the connection between the story and the religious/mythological history that underlies it. This left me confused for the longest time.
This is not a book for the timid reader. But if you are a fan of Stephenson or Tom Robbins you will be rewarded by the time the novel ends.
Top reviews from other countries
It's very long and draws a lot of spurious analogies between biological and computer viruses that don't really fly, mixed in with clumsy pages of information about Sumeria or somewhere which turns out later to be relevant, but only as flimsy justification for a fairly boring plot device.
There's some good action, but it sure does go on a bit. The whole novel does. It should have been 100 pages shorter at least, and not as accomplished as people seem to make out - I'm really not sure why this didn't sink into the slush of post-Neuromancer 90s sci-fi and disappear forever. Its vision of virtual reality isn't just poor in retrospect, it's poor even for its time, unimaginative and filled with convenient rules that serve the plot but not the world-building.
Bizarrely, regular coders employed by corporations to do their jobs are referred to as 'hackers'. That's not what a hacker is, Neal.
Points for: Strong female lead, even if there's constant partial-nudity and sex references; fantastic opening chapter or two; consistent writing and plenty of action, if that's what floats your boat; diversity.
I can't say I recommend it, unless you mainly read sci-fi, in which case it's definitely not the worst of 90s sci-fi.
Author of 'The Gun of Our Maker'
It is probably responsible for putting the term avatar into common usage.
As with Neuromancer there are only a couple of elements (references to cathode ray tubes) to signal that it was written some time ago, otherwise it still seems as prescient now as when it was written.
This is epic story telling in the old fashioned style, in the manner of Dickens and Trollope it has big story and it is in no hurry about telling it. Although the story certainly does not drag, it may require some determination to stick with it till conclusion, but it is worth the effort.
[There is quite a lot of stuff in the middle of the book about language and programming, those with an interest might want to read some Wittgenstein and research the Sapir Worf hypothesis, neither of which were mentioned, as I recall, but are potentially of interest.]
There are is still plenty here to enjoy, and many of Stephenson's obsessions are readily apparent - but ultimately, though this may have been groundbreaking at the time, I feel that some of Stephenson's later books ('Cryptonomicon' and 'The Baroque Trilogy') are simply better written.