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3.64  ·  Rating details ·  471 ratings  ·  31 reviews
When Jack Burroughs, a brilliant young computer programmer, is given his pink slip, he is offered the opportunity to use his skills for a little industrial espionage. Donning the guise of his online alter ego, Max Kool, Burroughs transforms himself into one of the hippest cybernetic surfers on the InfoBahn. "Bethke has taken the computer industry and thrown it in a blender ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published October 31st 1997 by Grand Central Publishing (first published September 1995)
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Average rating 3.64  · 
Rating details
 ·  471 ratings  ·  31 reviews

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Nick Black
Devoid of any real lasting quality, but it did lend me the phrase "I BRAKE FOR HALLUCINATIONS"; with much joy and immediacy, this was keyed into the Media Play sign-making machine and turned into a bumper sticker for my 1980 Toyota Corolla Hatchback of Doom.
Thomas Head
Mar 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An irrelevant take on the Cyber Punk novel. It'll be dated now (Gore never made President), but still a lot of fun. There is an experimental VR rig that can turn anyone into a super user, opening the entire net to their every whim, and everyone wants it.
William Thomas
Apr 18, 2010 rated it did not like it
so... i'm not even sure where to begin. good sci-fi is timeless. it utilizes universal truths, morality plays, ethics and political science to prove its points and point out the follys of current situations. what it does not do is lampoon itself as a genre. it does not attempt to create a MAD magazine skit out of something fleeting. this- this- this thing... was an abortion. i have no idea how this won the philip k dick award. i don't understand the criteria for the award, so far, honestly. this ...more
Tom Britz
Oct 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Headcrash is an early piece of cyberpunk. I tried to read Neuromancer by William Gibson, back in '96 or so and got absolutely nothing out of it. I had not as yet tried a computer. I must have gotten a bit more savvy. I found this book to be hilarious at times, but there was a lot of sophomoric humor. If you are looking for something light and funny to read, give it a try.
Jul 12, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some fun ideas and interesting to read from an historical perspective, especially with the growth of global multinationals and the power they wield.
Dec 24, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Twenty year old cyberpunk satire is a bit dated but still a good deal of fun.
Feb 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: scifi, 2018
This book was ridiculous but fun. It is corny, farcical and without great merit. This is the kind of book you read when you want something light that you can finish in a day or two without expending a great deal of mental energy. The three star rating may be a tad generous, but I did smile at a couple parts and appreciated the repetitive humor. The Who? No, not them.... I don't regret reading it though it certainly isn't at the top of the list of books I would recommend.
Nov 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science_fiction
Nice, funny book that make fun of all those way to serious Sci-Fi (and for this reason, quite often very boring, repetitive and obnoxious) cyberpunk classic. You have to read it only if you can have a good laugh at yourself.
Jan 12, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: scifi, do-not-replace
I'm an IT guy. It didn't age well.
I have an Orbit Books paperback published November 1995 with this cover and ISBN: 9781857233520
J.N. Cameron
Aug 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant! I enjoyed every page!
Peter Clay
The parody cyberpunk novel we didn't need. Bro humour.
Mar 21, 2017 rated it did not like it
absolute garbage. written by a man-child. hated hated hated every page of it.
Scott Holstad
Jul 19, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi
I'm so pissed off I read this book. It took a real stretch of imagination to buy into the virtual reality world the author creates, but then you reach the ending and it's so insanely stupid, you wonder what the hell you just did and why. I'm never going to get those hours of my life back!

Jack Burroughs is a sysadmin for a large multinational corporation who loses his day job because of a vindictive new boss. However, in his off hours -- which he now has a lot of -- he resides in cyberspace, in a
Книгу мне выпало читать в ежегодном флэшмобе, и мозги мои закипели через три секунды после того, как я увидела название, обложку и год издания. Ну вот, подумала я, какое-то киберпанковское старье.

Офигительное киберпанковское старье! Брюс Бетке написал классику киберпанка и одновременно очень хорошую пародию, респект чуваку. Читалось очень медленно, необходимы были передышки, ибо так много и знатно хохотать нельзя. Грубоватым, но беспроигрышным юмором Бетке очень напомнил де Ченси с его Замком Оп
Aug 29, 2012 rated it liked it
When this book came out in 1995, there was still an audience for books that talked about the Internet (or, god forbid, "the 'Net") as some hip, daring, countercultural construct populated mostly by "hackers" and other assorted outlaw types. (Back in the day, I ate that shit up.) So a lot of it seemed quaint thirteen-odd years later; the painfully dated tech buzzwords gave off a whiff of Dr. Evil in "Austin Powers" asking for a ransom of "ONE MILLION DOLLARS!" But past the outdated jargon, there ...more
My, how things change, and how they stay the same.

Headcrash brings us the story of one Jack Burroughs, a sysadmin for a multinational conglomerate, who keeps his day job only because it finances his excursions into cyberspace, where in virtual reality he is cool dude MAX_KOOL instead of a nerd. Unfortunately, due to internal politics and the innate inability to keep his mouth shut at inopportune moments, Jack loses said day job. Thus unemployed, he plunges head first -- or butt first, as the cas
May 28, 2011 rated it it was ok
Over-the-top cyberpunk-ish humorous action novel. In the distant future (the year 2005 -- which was only 10 years out from when the book was written), an IT nerd gets laid off from his boring day job, but gets an huge contract to steal some files in virtual reality. Hijinks ensue.

Is this book satirizing cyberpunk, or reveling in it? Maybe a little of both. "Ha ha, isn't that silly -- and sort of awesome, too?" The story doesn't make a lot of sense, the adventure is wacky and outlandish, and the
Fabio Tassi
Esilarante parodia archeo-Cyberpunk,
terribilmente datato (specie nella parte technologico-informatica).
Traduzione difficoltosa - l'edizione originale e' fuori catalogo da anni.
Solo per nerd appassionati di epoche storiche IT ormai tramontate (quando andavano di moda la Realtà Virtuale e le Autostrade Informatiche)...
Feb 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
For the most part I had no clue where this book was going. I thought it was going to be a Geek office comedy but that ended at around page 100. It was a 90's vr data heist. I enjoyed the book. It had that 90's vr is going to change the world vibe. Now that vr is coming back in a big way this book is worth a read.
Feb 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The only reasons it gets 4 stars is because some of the beautiful humour is lost during the Romanian translation (although the translator was surely doing his best). An very entertaining cyberpunk quest. Perfect for a lazy weekend.
Tim Brown
Oct 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A lot of people are giving this bad reviews but I think this was a funny, light read.
Aug 07, 2012 marked it as to-read
Billed as spook cyperbunk -- which is how I was first drawn into Snow Crash and I loved Snow Crash. Random recomendation overheard on the train. Those are bound to be interesting, right?
Greg Frederick
Apr 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book is hilarious! It was kind of like Dilbert meets cyberpunk. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who works in the tech industry, and would enjoy reading it again someday.
Jun 22, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: indefensible, burn-it
utter shite
Nov 30, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: sf fans
P.K. Dick Award Novel. Fast-paced, entertaining, and funny send-up of cyberpunk set in a believable VR environment.
Oct 24, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Yes, it's very "of its time" but its also a fun read for old school nerds. Wish there was a sequel.
Catherine Schaff-Stump
Features of interest, but it tries a bit too hard. Unfortunately, it's also dated by the pop culture references it chooses.
August Bourré
Aug 30, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
So awful. Cyberpunk was certainly ripe for satire in '95, but this was not the way to do it. I'm wondering if Bethke had ever actually met a woman before he'd written this.
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