In reality, Hiro Protagonist delivers pizza for Uncle Enzo's CosaNostra Pizza Inc., but in the Metaverse he's a warrior prince. Plunging headlong into the enigma of a new computer virus that's striking down hackers everywhere, he races along the neon-lit streets on a search-and-destroy mission for the shadowy virtual villain threatening to bring about Infocalypse. Snow Crash is a mind-altering romp through a future America so bizarre, so outrageous...you'll recognize it immediately.
©1992 Neal Stephenson; (P)2001 Audible, Inc.
"Brilliantly realized...Stephenson turns out to be an engaging guide to an onrushing tomorrow." (The New York Times Book Review)
"Fast-forward free-style mall mythology for the 21st century." (William Gibson)
This is one of my first audiobooks selections and I chose it for it's length (value) and my interests in computers, technology, and future predictions. I listened to the sample and it sounded a little too "off the wall" for me, but I decided to give it a go anyway.
At first I was distracted by the verbal landscape but soon I was drawn in and the characters began to become likable and someone that I could relate to.
Concepts that I really liked:
1. A cyber universe where one could almost live, die, and play in... an Internet on steroids?
2. A virus that could gap the digital world to the physical world.
3. An ancient language that was, and is, common to all people
The characters are inventive, interesting, and quite unusual. The plot takes all kinds of twists and kept me anxiously wanting to go back to listening. The reader does a great job and does not detract from the story.
Bottom line, I found this a strange, yet compelling, story that I enjoyed very much.
So far the two Neil Stevenson books I have listened to, Snow Crash and The Diamond Age, have proved to be very entertaining and thought provoking. The techknolodgy he creates as part of the setting and times is both imaginative and maybe even wildly plausable. I think for me , what sets him apart is his sense of humour. The combination makes for a very enjoyable read.
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.
Driving over 100,000 mile a year since 1983, I got hooked on audible books on tape 30 years back. I now listen from my bicycle 2 hours a day
On a long drive from Colorado through Texas to Tennessee alone I was thoroughly entertained and enlightened. A thousand miles passed immersed in a new future imagined and realized. A fascinating future described in intimate detail. Alternate lives as avatars in a strange new land unfold in a captivating story filled with philosophy and technology. There is so much going on here and so many of those who reviewed this book must have missed it.
At 64 I doubt I am part of the target audience but I opened my mind and let this book flow through me like the broken yellow line on the unfolding ribbon of asphalt through the windshield of my Vibe GT. What a thrill ride! Like a skateboard messenger hooked to a speeding pizza delivery guy working for the Mafia I surfed the future and wound up richer for the experience of this long strange trip. dig it
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.
This book reminds me of two things. First, I read a book a long time ago (the exact book escapes my memory) that put forth the idea that what kick started mankinds evolution was a virus that attatched itself to the brain stem and allowed higher levels of thinking. The second thing is, I recently read about the study of memes, memology. It sounds a little hokey, but the idea is that human thoughts are viruses. Once we speak them out loud, they are repeated and spread from one person to another like a virus.
So, about this book. It started out ok, then quickly lost me as the writer went on a tangent. It wasn't that it was uninteresting. On the contrary, I was very interested, but I wished that it had been a little easier to follow. There were characters that would show up out of no where with little to no introduction. Then without explaining anything or establishing trust, one of the main characters would go off with this random person when any normal human being would have said, "Wait. Who are you again? And where are you taking me?" People died violently without ever being properly developed and it left me caring very little that they were gone.
On the other hand, there were some things that I very much enjoyed about this book. The ideas Neal Stephanson discusses are absolutely mind blowing. The idea that religion is a virus is amazing. I disagree with some of the other reviews that said the lengthy dialogs about history and religion were boring. Those are the parts I enjoyed the most. I found the action parts to be confusing. It felt rushed and contrived. As if it were only an idea in the author's mind, but not a clearly visualized idea. Toward the middle of the book I really started to like the main characters and care about what happened to them. And near the end I even liked Raven, the bad guy and hoped that he didn't die in the end.
It did end abruptly, though. I was hoping for some closure about certain relationships, and to find out what happened to all the refugees that got left in the ocean. I know the is a follow up book, but I doubt I'll read it. This book was ok/good, but I don't think I could make it through another one.
i've been avoiding Snow Crash for ages, despite the high recommendations of my friends. in this case, i'm glad i went for the audiobook, because the reader they chose really made the listening a huge pleasure. the story is fast-paced, very entertaining, and rather amazing for how closely it parallels some of what is happening today. highly recommended.
