Snow Crash

ISBN: 0553380958
ISBN 13: 9780553380958
By: Neal Stephenson

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About this book

In reality, Hiro Protagonist delivers pizza for Uncle Enzo’s CosoNostra 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.

Reader's Thoughts


My Neal Stephenson reading has been all backwards. The first one I read was Cryptonomicon, then the Baroque Cycle and then Anathem. So going back to one of his earlier and 'simpler' novels seemed like it'd be a breeze after having to practically learn a fictional language to finish Anathem.While Snow Crash may have some more familiar sci-fi tropes (hackers, skateboarders and virtual reality are now almost stereotypes although I'm sure it seemed fresh in '92 when this was written), it still has the brain-bustin' Stephenson style theories in it. In this case, his whole premise of ancient Sumerian languages as an audio virus was definately something that took a lot of explanation, and it's those types of intricate ideas that make Stephenson one of my favorites.But the other thing I love about Stephenson is that he can explain this crazy theory for page after page until you forget about everything else in the book, and then the next chapter will have an epic action scene with swords, gatling guns, and a variety of other near-future weapons.Terrific book. And I think there's probably a lot of material written or filmed since '92 that should probably cut Stephenson a royalty check. I'm looking at you, Matrix!


Did you ever have a kid at school who tried to appear smart and as the font of all knowledge by catching on to the tail-ends of things while listening to adults, absorbing some of it, and then spouting forth in front of an assembly of kids, his (or her, --let's be fair here) own regurgitation of what he had heard in the adult quarter, which would often make most of the other kids hang on to his/her every word simply because they themselves didn't have a clue what he was talking about?Well, with Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson is that kid grown up. Stephenson latches on to all kinds of ideas and then regurgitates his reductionist, lopsided version of them in 'novel' form. The effect it had on this reader, is similar to what the screeching of chalk on a board does to most people; it set my teeth on edge.There are so many lopsided, half-developed ideas with huge holes in logic in them, in this novel, that I cannot mention them all and remain as brief as I am sure that you, dear reader, would prefer me to be. Most of them pertain to Stephenson's lopsided extrapolation of how a virtual reality world would work, and his (to me loopy) ideas on neurolinguistics , ancient history and religions. I was ambivalent about his snarky depiction of capitalism taken to the extreme. In the Snow Crash world, everything is privatised to the point that civil services such as police and prisons are privatised, and 'burbclaves' (small city states) have their own laws and services to the point that America doesn't have federal law anymore--yet there are still Feds! The latter institution is highly satirised by Stephenson, with regard to the typical bureaucratic yards of red tape and the tech and intel gathering overkill and so on. I admit that I found these bits humorous. I reckon Stephenson is, by their inclusion into a state that has no laws, and where the federal government seems merely a token from days gone by, saying that the FBI was superfluous to start with in any case, hah. But the overall effect of the Snow Crash background setting is that of an almost schizophrenic collage of bits and pieces stuck together to create a highly disjunctive world.I enjoyed the action sequences and I very much enjoyed his two female protagonists; slightly less so the male one. In this early novel, Stephenson shows faint glimmerings of promise. His clumsy explanations of the tech aspects of the world is jarring and often nonsensical, so the main little points of light lie with the action sequences and the characterization, the latter which I found not too bad since many of his stereotypes were slightly more rounded than actually stereotypical and many of the characters were relatively believable and even likeable in spite of the clumsiness. The hero Hiro, (or shall I say, Hiro Protagonist, the protagonist) did feel paper-thin however, like just a another piece of deus ex machina. So, four stars for the fact that the novel passes the Bechdel test, and for having created the eminently likeable character Y.T. But minus a star for the jarring racism and lack of cultural and ethnic sensitivity, and minus another star for setting my teeth on edge with his loopy ideas and his lopsided, cartoony projections into a future consisting of what feels like a world constructed of cardboard cutouts.(And minus a virtual star for positing that patriarchal religions are more rational than matriarchal ones. )Oh, and pretty important to me is to mention the subtraction of another virtual star for the sex with a fifteen year old girl, and her 'relationship' with a mass murderer more than twice her age.Add half a star back for the humor.Many people credit Stephenson with being the first person to think of a cyberverse in which humans could participate represented by avatars, but by his own admission, Lucasfilm with Habitat was there before him. ;)In fact, it might not be an overstatement to say that Stephenson had pretty much gypped his idea off of developers Randy Farmer and Chip Morningstar. (Please be my guest and Google them.)In his book The Virtual Community: Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier, Howard Rheingold writes in Chapter Six: In Austin, Texas, in 1990, at the First Conference on Cyberspace, I met the two programmers who created the first large-scale, multi-user, commercial virtual playground.In their address to the conference, and the paper they later published, "The Lessons of Lucasfilm's Habitat," Chip Morningstar and F. Randall Farmer recounted their experience as the designers and managers of a virtual community that used computer graphics as well as words to support an online society of tens of thousands. Much of that conference in Austin was devoted to discussions of virtual-reality environments in which people wear special goggles and gloves to experience the illusion of sensory immersion in the virtual world via three-dimensional computer graphics. Randy Farmer and Chip Morningstar stood out in that high-tech crowd because the cyberspace they had created used a very inexpensive home computer, often called a toy computer, and a cartoonlike two-dimensional representation to create their kind of virtual world. Farmer and Morningstar had one kind of experience that the 3-D graphics enthusiasts did not have, however--the system they had designed, Habitat, had been used by tens of thousands of people. Source: presented by Randy Farmer and Chip Morningstar : fascinating thoughts on the internet as a marketplace: PS. I relented and added a half star for making YT female and such a fun character and subtracted a quarter star for making her blonde, then added back a quarter star for the way in which NS made fun of the FBI bureaucracy.

