This book was one of the genre defining works along with William Gibson, Bruce Sterling, Walter Jon Williams and others of the Cyberpunk movement. Stephenson is an entertainer as well as a visionary and I think a vivid personal imagination is required to truly "get" this as well as his other works. I cannot recommend this book enough and I wish more of his work, as well as the others I mentioned above, was available on audio. Seek out "The Diamond Age" by Stepehnson as well if you like this novel. The narrator is amazing, next to Frank Muller he is the only one I would search out on other books regardless of their subject matter.
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