Snow Crash

Snow Crash

eBook - 2003
Average Rating:
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A part-time hacker, information-scrounge, and delivery boy for Uncle Enzo's Cosa Nostra Pizzerias, and full-time Metaverse (virtual reality) samurai named Hiro Protagonist (one of the best names since Billy Pilgrim!), is slowly drawn into a mystery involving a virus program called Snow Crash, which is claiming not only the computers but the minds of hackers the world over, including Hiro's best friend. Who is behind all this, and what it has to do with Sumerian mythology and the hard-wiring of the human language centers is what Hiro must find out, while at the same time he attempts to prevent the further spread of the Snow Crash virus. Along the way he falls in with a skateboard punk named Y.T., who is more instrumental to the story than might first be suggested, and who is the novel's most intriguing character, if only because her investigations are almost more revealing than Hiro's are -- in fact, Hiro comes off as a bit of a cypher compared to her.
Publisher: New York : Bantam Books, 2003
ISBN: 9780553898194
0553898191
Call Number: eBook

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s
sat7
Sep 13, 2016

Intricate, imaginative, and very articulate. I like this author very much. It's not what you think. Keep reading -

b
Bewondered
Jun 21, 2016

Diamond Age is my favorite by Stephenson, but Snow Crash is a close second.

s
StarGladiator
May 09, 2016

I cannot understand -- when there are good books with hackers as the major character -- why anyone could find this interesting?

Good books:

Burning Chrome -- William Gibson

Brain Jack -- Brian Falkner

Romily Bernard's books

Burning Blue -- Paul Griffin

Daemon -- Daniel Suarez
Freedom -- Daniel Suarez
Influx -- Daniel Suarez

Michelle Gagnon's books

b
Bill_SDPL
Jan 26, 2016

My first Stephenson book! I really enjoyed it, and I'm anxious to dig into his other novels. It's pretty incredible to consider when this book was published (early 1990s), because many of his fictional predictions have become eerily true.

I do feel the book lost me a little near the end, almost as if Stephenson spent most of his effort building a fascinating world and interesting characters, then wasn't quite sure how to bring it all together into a resolution. Not to suggest it ended terribly--far from it! But it just felt like Stephenson hit some type of word limit and began to wind down.

Overall: extremely engaging and satisfying. I feel like I need to read it a couple more times to make full sense of everything. It's dense in the best possible way. Highly recommended.

Also, the book made me hungry for pizza. Maybe I should call the local Uncle Enzo's franchise and order myself a pepperoni pie...

s
STELMASZEK
Dec 10, 2015

This is a stark view our humankind's not so distant future. The world has been broken apart and separated into albeit smaller, more powerful forces. The United States of America's government has been reduce to several small fenced-in miles, hosting boring gray-stone official looking buildings that do an incredible amount of nothing to help govern their remaining citizen. Yet those still employed by the USA are subjected to the most rigorous, stress filled exams almost weekly, to obviously ensure that they are not giving away secrets. The only way to unwind and not succumb to complete and total insanity is to spend your every waking moment in a virtual reality known as, "The Meta Verse."

With the downfall of any real organized government, naturally the Mafia is at an all time high in ownership, however crime is no longer their number 1 import/export, ironically enough, delivering pizza in less than 30 is Uncle Enzo's top priority, and at a 99.99% customer satisfaction rating he aims to keep it that way.

Insert main character Hiro Protagonist, appropriately named. Hiro deliver's for Uncle Enzo but after having a rather strange run-in with a local courier his life and entire understanding changes drastically. After losing his Mafia pizza delivery job Hiro spends quite a bit of time surfing around the Meta Verse. Here anything goes. You can purchase actual real-estate, build houses, customize your avatar to your sad little hearts content, and as some of the most proactive hackers have recently discovered do drugs. Insert Snow Crash. This however is not a drug, it's a virus and it's slowly taking over the entire world. Below are some of my favorite quotes:

"Now I have a different perspective on it. America must look, to those poor little buggers down there, about the same as Crete looked to those poor Greek suckers. Except that there's no coercion involved. Those people down there gve up their children willingly. Send them into the labyrinth by the millions to be eaten up. The industry feeds on them and spits them back images, sends out wealth and exotics things beyond their wildest dreams, back to the people, and it gives them something to dream about, something to aspire to. And that is the function of the Raft. It's just a big old krill carrier." [Chapter 14, Page 119]

"The people of America, who live in the world's most surprising and terrible country, take comfort in that motto. Follow the loglo outward, to where the growth is enfolded into the valleys and canyons, and you find the and of the refugees" [Chapter 24, Page 191]

Hiro, along with several colorful characters, including the Courier that cost him his job, Y.T. [presumably meaning Yours Truly] set out on an insane rumpus to discover those behind Snow Crash and try to put an end to it before the world is destroyed.

TutorialSmith Sep 02, 2015

Of all the long Stephenson books this is probably the fastest read. The pace is great, though as some reviewers have pointed out it does include a lot of monologues on ancient Sumeria and such. The book also includes a description of Google Earth, before Google existed, and the gargoyles described within are beginning to show themselves during protests and other major events since the invent of livestreaming.

l
LaPhenixa
Nov 22, 2013

A very stylized piece, the first few chapters read as though they were written by the characters themselves, though in third person. The writing style seems to be intentionally jarring, making for an interesting read. This is not my genre of choice, but I don't regret reading it. I have to say though, the author's note was my favorite part.

GeoffAbel Aug 24, 2013

Firstly, Neal Stephenson is The Man. This, being one of his early books, is not nearly as polished and pro as Crypto, Silver, Ana....but it is damn fine and an absolute gas. It's not for everyone and his method for expounding the Sumerian info is a bit ham-handed. But give it a shot!

s
StarGladiator
Jun 29, 2013

There is mediocre, and then there is submediocre, and Stephenson has always defined the latter category of "submediocrity"! He once wrote an excellent article on world wide cabling/communications (where he appeared to profile Cable & Wireless, but even then gave a skimpy portrayal of them). SF just isn't his bag!

v
vwruleschick
Apr 15, 2013

Not my typical read, but had some good bones in story/idea, however syntax and writing just rubbed me the wrong way and could never really get into the story or the characters. Futuristic dystopian America with technology conundrums that face reality and the Metaverse to save itself.

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