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Snow Crash

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  140,299 ratings  ·  5,198 reviews
Limited to 500 numbered copies signed by the author.
Hardcover, 500 pages
Published April 28th 2008 by Subterranean Press (first published June 1992)
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Cyberpunk’s next generation pretty much began here. Written by someone who -unlike William Gibson- actually knows computers, this anime in novel form is one of those rare SF books that is read by many non-SF readers.

On a personal note, this is probably the only book I’ll ever read whose main character is half black and half Japanese, just like me! When I first read it, I was working at a pizza place, just like the protagonist, and I actually got fired around the same time I got to the point of
Erich Franz Guzmann
me lu lu mu al nu um me en ki me en me lu lu mu me al nu um me al nu um me me mu lu e al nu um me dug ga mu me mu lu e al nu um me...
Feb 18, 2009 Meg rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: every human male (and the coolest of the females)
Recommended to Meg by: Erich Guzmann
I have a little SAT analogy to help you understand how awesome this book is: Snow Crash is to Books as The Matrix is to movies (with only the absolute BEST parts of Tron and Da Vinci Code thrown in). I'm not talking about all the commercialized Matrix-saga and the weird hype... I'm talking about the first time you sat in the movie theater and saw that chick in the Matrix spin around in suspended animation and kick the crap out of a bunch of cops and thought, "What the #@*%??? COOL!" That's prett ...more

Did you ever have a kid at school who tried to appear smart and as the font of all knowledge by catching on to the tail-ends of things while listening to adults, absorbing some of it, and then spouting forth in front of an assembly of kids, his (or her, --let's be fair here) own regurgitation of what he had heard in the adult quarter, which would often make most of the other kids hang on to his/her every word simply because they themselves didn't have a clue what he was talking about?

Well, with
Disliking this book seemed quite impossible. After all, it had all the necessary ingredients: the pervasive air of nerdy geekiness (or, perhaps, geeky nerdiness), an unexpected take on linguistics, a kick-ass female character, a parallel (virtual) reality, a hefty helping of (admittedly, overexaggerated) satire, and just enough wacky improbable worldbuilding to satisfy my book loving soul. Or so it seemed.

But awesome ingredients do not always add up to a satisfying dish¹ (as my horrible cook sel
Written in the present tense, which is awkward and unengaging, brimfuls of technological deus ex machina remove all tension from an already slow plot-line.

The characters are interesting, hence the two stars, but even they felt lacking and emotionally disengaged from their own story, which had the futile makings of something original.

The ending is atrocious, preceded by wastelands of chapter-length explanation, and a fairy-tale misinterpretation of Neurolinguistics that seems to have been writte
Jackie "the Librarian"
Here's what I think: This is not just a book about computers, although the shiny veneer of the Metaverse, and computer avatars, and Hiro Protagonist's (yes, that’s the name of the protagonist in the story) career as a hacker might make you think it is. But there’s a lot more going on here, beneath that flashy action-adventure SF stuff. This is a complicated, messy book, and not that easy to follow. But, it's fascinating and I WANTED to understand everything, so as soon as I got to the last page, ...more
Apr 03, 2013 Nottyboy rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: annoying nerds
Shelves: lame
Juvenile nerd power fantasy in a nutshell

I'm a big fanboy of the cyberpunk genre. I should have liked this book. Instead, I can honestly say that hate this book-- and I also feel bad saying that about someone's work, because it's almost like saying you hate someone's baby.

Maybe it was all the hype I was exposed to before reading it,but I just could not shake a deep feeling of annoyance throughout 90% of this book. I found myself rolling my eyes a lot. And when I wasn't doing that, I was asking
6.0 stars. On my list of All Time Favorite novels. While reading this book, I was constantly thinking to myself "WOW, what a great concept" and "HOW did Stephenson think that up?" Without giving away too much in the way of spoilers, I was particularly amazed at the way the author took computers, vitual reality and the metaverse and tied it into ancient religions, philosophy and the origin of language. I thought this aspect of the novel was absolutely mind-boggling. Add to that a great anti-hero, ...more
This book felt like a really good idea. One of those really good ideas that you know will make a good novel (or whatever it is you think about making), and you have all these other really good details so you add them to your good idea. And you come up with some more characters and they are really good and some awesome organizations and maybe have another good idea or two and you just keep adding them on, like paint in some Clement Greenberg adored jizz-fest of painting, layer upon layer and more ...more
mark monday
derisively laugh to me for opportunities of full and cringe-worthy and tedious equally be to found i which, Against A Dark Background beloved the disliked who jackass of kind the am i that mind in keep also should you, seriously review this take you before but. FAIL. hipness insouciant of display a with audience its dazzle to designed lie a - lie brazen some of middle the in worship i someone catching like was it, one this with was i disappointed how express can't words. nowhere go but brilliant ...more
The behemoth that more or less peaked cyberpunk while simultaneously taking the piss out of it in slaphappy fashion. Even William Gibson never afterwards quite wrote or treated these themes the same: witness Virtual Light and the remainder of the Bridge Trilogy, which tried to incorporate the humorous style that Stephenson IMO wielded to far better effect herein. Snow Crash just has so much going on—and all with the breathless pace and visual flair of the video games the author must surely have ...more
When I first read Snow Crash, I thought to myself: "This thing is paced like a comic." Funny then to later discover that the novel was written after a comic book attempt at the same story fell apart.