Lisa Vegan

I don’t feel like rehashing the plot. For the curious, it, or parts of it, can be found in the book’s description field, at Wikipedia, in other Goodreads members’ reviews.This was my first cyberpunk novel, and while I liked much of it, I don’t think this subgenre is my favorite. Unusually for me, I’ll start with the negatives.I didn’t feel satisfied by the ending. There was such a build up to it, but I thought it fizzled a bit, and I ended up being disappointed. Also, the story dragged at times; I think it was too long. I don’t often say that about books.Overall, the story felt like a comic book, and only a part of a comic book. What’s funny is at the end there’s a note that this was meant to be a graphic novel and that made perfect sense because that’s how it read.There was too much action, frenetic action, way too much for my taste.I do believe that at times I got confused about whether the events were taking place in the Metaverse (internet) or Reality.I felt too sad about Fido’s situation.But, I did enjoy this book, So, I have some positive things to say also.Given that is was first published in 1992, it’s rather creative and forward thinking.At times it is very, very, very funny.I love the play with words and what the author does regarding linguistics. I enjoyed the jibes at religion, capitalism, government, bureaucracy, hackers & programmers, adolescence, so many facets of our culture, of civilization itself.Y.T. is such a fun character; I enjoyed her immensely.And, Hiro Protagonist must be one of the best fictional names ever created!If there had been just a reasonable amount of editing and a better ending I might have given it one more star.I read this for one of my Goodreads groups and I’m really glad that I did; it’s been on my to-read shelf for a while.


