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)
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.
I found that the techno jargon/slang was initially fairly shallow and repetitive. The story could have done with a much shorter setup of the characters and period, with a bit less attempt at a clever approach. This almost felt like word filling to make a minimum.
However, once the story got going, it developed into a very engaging and well through out tale. The characters and interactions kept me listening until the very end, where I found it to be nicely all wrapped up.
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.
My taste differs from kid books to gory horror books.
After reading the first two chapters, I thought Wow, I have found a new favorite author. The action was great and the characters interesting. Stephenson's metaphors and use of language are genius. I soon got lost in the complicated plot and what little I understood sounded extremely far fetched. If you are a layman of average intelligence like me you may find this a hard read, but the educated tech heads may love this book. I do want to read more of Stephenson.
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 acquired this book upon recommendation by a friend who views it as a sci-fi classic, and she is right...this will be one of those books that people will be reading and talking about decades from now. It is extremely well written, Stephenson paints mental images like a master with his language. It has a complex but very engaging story which challenges the readers views of not only the future, but of present and the past. Since the story is dependent upon historical "facts" from thousands of years ago, it is at once educational in teaching some history while also revealing a possibility of a future that is plausible (like good sci-fi should). That future is somewhat dark and Orwellian, but also anarchical...and powered by advanced computer technology. I read somewhere that the Matrix screenplay was in part inspired by Snow Crash, and altho the stories are very different one can understand how this might be possible. This is the best book I've listened to in well over a year, and certainly the best from audible.com so far for me.
neal stephenson was ot known to me until recently (well a few month back) and I stumbled upon his name in a few podcasts and was very appealed by what the hosts said. I am a huge cyberpunk fan having played the cyberpunk pen and paper rpg and especially shadowrun, so I started with his novel "snow crash" which was recommended at many places. and I haven't been disappointed. what a wonderful read. it sucks you in and won't let you go till the last page. a brilliant and sharp story, packed with interesting and within the story unique characters. if you are into scifi and cyberpunk it is a must read.
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.
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!
"clean and comprehensive descriptions to emerse you"
Neal conjures a graphic world with very broad reaching concepts and emerses you in it.
Some parts have you roaring with laughter. Rat things;)
Others on the edge of your proverbial seat.
"What about the end?"
I was given a copy of Snow Crash as a kid but never finished it, it's only now (in my late 20's) that I thought I'd give it another go. The book starts off well with good characters and story in a really interesting cyberpunk styled alternative reality.
However towards the end it becomes a little too weird and not in a good way. I disapprove of the relationship between one of our main characters (15 year old girl) and a terrorist who is presumably a lot older, this scene was sickening and I felt it was unnecessary.
The book just ends with a lot of questions, it felt rushed as if a deadline had to be met.
I kinda wish now that I had just read the beginning and not made it right to the end.
"A second time round...."
Read the book first. Enjoyed it. Listened to the audio version. Enjoyed it just as much. Maybe more.
Or maybe it was the fact I was able to fold laundry all the while...
"Fido" - was an unexpected emotional rollercoaster
good narration with gripping story from a few different perspectives. would definitely recommend to anyone :)
"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.
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