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.
It seems that a lot of the characters interaction seemed forced and/or unrealistic. Items and ideas just seemed to be inserted and accepted without a lot of thought, which seemed out of place. Plot devices like the conspiracy, the big virus, the librarian and other things that just appear in the story seemed more like deus-ex-machina than anything else. I thought it was pretty clumsy attempts to move the story forward for the most part. What made this worse is that it was inconsistently bad. There were liberal sprinkles of interesting dialog, action, and plot. But truth be told it just made the bad parts stick out more. In all I got the impression that this book needed a good editor to make it shine. It has all of the elements, it just seemed rough around the edges, often, and that kept throwing me out of the story.
No, and I might try reading the author's books again too. Just going to be a bit more cautious about it.
he made the characters and the worldview concepts interesting and the dialog smooth. If it were anyone else I would not have finished the book at all.
I really liked the concept of the world and the way the different characters existed in it. The virtual world and how people worked with it was fascinating as The descriptions of the corporations and syndicates and how they existed in the world was also very neat to hear.
I value intelligent stories with characters I can relate to. I can appreciate good prose, but a captivating plot is way more important.
This book is full of some extremely clever ideas, and I really want to like it more than I do.
It seemed to me like the story never settled on a tone. It was never funny enough to be a comedy, and never serious enough to be straight sci-fi. You're left with something that is stuck halfway in between, in world you don't care about with characters that you don't feel anything for, because they aren't charming enough to be likable, and their peril never feels real enough that you can sympathize with them.
The book leaves you with a number of interesting ideas to chew on, all of which probably could have been used to greater effect in a better story.
My biggest complaint about the book is that it ended before the story did.
No one writing today has more ideas about the history of technology or more passion for popular culture, or more willingness to spin heady theories about all of the above in densely plotted and populated novels than Neal Stephenson. Sometimes these ideas are exhilarating. Sometimes they're just dumb. But even when Stephenson resembles your crank engineer uncle on meth, he manages to do so with humor and elan. "Snow Crash" is an all-prose comic book, a novel that manages to be simultaneously apocalyptic and slight.
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.
This is great SF -- intelligent, interesting, well told, very well written, involving, and in this case hillarious. The audio book also has excellent narration. Of all books I've listened to from Audible, this is my top pick.
I'd give this one a 5 except for two things: 1) The babel-chant that is used to bridge each transition and chapter (gets EXTREMELY annoying by the end of the book). 2) The story isn't quite up to the standards of Sci-Fi I'm used to, though I think my familiarity with virtually every topic covered in the plot exacerbates this somewhat (hard to suspend disbelief when you know too much to the contrary) - "Speculative Fiction" really is a better classification for this story, or even "Science Fantasy" (as in, it would be cool if things worked that way).
Some other things that might detract from your enjoyment of this book include: Long monologues/dialogs in which vast amounts of plot-info is simply presented to you (this may comprise as much as 25% of the novel, but any other delivery method would have resulted in the book being twice as long). There is also cursing, sexual references, theological references (just about every major religion), drug use, etc.
On the positive side, this book can be extremely funny (listen to the free preview - best pizza delivery ever, though not terribly relevant to the plot). The characters are great and the narrator does an excellent job. The story itself is entertaining and the world is fairly original. You'll get a decent intro into ancient history and mythology that I guarantee will be more interesting than any class on the subject (though obviously fictionalized to advance the plot). I think this book is unique in that I've never read a book set in the future that's plot was so dependent on the distant past (that didn't involve time-travel to said past).
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.
"Great book , dated recording"
A classic, but the recording quality was atrocious. 8 bit mono or something, and very off putting.
"A bit naff"
I persevered but didn't make it to the end. Slow, corny, confusing,. I just ran out of steam with it.
"Brilliant performance, great story, the ending..."
I find that I like books that are well researched and teach you something factual. Snow Crash does this, albeit with a dubious at best scientific basis.
I bought this off the back of The Martian and Ready Player One and while I didn't enjoy it quite as much as those it is definitely in the ball park. The multiple plotlines and unfamiliar names of some 'things' (it wouldn't be right to call the characters) made this somewhat difficult to dip in and out but not unenjoyable.
I really dislike the ending. Not in its story but the way it isn't fleshed out... as if the author realised that he needed to rush out to dinner and so quickly jotted something down.
The performance is fantastic and I couldn't fault it in any way. Character's accents are immediately recognisable and compliment my minds image of them. The unpalatable lines of dialogue aren't shied away from and political correctness is rightfully ignored in favour of embellished story telling. Bravo.
"Hours of delicious escapism"
Snow Crash was an instant favourite when first encountered as a student in the 90s (studying ancient civilisations by day, gaming by night...) and 20 years hasn't dulled it's appeal. Having it delivered straight to your ear by the smooth, effortless voice of Jonathan Davis while your body is doing other things is a definite treat - shades of the Metaverse? Some of the technology and concepts have lost their initial impact due to the passage of time but the story does not feel dated. The pace moves from fast and furious to scholarly pauses and back again with ease. The unlikely main characters are engaging for both their abilities and their flaws; the burbclaves and franchised countries are all too believable for anyone who has come across "suburb snobbery" in a modern city. And I defy any dog lover not to moved by the Rat Things. An action packed, witty, intelligently observed, bizarre, tongue in cheek vision of our near future.The narration by Jonathan Davis is animated and excellently done. A voice actor that can believably be a teenage skater chick, a computerised librarian and a Vietnamese cyborg with ease, consistency and flawless movement between each is a joy to listen to.The final word? I wish there was a way to read/listen to Snow Crash again for the first time.
"Extraordinary but over-written"
Snow Crash contains some fascinating concepts (as always from Neal Stephenson) but the book could do with a good edit as it spent too much time on some of the minor characters and some details of the story. Perhaps this is an investment for a sequel. The characters -- even Hiro and YT -- are two dimensional and in some cases this is quite frustrating. However this is a book in which to revel in the strangeness and, yes, the silliness of the story that frames a Big Idea.
"Probably the worst audio book i've listened to"
It would have to have been totally re written with a coherent story
a better book
he was paid
don't waste your time like I wasted mine
"muddled but still good"
The world is great, fleshed out, vibrant, colourful and believably detailed. The characters are a mess, jumbled, unfocused, and simply not characters. The story is nothing, after hours of setup it just stops. All the time spent working it's mythology and creating 'tension' between characters just goes nowhere, there is no resolutions, no finality, no sense of accomplishment. Were it not for the world it's set in this would be a 2 star rating.
"excellent performance of a brilliant book"
wonderful narrator and great story. not 'easy listening' (need to pay attention else it's easy to get lost) but very enjoyable
"Not my cup of tea,"
I couldn't get passed the first chapter. It just went on and on about nonsense. Others may love this book but it was not for me. Sorry.
"Strange but interesting."
Good characters and an interesting look at the world. Manga style story with all the strange and wonderful twists that manga brings.
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