Chris (The Genre Fiend)'s Reviews > Snow Crash

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
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really liked it

If it weren't for the info-dump spanning most of the second act, this'd easily nail five stars. Neal Stephenson is an exceptional writer, the characters and setting are well-realised, and the book irreverently flicks the ears of a number of stupid real world concepts (Scientology chief among them). The opening hundred pages, introducing Hiro, Y.T. and the world of the near-future was some of best cyberpunk material I've ever read.

Conversely, I more than understand why there are those put off by the Sumerian element. Hiro's prolonged chat with the Librarian throughout the second act - on Enki, nam-shubs and metaviruses - was interesting from an academic perspective, but presented in a muddy narrative fashion. If you need to take that long to establish what (eventually) ends up being the story's core conceit, I feel you need to find a smoother way to introduce it to your audience. I consider myself a fairly intelligent guy, but I was mostly left adrift throughout that section.

That is, until *another* info-dump shortly afterwards puts everything into focus. While it definitely makes the third act far more enjoyable, I think something's not quite right if you need a second info-dump to balance the narrative deficiencies of the first.

But in the end, Snow Crash is fantastic. Despite the rather abrupt ending, it was a memorable journey into postcyberpunk. I'm keen to see more of what Stephenson can do.
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Reading Progress

August 13, 2014 – Shelved
August 13, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
August 24, 2016 – Started Reading
August 24, 2016 –
page 56
12.73%
August 27, 2016 –
page 129
29.32%
August 28, 2016 –
page 171
38.86%
September 1, 2016 –
page 240
54.55%
September 4, 2016 –
page 319
72.5%
September 6, 2016 – Finished Reading

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