A friend just gave me back my ages-old copy of this book, three years after I had forgotten that I had lent it to him. I am overjoyed to have this back in my possession. So much so that I feel compelled to immediately reread it. That is just how good this book is.***Post reread***The problem with reading Neal Stephenson is that you can not help coming to the realization that, no matter how hard you try, how dedicated to the craft you become, you will never write anything as fully formed, as intricately detailed and impeccably researched or as purely fun as Snow Crash. Give up, all ye purveyors of mediocre science fiction, Stephenson owns you. At least that was the impression that I had while reading the book. All of my own half-hearted attempts all stand out as poor homages to this masterwork.From the postnational aspect of citizenry to civilization's basis in codified behavior to brain-twisting explanations of the physics of virtual samurai duels, Stephenson has thought everything through down to the pico level of detail and left no loose ends dangling. When he is describing Nuclear Fuzz Grunge, you have to believe that somewhere in his office there exists an evolutionary chart that traces the development of this niche musical genre, much as Tolkien formed the intricate lineages of his elves. Anyone familiar with Stephenson's more recent books, The Baroque Cycle, Anathem, or Cryptonomicon, is well aware of his skill at cramming as much as possible detail into every page, but it's here in Snow Crash (and his follow-up, The Diamond Age) where he really just lets loose and has fun. A pissed off Aleut who drives around on a motorcycle with a hydrogen bomb sidecar, a smart-mouthed skater chick who rides the miles of highways in LA, the Mafia as a quirky group of good guys- Stephenson is clearly having a great time while writing this, nearly as much as any reader will have. I really don't think that I could recommend this book any higher.

Ben Babcock

I entered the Metaverse ignorant of the fact that Snow Crash was first published in 1992 (i.e., pre-Internet). Hence, it took some time for the book to endear itself to me, because my reaction to the Metaverse, a virtual reality, was filtered through my experiences with the Internet. As such, I first found Neal Stephenson's depiction of virtual reality as camp, reminding me much of Net Force and its ilk. In other words, Snow Crash presents a dated version of cyberpunk. I had to compensate for my exposure to more advanced technology before I could enjoy this book.The plot of Snow Crash entranced me once I figured out what was going on. Aside from the fact that Stephenson reveals it mostly through exposition, the plot and themes were quite interesting. While I suspect he was quite liberal in his interpretation of Sumerian history, he nevertheless weaves that interpretation into a compelling story, complete with heroism, high-risk sword combat, and crazy technological gambits to take over the world. The book has nary a dull moment, beginning with an epic pizza delivery (yes, pizza delivery can be epic when the Mafia owns your pizza franchise!) and concluding with a helicopter/aircraft carrier battle and escape. Somewhere along the way, Stephenson infuses archaeology and a little linguistic mysticism ... and it works, which may be the most surprising observation of all.The primary protagonist, named Hiro Protagonist for reasons I never quite comprehended, isn't a great character. He's an uncomfortable mix of competent and idiotic, and his relationship with the Love Interest, Juanita, is uninteresting. As an Action Hero, Hiro works. He can swordfight and