Snow Crash is the paradigmatic Stephenson novel. Grabs you quickly, thrusts you head long into world that's so preposterous that he can't possibly be making it up, and the drags you along kicking and screaming until you're left startled and somewhat confused at a precipitous ending.

But don't let that
Neal Stephenson's characters and I seem share quite a few interests (some of which are, admittedly, not for everybody). Though Snow Crash seems to be Stephenson's most popular book, I wouldn't give it the kind of universal recommendation status merited by the likes of Zodiac . However, I think it would appeal to a broader audience than say, Cryptonomicon , or Reamde (only in part due to the fact that those two each clock in at over 1,000 pages).

So, let's get that snow crashing! Ok, so
Hey Mr. Stephenson, Metaphors be with you! Sorry, couldn't help using the cliche!

OK, let me start by listing some of my favourite things from the book:
- Raven
- Technology and it's maniacal usage in the book
- Humour that would go well while drinking with buddies
- Uncle Enzo's Mafia philosophy
and last but not the least
- Technology and it's maniacal usage in the book

My favourite characters in a descending order:
Raven > Uncle Enzo > Ng > Librarian > Hiro > Y.T.

So here is a summary of
My Neal Stephenson reading has been all backwards. The first one I read was Cryptonomicon, then the Baroque Cycle and then Anathem. So going back to one of his earlier and 'simpler' novels seemed like it'd be a breeze after having to practically learn a fictional language to finish Anathem.

While Snow Crash may have some more familiar sci-fi tropes (hackers, skateboarders and virtual reality are now almost stereotypes although I'm sure it seemed fresh in '92 when this was written), it still has t
Mar 05, 2014 Amanda rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sci-fi fans/cyberpunk fans
Recommended to Amanda by: A colleague
Shelves: blog
Snow Crash is definitely unlike anything I've ever read. The novel is fast paced with moments of dialogue and original writing that made me laugh out loud (okay, perhaps just chuckle quietly in appreciation). I appreciate the book's originality and can only imagine how surreal it must have been to read when it was originally published in 1992 (by today's standards, the technology that plays an integral part throughout the book is eerily familiar, especially given the book's context).

While I was
Crazy, strange, exciting, visionary, action-packed, sexy. Reading this book is like watching the Matrix for the first time. Though it may lack pretense of more complex literature, it asks vague and interesting enough questions to match The Bard's sophistry.

Beyond that it is just a great read. It shows a vision of the future that seems eminently likely, but unlike 1984 or Brave New World, has not started to feel stilted. It also lack the long-winded philosophical diatribes and allegories that st
This is one of those rare books that will go down as one of my favorites, even though I can only give it four stars. Because I know that this book has flaws. I do. Some readers are going to absolutely hate this book. But not me, nosirreebob. I love the bright blue and orange Kourier coverall off of this thing.

To everyone who has read this book, and hated it – listen, I understand. Let me just let you in on a little secret though. I’ve compiled an absolutely logic proof justification for why you
This book has style and furious energy, like all Neal Stephenson, but it doesn't really make sense. Well... if you casually invent the Metaverse while telling a rattling good story, who cares about a logical hole or nine? And the incidental details are terrific. My favourite was the biker who is a nuclear power in his own right, but there were many others.

I happened to look at the Wikipedia article, and was immediately entranced by the plot summary. The anonymou
Neuromancer, the book most frequently shelved on Goodreads as 'cyberpunk', was my top read of 2013. Snow Crash , the book second most frequently shelved on Goodreads as 'cyberpunk', is currently my top read of 2014.
I think I might be a cyberpunk fan...

Snow Crash was just perfect. See exhibit A:
1. a person, typically a man, who is admired for their courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.

