Shane Preece's Reviews > Snow Crash

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
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really liked it

Snow Crash takes me back into a world I deeply regret that I’ve been born too early for. A combo of worlds actually.

The first is a hyper-capitalistic future America where land has been sold off to private companies to be run as micro-states. The book takes us on a tour around the country showing us a terrifying vision of what this extreme would bring us. We get to see how an ever-shrinking government would be run, as well as how convenience stores and mall cops would up their game in a world where nations can be as small as a single drive-in.

The second world is the Metaverse, Stephenson’s take on virtual reality. Every moment the book takes us into this simulated existence I find myself yearning to be a part of it. The author clearly has had a lot of fun thinking about how this world would be put together, and that joy really comes through in the exposition. He often goes into the nitty-gritty of the world, which I adore.

My biggest problem comes down to my impatience – which I’ve had with many other books, so maybe it’s an issue you’ll be able to simply overlook. However, it took a very long time for the plot to become clear. It wasn’t until around halfway through the book before I discovered who the antagonist was, and why I should care about the main characters.

The first half of the book was wonderful world building. It felt like a series of short stories which coloured the world fantastically, but felt aimless. Of course, the author doesn’t want to immediately show their hand, and slowly revealing the story is valid tool, but at some points the storyline felt eked out too slowly.

Despite that, my favourite chapter of the book was one of these short stories. We follow YT’s mum to work for the day and get to see how the government works from the inside. It lends very little to the story, however. It hints at some complexity with the relationship of YT and her mum, but that’s brushed away later in a single line near the end of the book.

If futuristic world building – incredibly well thought out too – is what you’re after, then you’ll love this book. It’s a massive spark of imagination. If you’re after a concise story to blast through, then maybe just checkout the Wikipedia synopsis.

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
January 1, 2017 – Shelved
January 1, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
January 1, 2017 – Finished Reading

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