program. In this respect, I think that Snow Crash's target audience, the wannabe-cool hackers of the '90s, would identify a great deal with Hiro. Now, however, he just seems obnoxious.The secondary protagonist, Y.T., is more interesting. She's a fifteen-year-old street smart skater (a Kourier) who's smarter and perhaps even bolder than Hiro. Maybe it was her gender, or her youth, or just the fact that I liked her better than Hiro, but I always felt more concerned when she was captured by the villain than when Hiro's life was threatened.My favourite part of Snow Crash, however, lies in the secondary characters, namely Uncle Enzo, L. Bob Rife, and the Librarian. Uncle Enzo is the head of the Mafia, which is the epitome of a "family business." He befriends Y.T. (and, by extension, Hiro), transforming slowly from unknown quantity to respected ally. The reader is led to believe at first that Uncle Enzo may be a potential antagonist, but we then learn that's not the case; Enzo plays a pivotal role in the climax leading to our protagonists' triumph over the villainous L. Bob Rife.Rife represents a particularly nasty form of capitalism, one which compromises the wellbeing of its workers in order to exploit maximum profits. Rife recognizes the instability of his business, however, and stumbles across a way to solve the problem: he intends to remake the world by rewriting the infrastructure of our brains. Within the context of the story, the threat seems believable. And with Rife's monopoly on telecommunications, beating him is a tall order. Fortunately, Hiro has help on his side: a wise sidekick in the form of a program called the Librarian.The Librarian is the primary vehicle of exposition for Snow Crash's main plot, although Hiro himself explains to us the entire, assembled puzzle closer to the climax of the story. One could also make the argument that the Librarian is the direct hero of Snow Crash, since he reads out the syllables that foil Rife's plans. My distaste for excess exposition aside, I enjoyed the Librarian. He was a nifty guy.A shout-out to Fido, aka Rat Thing number B-782! Unfortunately for Fido, Stephenson's ability to incorporate disparate characters can occasionally lose coherence. He introduces several minor characters who turn out to have absolutely zero bearing on the plot itself; sometimes he does this fort he sake of perspective, i.e., we get to see the character's reaction to something Hiro or Y.T. does. This is occasionally effective but mostly feels redundant, as in the scene when Hiro buys a motorcycle.A larger problem with Snow Crash is the resolution, or lack thereof. The climax is satisfactory, but the book abruptly concludes without much wrap-up. Although I wouldn't want a lengthy Lord of the Rings-style thirty page epilogue, I was looking forward to some closure regarding the future of Hiro, Juanita, and Y.T. Do Hiro and Juanita live happily ever after? Do Hiro and Y.T. stay in business together? Does Da5id ever recover from the Snow Crash virus? Unfortunately, we don't get the answers to those questions.Snow Crash is all the more impressive today, now that we have a working sort of "Metaverse" (the Internet) to compare to Stephenson's model. While its flaws are somewhat obvious, they mar the book more as an artistic work than as an entertainment device. Stephenson depicts a wonderfully exaggerated post-capitalist dystopia, where the Mafia delivers pizzas to "burbclaves" and bulletproof cars are a must. I suspect that if similar works dealing with simulated reality, such as The Matrix, hadn't launched when they did, Snow Crash would have been made into a successful film.