1. the leading character or one of the major cha
Jul 02, 2008 Sandi rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sandi by: Re-reading
I read “Snow Crash” when it first came out in paperback nearly 15 years ago. Then, I had a really hard time getting through it. But, I kept thinking about different concepts in it over and over again. I never forgot the bimbo boxes—slang for minivans driven by suburban housewives. Talk about a book telling the future!

Upon re-reading the book, I now understand why it was so difficult. First, there’s that tricky slang problem. Stephenson invented a lot of slang for the book and that made reading
Apr 13, 2009 Chloe rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chloe by: Samuel
A friend just gave me back my ages-old copy of this book, three years after I had forgotten that I had lent it to him. I am overjoyed to have this back in my possession. So much so that I feel compelled to immediately reread it. That is just how good this book is.

***Post reread***
The problem with reading Neal Stephenson is that you can not help coming to the realization that, no matter how hard you try, how dedicated to the craft you become, you will never write anything as fully formed, as intr
I usually give a very brief description of the plot in the beginning of my reviews. In this case I found it to be very difficult to do as it will have to be very vague or contain huge spoilers. Think of this book as a grandfather of The Matrix movie. The near future is a libertarian paradise: the government intervention is practically non-existent; the law enforcement agencies are private and competing with each other. Enter Hiro Protagonist (yes, this is his real name). In the beginning of the ...more
First published in 1992, Snow Crash is considered one of the seminal cyber-punk novels. I wasn’t even sure what that meant when I picked it up; I plucked it from the stacks at the used bookstore with the vague feeling this was one of those classics I’m supposed to have read. For once, the inside voice was right–this was a book I didn’t want to miss.

The opening scene of a mad-cap pizza delivery quickly draws the reader in. Hiro Protagonist (cringe), thirty year-old hacker, chronically unsuited fo
While this book is over twenty years old now, it still seems fresh to me. The outpouring of novel ideas, concepts, and zany action combine to make this story into a hysterical experience. I've read a number of Stephenson's later works, but this early one is the craziest, the most outlandish, action-packed, and fun.

The story is crazy on a number of levels. It pokes fun at our institutions, such as commercialism gone amok. Atop of a commercial jail, a sign reads:
Premium incarceration
This book is great, if you can bring yourself to ignore its central premise, which I won't spoil here.* And it's surprisingly easy to ignore, aside from a 20-or-so page infodump near the middle of the book, because there's so much other good stuff: a giant raft full of desperate refugees and religious fanatics; skateboards whose wheels have retractable spokes that make riding over obstacles and potholes easier (who hasn't wanted one of these?); TRON-style virtual motorcycle races; a Mafia boss n ...more
3½ out of 5 stars

This is one of those books you should read with a group. There's a lot to dissect and you'll wish you had people to discuss it with. I read it for a book club and was amazed at people's reactions to all the different things thrown into the story. My little group had many interesting discussions and one that got us kicked out of a cafe. Not because of anything we said, more because of how loud we got. So perhaps this book isn't the best for public spaces.

The story opens with a hi
Fast. Fun. If you've been disappointed by Dan Brown, check this one out. Although, I thought that the most engaging parts were the ones concerning ancient cultures and language viruses, so I may have a skewed rating system. But the rest of it was cool too, especially the phenomenal creativity when it came to constructing this world where countries have been reduced to turf wars and companies have risen to take the government's place. I especially enjoyed the dizzying amounts of multiculturalism, ...more
6.0 stars (One of my all time favorite novels). While reading this book, I was constantly thinking to myself "WOW, what a great concept" and "HOW did the author think that up." Without giving away too much in the way of a spoiler, I was amazed at the way the author took the work of computers, vitual reality and the metaverse and tied it into ancient religions and philosophy. The relationshipo conceived by the author on that point alone was mind-boggling. Add to that a great anti-hero, a superb v ...more
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World Crypto Network: YT 1 13 Aug 03, 2014 07:06AM  
World Crypto Network: Rat Things 1 7 Aug 02, 2014 06:00PM  
World Crypto Network: Hiro Protagonist 1 9 Aug 02, 2014 05:56PM  
What happen to the bomb? 10 127 Jul 23, 2014 09:13AM  
Book Addicts: Discussion Questions 7 6 Jul 01, 2014 04:25AM  
Book Addicts: What do you think? 16 9 Jun 30, 2014 09:29PM  
Hardware of the brain vs. Deep Learning 2 30 Jun 06, 2014 11:07AM  
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Neal Town Stephenson is an American writer known primarily for his science fiction works in the postcyberpunk genre with a penchant for explorations of society, mathematics, cryptography, 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 ...more
More about Neal Stephenson...
Cryptonomicon The Diamond Age: or, A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer Anathem Reamde Quicksilver (The Baroque Cycle, #1)

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