I would not read any thing by Neal Stephenson again but this is not my genre.
The narrator may be the reason I could not stomach it the voice he gives to the characters is pompous and annoying to me but then again I can't see how a pizza man can be this important.
I would not recommend this book to anyone unless they were a Science Fiction fan or a 12 year old boy. I was forced to "read" this for class and therefore I'm incredibly biased. Over all there is a lot of action built up with what I consider over confidence in annoying characters. If thats your cup of tea, I'm sure you will love this classic of Science Fiction if not stay clear.
The performance was very good, but the religion history was hard to follow. Found myself just waiting for it be over to get back to the action. Hard to pay attention.
I was really enjoying this book until it got bogged down in Sumerian and Babylonian religious history.
I'd give it 5 stars all the way. Since I'm late to the party, I'll say it's still a damn good story. As with all of his stuff, it's more steampunk that scifi. But I like it that way.
I am a 27 year old nurse pursuing a nurse practitioner degree. My favorite book genres are: fantasy, science fiction, medicine and sociology
As I listened to this, I had to Google when this book was published, and when I saw it was 1992, I developed a new level of appreciation for the cyberpunk setting of the world this takes place in.
There's things in this novel that are pretty parallel to things in our world - the multiverse seemed like the Internet, or more specifically like MMORPG games, "demons" seemed like NPC characters from MMORPG games, and the viral information plot line reminded me of memes, which are also called viral and which spread online like crazy.
I found the story to be interesting, though it does require a suspension of disbelief that is a bit steep once the story goes into it's religious-history, viral-thinking, Babel-speaking plot arc. I am a nurse and it was hard at times to suspend how I actually understand the human brain to work, or my understanding of history, but it is a fictional tale though it uses real world places and historical events to tie the plot together. I think the suspension of disbelief is easier sometimes when the plot just explains things as magical, versus how Snow Crash tried to explain medically and technologically the viral information phenomenon, as I understand medicine and technology, and they are things that are rational and part of reality, while magic obviously is supernatural and far from my understanding. It was an interesting story nevertheless and I enjoyed it.
The world of Snow Crash is jaded and dystopian, and at times it is funny but other times, it feels uncomfortable. The jaded, indifferent, grew-up-way-too-quick Y.T. is often equal parts uncomfortable as she is funny, for example. I am 25, so I was 15 (like Y.T.) ten years ago, and I can't imagine half the jadedness, promiscuity, indifference to violence and thrill seeking, plus she speaks like a world weary sailor. Nevertheless, the entire world the story takes place in is pretty warped. Equally uncomfortable is Y.T.'s mom's workplace, which is like a prison, with every tiny aspect of the worker's lives and performance micromanaged, including memos on toilet paper use, and then timed observation even of how long it takes employees to read the memos, with consequences regardless whether too quickly or too slowly. And of course, even the name of Hero Protagonist is a jape, obviously.
Still, this is an interesting and fast listen and I would recommend it to sci fi fans.
This was one of the better books I've listened to. Enjoyed it.
Classic irreverent Stephanson. He has a good grasp on technology and integrates realistically and believably into engrossing plot.
Good reading voice paced well. Proper dramatic effects.
Say something about yourself!
I'm not the most picky about the audio quality but Snow Crash has a few issues:
* There's a bit of glitches, the audio cuts to distortion. I tried redownloading and it occurred in the same spots. Only happened four or five times, and only for a second.
* The audio quality sounds lower bit rate than the usual audio books on Audible.
* There's an omni-present hiss, its pretty low but pronounced if listening over the iPhone speaker.
*At the end of one chapter, there's a clear bizarre edit that lasts about 30 seconds. It sounds as if another reader reads the section of the book. Its disorienting and strange.
And lastly, purely atheistic but each chapter has a goofy soundfont, it varies slightly but the faux gibbering often jarring, and worse, completely cheesy. I'm glad newer audiobooks have stayed away from this trend.
The book itself holds up fairly well, written over two decades ago, the who metaverse pre-conception the internet really holds up surprisingly well. The premise of the main story is a hokey at times, but I've heard some call this book parodying the world of Cyber-Punk. Perhaps so, the future is portrayed in classic cyber punk terms except the volume has been cranked to 11. Corporations don't just control the world, they've become nations themselves. Violence isn't just rampant, its the way of life. Hackers aren't simply the technocracy, they're the center of society. Inflation didn't just get out of control, trillion dollar bills are normal. There's a heavy dose of post-modernistic relativity that makes the chaos bitingly sarcastic while at the same time trying to covey a serious story. Its a disconnect that asks the reader to carry a bit the cognitive dissonance, likely purposely.
The book at first seems a bit chaotic, and attention-deficit but as you get the groove, it flows better.
As you listen, you'll probably find yourself thinking at times... "Is that where..." insert pop culture movie/tv show "Got there idea from?". Rightly so. Worth a listen. Johnathan Davis does a good enough job to carry the story, technical glitches and a few bad production calls aside. Certainly not for everyone, this book is something special and enjoyable.
Teacher & Librarian
This book has action, adventure, an intriguing sci-fi concept, and humor. A great performance keeps it moving forward at a quick pace. Essential reading for those interested in the cyberpunk genre, a great counterpoint to William Gibson's "Neuromancer."
No. Snow Crash is a book that works much better "read" novel than "listened." Stephenson is VERY discursive; whole chapters are really nothing but lectures - often very interesting when read but very tedious and, really, rather pretentious when listened to. Much of the humor evaporated in the audio version, which I think is primarily the fault of Jonathan Davis whose performance is terrible precious and mannered. Some books reveal more of them selves when read well - I've just listened to Gibson's "Zero History" and appreciated Gibson's ability to sum up salient points in a sharp sentence as opposed to Stephenson's taking chapters to do the same thing. (I've read most of Stephenson - though got very tired of the Baroque Cycle - and all of Gibson).
well i'm quite curious about how both The Diamond Age and Cryptonomicron fare as audio books. I very much enjoyed both and each has a reader other than Davis.
Neal Stephenson has creating a unique and fascinating future, and the book is worth the time just for that experience. I was just a little disappointed with the construct of the story, however. It's "realistic" enough to make the story work, but in the end it took just one step too far for me to maintain my suspension of disbelief.
But despite that I have to say I don't often come across a story this creative, with this much obvious time and effort put into building the world and the society, and an extremely complex plot. So I have to give the author huge props for the effort, and for the result.
I know it's a lot easier to criticize than to create, and just because I wasn't personally bowled-over doesn't mean other readers won't be. I don't regret getting this, and if you're a sci-fi fan there is definitely something unique and special here, and it's worth a listen.
Thought-provoking, creative, fun
A good mix of mystery and SF.
A wild ride in a small boat fighting pernicious enemy.