Jonathan Cullen

I am struggling with how to describe this book and how to assign it a fair rating. I am amazed at how fresh Snow Crash feels, even 20 years after Neal Stephenson took a stroll down the Street. Many of the ideas in here a simply today's reality. The crystal balling is fairly impressive. I loved the first quarter of the book. I ate up the pizza delivery and avatar scenes. Raven has easily made it to my top Literary Badass List.But I have to admit I got bogged down in the Sumerian myth. Even though it was core to the story I felt we could have done without it somehow. Snow Crash also gets buried under its own style. There is not a single sentence which is not seeking flaming glory. Many of them succeed but it's a lot to swallow so many flourishes.I enjoyed it and was impressed by it. We'll leave it at that. I will give it a 3.5 so I can round it up.


I have a little SAT analogy to help you understand how awesome this book is: Snow Crash is to Books as The Matrix is to movies (with only the absolute BEST parts of Tron and Da Vinci Code thrown in). I'm not talking about all the commercialized Matrix-saga and the weird hype... I'm talking about the first time you sat in the movie theater and saw that chick in the Matrix spin around in suspended animation and kick the crap out of a bunch of cops and thought, "What the #@*%??? COOL!" That's pretty much how this entire book reads. I actually had to add it to my "favorites" list. Can't believe I'd never heard of it before?! (my thanks for suggesting it, Erich)I guarantee there is not a sentient male breathing who won't count this among their top 20 at least. As for you fellow females, if you enjoy a great action romp like I do... and I don't mean the stupid, dime-a-dozen shoot-em-ups, we're talking Die Hard I/Aliens/Terminator 2 (and aforementioned Matrix) caliber here... then you'll love it, too. It has everything: Mafia pizza delivery tycoons, robot dogs, samurai fights, brainwashing hackers, ancient Sumerian gods, hydrogen bombs, hallucinogenic drugs, punk skateboarders... SWEET, as J.T. would say.My favorite parts: Stephenson's out-of-this-world unique writing style, the analogy of hacking into a persons brain using language in the same way people hack into computers using code, the amazing action sequences, use of the second person (you/we) to directly connect to the reader, the sections written from the robot dog's perspective, the use of binary code-type language in terms like "hacker" and "harpooning" (for example, the hero can both "hack" into a computer AND "hack" your body to pieces with a katana). BRILLIANT! A couple tiny complaints: There wasn't nearly enough of Raven, the villain. He ranks right under Hannibal Lector and that guy from the movie Serenity to me... everything a villain should be: a sexy, terrifying brute of a nuclear mutant who rips people to pieces with glass knives. Also, Hiro Protagonist wasn't much of a... well, hero protagonist. He did a little too much research and not quite enough slashing people with his katana for my taste. Raven's foil, Y.T., stole the show--TOTALLY. Not like I minded. I'm all for a 15-year-old skater chick saving the world. SWEET!(Rated R for an isolated sex scene, medium violence, and consistent swearing.)FAVORITE QUOTES:Until a man is twenty-five, he still thinks, every so often, that under the right circumstances he could be the baddest mother****** in the world. If I moved to a martial-arts monastery in China and studied real hard for ten years. If my family was wiped out by Colombian drug dealers and I swore myself to revenge. If I got a fatal disease, had one year to live, devoted it to wiping out street crime... Hiro used to feel that way, too, but then he ran into Raven. In a way, this is liberating. He no longer had to worry about trying to be the baddest mother****** in the world. The position is taken.He turns off the techno-**** in his goggles. All it does is confuse him; he stands there reading statistics about his own death even as it's happening to him. Very post-modern.BMW drivers take evasive action at the drop of a hat, emulating the drivers in the BMW advertisements--this is how they convince themselves they didn't get ripped off.Interesting things happen along borders--transitions--not in the middle where everything is the same.[We've:] got millions of those Young Mafia types. All destined to wear blazers and shuffle papers in suburbia. You don't respect those people very much, Y.T., because you're young and arrogant. But I don't respect them much either, because I'm old and wise.The world is full of power and energy and a person can go far by just skimming off a tiny bit of it.


I'm just updating this review I posted in 2011.Since reading this book I have read two more Neal Stephenson novels namely The Diamond Age and Anathem. Of the three I think Snow Crash is the most fun book. It is not as deep or thought provoking as the other two (Anathem especially) but the most wildly entertaining. I can still remember the "the greatest pizza delivery scene in world literature" and YT's "harpooning" cars as if I was there. The experience is like reading about being in VR while being in a sort of VR myself. To me a good book (novels specifically) is like virtual reality, being immersed in a book takes me away from wherever I am. The people or the environment I am in does not register, if I had anything cooking on the stove it would get burned, telephones and door bells go unanswered.Snow Crash is one such book and I heartily recommend it to anyone who want to take a quick leave of their current reality.


Written in the present tense, which is awkward and unengaging, brimfuls of technological deus ex machina remove all tension from an already slow plot-line. The characters are interesting, hence the two stars, but even they felt lacking and emotionally disengaged from their own story, which had the futile makings of something original.The ending is atrocious, preceded by wastelands of chapter-length explanation, and a fairy-tale misinterpretation of Neurolinguistics that seems to have been written solely to remind us that not everyone is cut out to be a scientist, as some people must invariably grow up to write pop-fiction.If you're looking for cyberpunk, read Altered Carbon