I haven't been a reader (or listener) of science fiction for years -- since I was a teenager -- but I bought "Snow Crash" because I recognized the author's name as a major s.f. writer who had won awards (and I was attempting to understand why my teenage son was so enthralled with s.f.). I'm glad I did -- this book was great fun to listen to. The reader was good, the plot imaginative. Maybe not Great Literature, but definitely great escapism.
Avid in Car listener who commutes about 3 hours per day. Audible keeps me sane in LA traffic.
My second Neil Stevenson book that leaves me wishing there were more to hear. Excellent use of multiple story lines that merge into a final climax. Though the ending is slightly weaker than that of Snow Crash it is a good thrilling ending. Lot of subtile and not so subtile action and great technology thread through the story. A excellent book.
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!
"Very good in places"
I read this (listened to the audiobook) after reading ready player one. I think this was a mistake as I was expecting something similar and whilst there are common themes they are not similar.
I found it difficult to follow at first but it was generally worth the effort of persisting. The central theme which develops is interesting; the notion of a virus being transferable via language and looking at similarities in computer virus and in a human virus affecting the central nervous system. There were a lot of concepts brought up all at one which I felt a bit lost in at one point. Had I been reading I guess I would have re-read but not so easy on audio.
I found the ending a bit of a disappointment,
This theme which developed through the book got lost and it seemed like an action novel with a girl trying to get rescued.
"Cyber Punk.... "
Good examole of cyber Punk. A bit slow to start but better once it gets going. Guess it's a bit dated now and perhaps not standing the test of time.
Narrator was enthusiastic, style and bit dated.
"Fascinating Scifi Pulp Fiction"
There are some truly fascinating ideas and reflections on our society and its evolution wrapped up in a racy story full of analogies that connect the future with the ancient past through the present.
"death by detail"
I've lost consciousness more times with this audible book than any other. Excrutiating levels of detail, the purpose of every button and switch on any device and every move or thought during action sequences is painfully spelt out.
Snowcrash is the polar opposite of Neuromancer and is only suitable for those devoid of their own imagination to fill in the blanks in a story.
"Decent cyber tech sci-fi blab"
Taking off from Gibson necromancer, Mona Lisa over drive, a cyber afflicted California, creating a very entertaining book following hero ninja pizza delivery specialist, ride the avalanche of snow crash, beware could be the future
"one of my favorites"
I must have read this a dozen times. love it. great audio version, I must say.
"Greatest Sci-fi story ever. Must read"
I just hope they don't ruin the film they are apparently making. Just enjoy the book while you can and then listen to the sequel which is almost as good.
"Lose yourself in another world"
This is a book that has found its medium. None of the author's descriptions, none of the information, is lost, which could so easily happen if it was turned into a film. But with the narration by Jonathan Davis, and the incidental sound effects, it's just perfect.
I bought this book when it was on special offer because I had a small refund voucher and I quite like science fiction. I could so easily have missed it! I think I have probably driven my whole family mad telling them how good it is and how it totally took over my journeys home for weeks. In fact I was so hooked I found I was still listening while I put the shopping away or started the evening meal.
It describes a world not very far in the future where people live in guarded enclaves and become citizens of franchised countries. Someone is trying to take over the minds of all the computer programmers in the world, and it's up to the main character, a brilliant programmer called Hiro Protagonist (yes, really, but I can forgive Neal Stephenson this one bit of self-consciousness) and his sidekick, YT a 15 year old female skateboard courier, to work out what's going on and save mankind.
That really doesn't do justice to Neal Stephenson's brilliant evocation of a world that could so nearly be ours, if things had developed differently. At first it's hard to work out what's going on but then the plot starts to unfold, and even the extended Sumerian history lesson in the middle falls into place. But it's not just about the lead characters. It has quite a cast list, all carefully voiced by Jonathan Davis, and all contributing to the story.
It's a terrific book, and I'm still trying to work out why.
"Great book , dated recording"
A classic, but the recording quality was atrocious. 8 bit mono or something, and very off putting.
...but it just ran out of steam, having trodden a tightrope between comic book and naff. Too long, too corny, too contrived and I didn't make it to the end I'm afraid...
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