Whatever fun and interesting sci-fi creations are present are rendered utterly worthless by the underlying religious mumbo-jumbo PLOT devices. I loved the first hour, but the PLOT--that is the middle four-fifths of the story and the driving power of the story-- was BORING self-indulgent drivel created out of whole cloth in a free-association style that killed my enjoyment for some of the clever sci-fi devices.
This book is already a classic, helping to define the Cyberpunk genre that William Gibson created. Its a lot more action focused than his later works, making a more fun, lighter read; its clear that this is an earlier work when you compare it to dense tomes such as the Baroque cycle, it is much different stylistically though you can certainly see the connection. It has a depth of plot you don't often see, smartly tying together disparate themes into a story that hovers around a central theme of communication and information that by itself could be an interesting book, even if it weren't wrapped in a story about a war for the future of mankind.
Bottom line, this book rocks.
After a great opening, this degenerates into a slow and pointless ramble. The cocktail of biblical history, cyber-punk and action thriller should have been dynamite, but it tries too hard to be clever and instead it just fizzles out. The narration is mediocre at best. Might work for a long drive, but listening on a 30-minute commute I lost interest half-way through and never went back.
This book is incredible. It is incredibly well produced and read, but it is incredibly boring. I thought it would never end. It is a series of disjointed vignettes that are impossible to visualize as they streak across the pages, flashing through one comic strip character after another. The humor passed me by. Reality merges with the world of the computer avatars. If I were a virtual reality game player, a young skateboard aficionado, or a follower of contemporary fantasy fiction, maybe this would have some appeal. There is NO character development, there is no plot to speak of until the last few chapters, and the most appealing character (YT) is as flakey and impulsive as a 15 year old on meth. If you love flashy, weird, fantasy stuff, that goes on and on, get this book; you'll love it.
Snowcrash is worth while just for the first couple of chapters at the begining dealing with a pizza delivery. The rest of the book is very good, and interesting if a little implausible. Good reader, lots of fun and really interesting.
Biomedical entrepreneur. Lifelong Libertarian. Yoga enthusiast.
You gotta be a trained cyber geek to enjoy this, but if you are, you will.
This is the first audio book I?ve read that I think would?ve been better in print. I don?t fault the reader. The language was convoluted and ?stream of consciousness? in places, and I?d have preferred to have been able to read at my own pace and puzzle over some sections.
And, for me the book also got off to a slow start. I started reading it several times. Each time I?d listen for a maximum of a half hour (usually less), and then I was ready to go to sleep. Finally, a bit over an hour into the book I got hooked, and read the rest almost straight through. I enjoyed the look into the world of advertising. A friend of mine works in the field, and she talks about ?branding?, and somehow the intrinsic worth of the product gets lost in the shuffle. This attitude comes across in the book.
It also seemed to me that the author had done his homework about the Internet culture. He seemed to know about domain names and other stuff I find interesting. A non-geek might not be as thrilled about that part, but it wasn?t central to the plot.
My biggest disappointment was the ending. It seemed like the author had created a very imaginative plot, but then he didn?t know what to do with it. I had exactly the same reaction to ?Snow Crash?. The ending was anticlimactic, and I didn?t feel that the author tied up all the loose ends. However, I will read other stuff by this author as it becomes available.
I agree with the other reviewer about the ridiculous and uninformed assumptions the characters make about biblical texts. I would say the same for Stephenson's take on glossalalia too, but it's still a very cool and very funny book. If you like it at all, I recommend that you read Zodiac, also by Neal Stephenson. It's absolutely hilarious, yet very intelligent. A shame that it will probably never make it to audio
What happened at the end of this book? Up until the last 10 or 15 minutes there was lots of great story, but at the end it just died a sudden death! Still, it was entertaining and worth a listen, just expect to be left hanging at the end.