I don’t think that reading Snow Crash has the same effect in 2009 as reading it would have in 1992, the year it was published. Stephenson creates for us a world so absurd that you can’t help but buy into it. The Mafia controlling pizza delivery, the US being a city-state and the Internet - or Metaverse - being your very own Sims game - all seemingly very plausible.The story follows Hiro Protagonist - jack of all trades. He is the world’s greatest swordsman (though in the Metaverse), a pizza-delivery guy, an information-collector for the Central Intelligence Corporation and of course, a renowned hacker. In fact, he helped create the Metaverse with his friend Da5id. He resides in a storage unit at the U-Stor-It with his friend Vitaly Chernobyl, a very famous rock star. I should also mention that Hiro organizes Vitaly’s concerts. Like I said, jack of all trades. Apart from the storage unit, all Hiro has to his name is a laptop and some Japanese swords. One would think that a man with that much talent would have a penthouse or a club in the Metaverse, at least.The story begins when his cocky friend Da5id tries this new drug called Snow Crash - which Da5id’s ex-wife and Hiro’s ex-girlfriend (same person, may I add) warned him against. Hiro, his ex-girlfriend Juanita and his 15-year old friend Y.T. - a modern-day skaterboarding courier - are left to figure out why Da5id has physically collapsed because of a bitmap on a screen.The story goes beyond the typical action sword-fighting stuff. The tale dips into the history of Christianity, the story of Babel and Sumerian culture. Without bringing in these ancient elements, I don’t know if the story would have been as appealing and enjoyable for me. The juxtaposition of past and future worked in his favor to create a plausible story.I only read this book on the very persistent recommendation of my boyfriend. And I’m so glad that he kept at it. I’m not typically a fan of cyberpunk but I feel this book goes beyond that. I’m good with computers and technology in general but I can’t code much at all. This didn’t interfere with my enjoyment of the book at all because even though Stephenson himself is incredibly tech savvy - he doesn’t shove it in your face. I sincerely appreciated that the book did not make me feel stupid and instead let me figure out the story at about the same time as the characters did.This is yet another book where I have to say that you should not let the cyberpunk label get to you. The ties to linguistics and former, nearly forgotten religions pushed the book past just being cyberpunk or science fiction.And with a name as witty as Hiro Protagonist, how can you resist giving Neil Stephenson a chance?


Juvenile nerd power fantasy in a nutshellI'm a big fanboy of the cyberpunk genre. I should have liked this book. Instead, I can honestly say that hate this book-- and I also feel bad saying that about someone's work, because it's almost like saying you hate someone's baby. Maybe it was all the hype I was exposed to before reading it,but I just could not shake a deep feeling of annoyance throughout 90% of this book. I found myself rolling my eyes a lot. And when I wasn't doing that, I was asking myself things like: "Do people really think this is the Cyberpunk cream of the crop? How many pages to go?"The first obvious problem was the prose. Apparently some people's funny bones get tickled by similes comparing military bases to boils on someone's ass, metaphors about valleys and geological cunnilingus, and clever wordplay like calling refugees "Refus" (Refuse, har har har, get it?). To an elitist douchebag like me it just sounds juvenile and unimaginative. Combine all that with clunky, corny writing, and it's just downright lame. I could have also done without the "Unix In A Nutshell"-like explanations of EVERYTHING that drag down the flow of the book even more. The other big problem was that I did not care about any of the characters. Hiro was annoying as hell because it's obvious that he's just a nerd's fantasy of what he wishes he could do. Y.T. also got on my nerves. She could have disappeared in the middle of the book and I would not have missed her. There was nothing likeable or interesting about either of them. Ironically, among all the cartoony, shallow characters, the only ones that had some sense of deeper humanity were Ng and Raven. Another letdown was that the book's ideas were not that great, which did not help the plot. I just did not buy the whole "neurolinguistic hacking" angle as it was used. People becoming brainless zombies from watching some binary code on a screen, or listening to some Sumerian "namshub"? That is so far removed from the fields of NeuroLinguistic Programming and memetics, that this might as well have been a Dungeons & Dragons novel. I get it. Brains are just like computers, so they can get viruses, binary code, 0's and 1's, blah blah blah. Seriously, I can suspend disbelief, but you can only take a metaphor so far before it starts to look stupid. Finally, for a book that's supposed to be a belly busting satire, the humor in this book is rather lame and nerdy. I read people talking about how this book made them howl with laughter, but almost everything fell pretty flat for me. The only section that got a half-assed 'heh' from me was the government policy on the use of toilet paper, but by the second page the joke had already become stale. All in all, I doubt that I will buy another book from this author. Judging from what little I've read in Cryptonomicon and Diamond Age, there is little that has changed for me to warrant another look.


