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Snow Crash

4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  185,525 Ratings  ·  7,006 Reviews
In 1992, "Snow Crash" arrived on the science fiction scene like a thunderclap. The Washington Post called it "a Thomas Pynchon novel with the brakes removed". William Gibson proclaimed it "fast-forward free-style mall mythology for the 21st century". Neal Stephenson wove virtual reality, Sumerian myth, and just about everything in between with a cool, hip cyber-sensibility ...more
Library Binding, 468 pages
Published May 2nd 2000 by Turtleback Books (first published June 1992)
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Heidi Draffin I am listening to Snow Crash now as an audiobook and absolutely love it. Johnathan Davis has quickly become one of my favorite narrators.
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Community Reviews

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Feb 16, 2012 Nataliya rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-reads
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 dish (as my horrible cook self
Oct 31, 2007 korty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 16, 2013 Lyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Wow, wow, wow.

I had thought that William Gibson’s Neuromancer was the alpha male of the cyberpunk genre; the template upon which all others would be drawn. Turns out, Gibson was the prophet, but Stephenson was the barbarian, breaking ground with a riveting, relentless new age thriller.

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson is a wild trip.

A fun conglomerate of Hunter S. Thompson, Philip K. Dick, Anthony Burgess and John Brunner, written 8 years after Neuromancer and 19 years before Ready Player On
Jun 14, 2013 Evgeny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
The review is updated on 28.02.2017

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 Matrix
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 r
Kevin Kelsey
This is a perfect example of a book trying so hard to be cool that it's distracting from the parts that actually are very cool. It also does that thing where a very capable character suddenly makes stupid decisions, because the story requires it.

It had great world building, great concepts, and great satire, but story wise the last 20% completely falls apart. I was very disappointed by the ending.

Also, I had a hard time with the active voice used throughout this book. Reading it felt like a frie
Jan 07, 2009 Meg rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Feb 07, 2011 Simeon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
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
Aug 06, 2009 Nottyboy rated it did not like it  ·  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
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
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
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
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
Mar 23, 2017 Markus rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction, 2017
Neal Stephenson is a fascinating author. A master of the craft of writing, he is also a completely inept storyteller.

In a world where anarchism and capitalism have seemingly joined forces to dispose of concepts like government and law, Snow Crash tells the tale of the unbelievably stupidly named Hiro Protagonist and his adventures in and out of the virtual reality known as the Metaverse. It is a cyberpunk novel involving everything from computer hacking to linguistics to Sumerian mythology. Like
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
Jun 10, 2009 Kemper rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, 100, cyber
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
J.G. Keely
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
I can only see this book as a score of missed opportunities.
I loved the first few chapters - the quick dive into an absurd dystopian world where delivering pizzas becomes a matter of life and death is particularly brilliant. The book is let down by its poor plot - on a par with a bad James Bond movie - two questionable scenes (in my mind), and a particularly unbelievable resolution of the 'snow crash' mystery. Basically, it all came apart in the second part of the book which also sports a rushed
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
Jan 21, 2013 Szplug rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 27, 2007 Rob rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
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! O
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
Jun 06, 2008 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  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
Megan Baxter
Aug 14, 2013 Megan Baxter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thankfully, I can report that I quite enjoyed this one, and had none of the bumpy ride that Cryptonomicon gave me. The casual misogyny was nowhere in sight, thank goodness. Also, at only 400 pages, this was a much tighter story, and better because of that. Stephenson's still packing in a million ideas a minute, but that's okay, I can deal with that. In fact, I quite enjoy that.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read w
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 c
Julia Gay
Aug 31, 2007 Julia Gay rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi, neveragain
This book is awful. Never ever read it. It's mastubatory shit written by a self-absorbed pseudo academic with a lolita syndrome or ephebophilia. I can't really decide which. Read Neuromancer instead.
Jul 05, 2011 Catie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
I tried. I really, really did. Everyone kept telling me I'd love it, that is was so seminal to recent sci-fi that I just had to read it if I was to truly appreciate the genre… And then I did and I was like… "Meh!" To be fair, a lot of elements of "Snow Crash" are flipping cool. I for one, look forward to the day and age where pizza-delivery mafias will replace the governement; can't be worse than what's going on now. The origins of language and how language shapes the human mind is such a fascin ...more
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Neal Stephenson is the author of Reamde, Anathem, and the three-volume historical epic the Baroque Cycle (Quicksilver, The Confusion, and The System of the World), as well as Cryptonomicon, The Diamond Age, Snow Crash, and Zodiac. He lives in Seattle, Washington.
More about Neal Stephenson...

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