I love the fact that the reviews of "Snow Crash" are so mixed -- if someone doesn't give it a 4 or 5, they give it a 1 (and probably only because they can't give it a zero). It's probably very much a function of your personality: if you're the right type, it'll grab you and you'll love it. Otherwise, it'll seem stupid, boring, and pointless. I'm in the former group: I love it!
Either way, you won't have anything to complain about in the narration, in my opinion. Jonathan Davis does an excellent job.
No one writing today has more ideas about the history of technology or more passion for popular culture, or more willingness to spin heady theories about all of the above in densely plotted and populated novels than Neal Stephenson. Sometimes these ideas are exhilarating. Sometimes they're just dumb. But even when Stephenson resembles your crank engineer uncle on meth, he manages to do so with humor and elan. "Snow Crash" is an all-prose comic book, a novel that manages to be simultaneously apocalyptic and slight.
I found that the techno jargon/slang was initially fairly shallow and repetitive. The story could have done with a much shorter setup of the characters and period, with a bit less attempt at a clever approach. This almost felt like word filling to make a minimum.
However, once the story got going, it developed into a very engaging and well through out tale. The characters and interactions kept me listening until the very end, where I found it to be nicely all wrapped up.
Compulsive reader, compulsive listener.
Snow Crash is probably one of the best all-time science fiction books ever written. Genre-savvy enough to poke fun at itself, but packed with erudition as well. (Well, what do you expect from Neal Stephenson). The characters are interesting and engaging, and the plot appropriately-paced. As a computer professional and a language wonk, myself, it's one I always come back to.
Johnathan Davis' performance is surprisingly good. He manages to make each character's voice memorable, and has a decent facility with a range of accents.
This is great SF -- intelligent, interesting, well told, very well written, involving, and in this case hillarious. The audio book also has excellent narration. Of all books I've listened to from Audible, this is my top pick.
I'd give this one a 5 except for two things: 1) The babel-chant that is used to bridge each transition and chapter (gets EXTREMELY annoying by the end of the book). 2) The story isn't quite up to the standards of Sci-Fi I'm used to, though I think my familiarity with virtually every topic covered in the plot exacerbates this somewhat (hard to suspend disbelief when you know too much to the contrary) - "Speculative Fiction" really is a better classification for this story, or even "Science Fantasy" (as in, it would be cool if things worked that way).
Some other things that might detract from your enjoyment of this book include: Long monologues/dialogs in which vast amounts of plot-info is simply presented to you (this may comprise as much as 25% of the novel, but any other delivery method would have resulted in the book being twice as long). There is also cursing, sexual references, theological references (just about every major religion), drug use, etc.
On the positive side, this book can be extremely funny (listen to the free preview - best pizza delivery ever, though not terribly relevant to the plot). The characters are great and the narrator does an excellent job. The story itself is entertaining and the world is fairly original. You'll get a decent intro into ancient history and mythology that I guarantee will be more interesting than any class on the subject (though obviously fictionalized to advance the plot). I think this book is unique in that I've never read a book set in the future that's plot was so dependent on the distant past (that didn't involve time-travel to said past).
I acquired this book upon recommendation by a friend who views it as a sci-fi classic, and she is right...this will be one of those books that people will be reading and talking about decades from now. It is extremely well written, Stephenson paints mental images like a master with his language. It has a complex but very engaging story which challenges the readers views of not only the future, but of present and the past. Since the story is dependent upon historical "facts" from thousands of years ago, it is at once educational in teaching some history while also revealing a possibility of a future that is plausible (like good sci-fi should). That future is somewhat dark and Orwellian, but also anarchical...and powered by advanced computer technology. I read somewhere that the Matrix screenplay was in part inspired by Snow Crash, and altho the stories are very different one can understand how this might be possible. This is the best book I've listened to in well over a year, and certainly the best from audible.com so far for me.
neal stephenson was ot known to me until recently (well a few month back) and I stumbled upon his name in a few podcasts and was very appealed by what the hosts said. I am a huge cyberpunk fan having played the cyberpunk pen and paper rpg and especially shadowrun, so I started with his novel "snow crash" which was recommended at many places. and I haven't been disappointed. what a wonderful read. it sucks you in and won't let you go till the last page. a brilliant and sharp story, packed with interesting and within the story unique characters. if you are into scifi and cyberpunk it is a must read.
This one caught me by surprise. Because of the description on the back cover, and later of course the description in the Audible Listing, I honestly did not think I would like it. In fact that is why I avoided buying it in the bookstore, and then for the longest time here on Audible, until one day I heard a review on 2GB (an Aussie Radio Station) that favorably compaired the book to the Gibson Novels, and I thought to myself - give her a go!
You'll not be sorry you listened to this - and I might add that the babble inlays that seperate the chapters add to the intensity of the book once you fully appreciate what they represent. While I sincerely hope that the world never grows to be what this book presents, it still makes pretty good fiction, and what my dad would call a fair dinkum stunner!
As I listened I constantly found myself stunned by the fact that the predictions I made for the plot direction were not accurate. It's like diffi-q, in that there is more than one right answer - but either way, here is another title you'll be glad you had the opportunity to hear. Way to go Audible!
What an amazing book. From start to finish it is gripping and won't allow you to switch to another book. There are some odd ideas, but it is scifi. Like Star Wars this story is at least predicting if not forming the way some technologies will influence our lives.
I've listened to it twice and read it once, well worth your credits or the amount you have to pay. A great listen!!! A great Story.