Narrated by Jonathan DavisI really enjoyed the quality of the narration; Mr. Davis does an excellent job rendering the voices of the various characters within the story.This was a fun read for the most part ... although the heavy exploitation of various stereo-types might be offensive to some, it really is the key to most of the humor in the story; at least Mr. Stephenson is an equal opportunity satirist in creating his dystopian society. The story pokes fun at corporate franchises, Christians (Orthodox Russians, Catholics and evangelists), the feds, the mafia, Columbian drug cartels, pizza delivery drivers, skateboard couriers, gated communities (burbclaves), apartheid, Alaskan red-necks, and a host of others. The characters themselves are very shallow and underdeveloped, though most are still memorable none the less. This central plot merges ancient Sumerian mythology as alternate history with computer technology to construct an idea that humans have a basic or innate language ability that was 'hard coded' into our brain. This direct neural wiring left humans vulnerable to a memetic or 'meta virus' that basically turns humans into automatons. Stephenson uses a series of interactions (info-dumps) with a database AI (The Librarian) to introduce reader to the concepts needed to fully appreciate the plot climax. Unfortunately this is where Stephenson starts to lose his way (and a star) while the satire becomes less skillful and the story displays more violence (needlessly so in some cases). The strange introduction of teenage sex with a much older and very violent male antagonist toward the end of the book really detracted from the story as a whole. Finally, the conclusion seemed confused and somewhat aimless and unsatisfying by the end (Where was Raven's kaboom!).


I guess if you're crazy into computer hacking and stuff this book would be a great read. I can't say that it was an entirely horrible book but I don't think I would ever recommend it to anybody that I didn’t wish a horrible, fiery death upon.The plot was entertaining enough and the back-story though extremely, extremely detailed which as a side note isn't necessarily a bad thing however for those of you yet to read it, a quick warning. As soon as Hiro meets up with that librarian dude, settle in for a long night. That aside it is a very clever theory that dates all the way back to Babel and some how links it with computer language in a way that really sells it.I could go on about feeling deceived and what not from the seemingly false positive reviews i'd read of it before buying it. For instance the first review on the back, and I quote "Fast, dense, deep, and funny. The best book I've read this year". When actually I found it to be quite slowish, a little too dense and deep, I guess it's light mooded but not really HAHA funny and, you know! not the best book I’ve read this year. But the clincher for me was one of the characters, Y.T to be exact. Police making her strip down and perving on her, making several remarks about screwing several characters and finally the big one, a steamy love scene with like the forty year old bad ass, bad guy Raven. All of which would be cool if not for the fact she's 15. I'm sorry but I just couldn't get past it. For the life of me I just can't understand why he couldn't just bump that 5 into a 9. I mean the young, can do, sexually active character still works with the added bonus of not feeling sick to your stomach whenever you read something provocative.But still as a whole it's not so bad, probably one of those books that you have to read two or three times to appreciate. My advice, save yourself the time and read One of us or Only Forward, Michael Marshall Smith is a much better cyber punk writer.

Julia Gay

This book is awful. Never ever read it. It's mastubatory shit written by a self-absorbed pseudo academic with a lolita syndrome or ephebophilia. I can't really decide which. Read Neuromancer instead.

mark monday

derisively laugh to me for opportunities of full and cringe-worthy and tedious equally be to found i which, Against A Dark Background beloved the disliked who jackass of kind the am i that mind in keep also should you, seriously review this take you before but. FAIL. hipness insouciant of display a with audience its dazzle to designed lie a - lie brazen some of middle the in worship i someone catching like was it, one this with was i disappointed how express can't words. nowhere go but brilliant seem that (business Sumerian that like) ideas many so. cyberbullshit confusing of full too, snarky too, shallow too. finish couldn't i that (far so) book Stephenson Neal only extra star for being incredibly ahead of its time.

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