I liked that his dystopian future was less dire and dark than others. It almost seemed fun until you really thought about it. The quick ending was not my favorite.
Jonathan Davis did a nice job.
A fun book for scifi people or fans of The Matrix.
When I first started this book, I was bored, and not really interested in the ideas as presented. I'm glad I stuck with it, however, because the depth of this book turned out to be amazing. Excellent read.
Stephenson's writing is pedantic at best, and otherwise a complete waste of time. Stephenson will spend pages writing out description that you will forget instantly and don't care about, and then give you one line of plot at the end of it. If I was reading this in paper-form, I think I would probably have to skip a vast majority of the text just to find the plot. Stephenson tries his best to completely define his universe, like a Tolkien, Martin, or Lucas, but instead spends most of the book wasting your time.
Almost equally as frustrating are the characters, who do things seemingly simply to be obnoxious. Things like this:
A: "Don't talk to that man! He's dangerous!"
B: "What? Why?"
A: "Just don't do it!"
... and A disappears into the shadows - happens all of the time. Characters are coy and mysterious simply for the purpose of being coy and mysterious.
I chose to listen to this book because I had heard from so many people about how visionary it is, and how much is foresaw regarding technology, the Internet, etc.
Is it visionary? Yes, definitely. Is it worth reading? Definitely not.
If you want a novel in a similar fashion, that is just as visionary, and a much better read, check out 'Neuromancer' by William Gibson. 'Neuromancer' was released in 1984, and predicts much of what Stephenson does in this novel, which was released in 1992.
I was extremely excited to listen to this book, and was sorely disappointed.
If you read this review, and decide to buy the book anyway, then wait until you listen to the first 5 chapters and come back and rate this review. If you don't want to reach through your headphones and skip every 2-page description about something you don't care about, then by all means, vote this review down.
Newt fancier and mad scientist.
This book is great as a starter for Stephenson in my opinion. It has everything I come to expect from his books from having read some of the others, but it's a little bit less thick with arcane knowledge and obscure references. Personally I had a blast reading it and seeing where it seemed dated in places, but spot on in others. A great read if you liked Metatropolis. The ending was a little abrupt for me, but that tends to be a bit of a continuing theme in Stephenson books and so I only took away the one star in my review for that.
I didn't "spend" time listening to this book, as always I am a captive of traffic. It was an okay listen.
I listened to this because I really enjoyed Diamond Age by the same author. The Story was good but the lessons from the “librarian” were too long and repetitive. Worse, the premise is flawed, hackers do not read binary in the manner the story indicates… I wrote my first program back in 1969 and still code today. I used to write in mainframe assembler (assembly) and I was an ace at debugging memory dumps. These are not spewed out in binary, they are in hexadecimal. Unlike decimal which is based on 10, hex is based on 16 with “numbers” ranging from 0 to F with F having a value of 15. A hex value of “10” is sixteen a hex value of “1F” is 31, hex “20” is 32. See, just like decimal but you carry 1 to the left on 16 instead of 10 and this is how machine code is presented. Yes, we also know the binary representation e.g that same “1F” (31) above would be 0001 1111 in binary but I have NEVER seen any type of computer present code or data in that manner, only on TV. Clearly it would be counterproductive to present binary when hex serves the purpose.
Anyway, enough of the tech lesson, I hope somebody finds it a little interesting. Getting back to the book, the characters were interesting and the story would have been great if it had moved along a little quicker… get rid of the librarian!
USC grad, Audiobook lover of all kinds. Favorite narrator is Ralph Cosham.
Yes, It's a great novel with a wonderfully imaginative story. The technology feels a bit old 19 years later, but it's still a great deal of fun with entertaining full-bodied characters.
Y.T. I would have said the concept of the metaverse, but frankly Stephenson's characters have aged better; Y.T., Raven, and Uncle Enzo among others are particular standouts.
No, I haven't.
No. A) it's a bit long for that. B) the chapter headings are incredibly annoying. (My review title is a rough transcript of one). They make sense once you read the whole book, but they're unnecessary and get in the way of the story.
The chapters in Audible don't match up with the actual chapters, which is annoying (they have multiple chapters in one
Enjoy the adventure
Was a bit unsure that Science Fiction from 20 years ago could compete with today's books. Neal Stephenson created a vision of the world that now sounds a bit too familiar, with large, cartoonish corporations in charge and the people escaping reality through a social network (his version uses 3D avatars). The main characters, Hiro Protagonist and WT, thrive in their circumstances through their wits. The plot is ever evolving and unpredictable. Especially enjoyed that good and evil kept changing places. Will listen to Snow Crash again.
Plenty of people have already gushed about this story so I won't add my adulation to the extant flow. I did want to mention how horribly distracting I found the start-of-chapter audio snippet. It's too loud and too long. I really don't like anything other than narration in my audio books (I don't think I've actually heard one yet that does it well).
Steven A Sawyer
A recreation of our current or maybe very near future drawn and stretched to comic and technoblistic extremes covering a story finely woven between reality and the internet on steroids, the Metaverse. Believable characters explored enough to make them very likable and familiar but not to the point of being a true character study. Instead the gear clothing and surroundings of the real and Metaverse are drawn in rich detail so you hear taste and sense the surroundings. Demerits are due for the overly detailed religious/historical/theoretical driving theme that propels the characters. While interesting it is too detailed for even a biblical/ religious/history buff like me. Listening to it makes you want to turn the page and return to the rich descriptions and steadily building story and all the fun tech. But if you endure these pages the story rewards you. And there is plenty of room to continue this romp right up to and beyond the end... If you like tech mixed with cool girls, fast bikes and even faster swords, and are not afraid of mixing all your favorite action settings cowboy westerns Chinese kung fu, Sci Fi space operas and religious thrillers up you should have no problem with this rad cool thriller, No problem except pressing the pause button. Enjoy!
REAMDE was my first Stephenson book and I loved it--so went back and got this one and another thinking it would be more of the same. Wrong--maybe I'm just too old for the cyber punk, virtual world thing, but I'm about 5 hours into this and it is so strange and wacky and hard to follow that I'm about to give up on it. The long section of horrible Japanese gangsta rap had me ripping out the earbuds. I can't believe I wasted a credit on this and probably the other book I got too. I'm already dreading having to give that one a try.