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SNOW CRASH [Paperback]

Neal Stephenson
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (565 customer reviews)

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School & Library Binding CDN $17.87  
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Paperback, May 1 1992 --  
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MP3 CD, Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged CDN $10.79  
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Book Description

May 1 1992 Bantam Spectra 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.
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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From Amazon

From the opening line of his breakthrough cyberpunk novel Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson plunges the reader into a not-too-distant future. It is a world where the Mafia controls pizza delivery, the United States exists as a patchwork of corporate-franchise city-states, and the Internet--incarnate as the Metaverse--looks something like last year's hype would lead you to believe it should. Enter Hiro Protagonist--hacker, samurai swordsman, and pizza-delivery driver. When his best friend fries his brain on a new designer drug called Snow Crash and his beautiful, brainy ex-girlfriend asks for his help, what's a guy with a name like that to do? He rushes to the rescue. A breakneck-paced 21st-century novel, Snow Crash interweaves everything from Sumerian myth to visions of a postmodern civilization on the brink of collapse. Faster than the speed of television and a whole lot more fun, Snow Crash is the portrayal of a future that is bizarre enough to be plausible. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

In California of the near future, when the U.S. is only a "Burbclave" (city-state), the Mafia is just another franchise chain (CosaNostrastet Pizza, Incorporated) and there are no laws to speak of, Hiro Protagonist follows clues from the Bible, ancient Sumer and high technology to help thwart an attempt to take control of civilization--such as it is. When he logs on to Metaverse, an imaginary place entered via computer, Hiro encounters Juanita Marquez, a "radical" Catholic and computer whiz. She warns him off Snow Crash (a street drug named for computer failure) and gives him a file labeled Babel (as in Tower of Babel). Another friend, sp ok/pk Da5id, who ignores Juanita's warning, computer crashes out of Metaverse into the real world, where he physically collapses. Hiro, Juanita, Y.T. (a freewheeling, skateboard-riding courier) and sundry other Burbclave and franchise power figures see some action on the way to finding out who is behind this bizarre "drug" with ancient roots. Although Stephenson ( Zodiac ) provides more Sumerian culture than the story strictly needs (alternating intense activity with scholarship breaks), his imaginative juxtaposition of ancient and futuristic detail could make this a cult favorite.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Something for everyone to love...and to hate... March 10 2006
By turns frustratingly brilliant and wildly disappointing, this book seems to taunt its readers. It can't make up its mind what it is. The first chapter is possibly the most madcap action scene I've ever read. After that the novel just veers off in all directions at once. The hell of it is, many of these directions are interesting. You just get to wishing Stephenson would spend more time somewhere, anywhere. And then, wonder of wonders, everything gets tied up together in the end.
I'm a small minority on here, it appears: I REALLY liked the historical lectures. They actually made a good deal of sense to me and made me think of the world in a new way.
I'm more than intrigued enough to read some more of this author.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars FIrst Stephenson read won't be the last Sept. 30 2009
By J. Tobin Garrett TOP 1000 REVIEWER
This was my first plunge into the world of Stephenson (I have Cryptonomicon sitting ominously on my shelf), and now I know why people make such a big fuss over him. This book is funny, wildly inventive, action-packed, futuristic, dystopian, philsophical, historical, etc... I was totally sucked into the world and loved the descriptions of the franchised universe in which the characters live, consume, and die in. It was interesting even further when the full mystery began to unravel and Stephenson injected the book with mythology and religious history, which was fascinating and unexpected.

I've been told this is a 'cyberpunk' novel, and I can see why, as the name seems to fit the tone of the book. Punk music, skateboarding, violence, and swords all combined with technology, cars, virtual reality, and computer viruses. Makes for quite an interesting mash of topics.

There were a few times when the characters fell flat for me. I didn't really buy into or care about the romance between Hiro and Juanita; it seemed as though it was thrown in there to make the characters more dynamic, the story more involving, but didn't work for me. Stephenson is a great writer and could be so much better if he created characters that were as three dimensional as his worlds.

What really sold me on the novel was Stephenson's narrative voice: it was so casual and conversational that it was difficult to remember that the novel was written in third person at all. The narrator had such a presence in the book, which was really cool. It was kind of like how David Foster Wallace has his own presence in his books as a narrator, just lurking in the background but constantly there, popping in every once in a while with asides and footnoted information.

I look forward to reading more of Neil Stephenson's work. His futuristic writings, but also his historical writing in the Baroque Trilogy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly entertaining and ahead of its time June 14 2004
Readers of this book need to take into account that it was written between '89 and '91, published in '92. Why? Because so many of his predictions and observations are pretty accurate or close to how things are now. If you didn't realize this, then it would seem cliched and unoriginal. In addition, the book is damn funny, it zips along at a quick pace and the dialogue is sharp and witty. Pick it up at your first opportunity and as soon as you start reading, you'll be hooked....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Be sure you stop to breathe June 26 2004
Reading this book is like watching an Imax film of Calvin and Hobbes riding their sled. Stephenson manages to combine something old, sonething new, lots of things borrowed, and a few blue, in an intelligent and well-thought-out book that does not discard all the old literary virtues, even as it is uproariously original. And, it's so nice to see ancient cultures, computer programming, and swordsmanship all treated with intelligence and respect and some regard for the facts.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Depends on how you like your SF...... Aug. 26 2001
Snow Crash is full of fun and often inventive SF gadgets and ideas. How much you will enjoy this novel will depend upon how heavily you are 'into' science fiction and how plausible you like your stories. I found the characters somewhat lacking in complexity, and some of the plot devices contrived. Snow Crash felt to me a little like a comic book, without the illustrations. If you like your science fiction with an extra fantastical flare, Snow Crash is for you. If you're into hard-science SF and plausible story lines, there are many better options available.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Just can't get enough April 29 2004
This has to be the most mentally uplifting, humorous, and yet deeply serious book I've ever read. Stephenson approaches the entire plot completely seriously, but the actually subject matter is a joke.
It's rather hard to explain, especially since the book somehow takes things that make no sense and makes them work. The main character (for example) is a half-black, half-Korean pizza delivery salesman, who is also one of the few freelance hackers left in the world, he has a huge amount of influence in the metaverse, he's excellent at driving, he is a master at using a Katana, his room-mate is an ultra-famous rockstar, oh and did I mention that the Mafia runs his pizza company? The entire book is like this, and at certain points, the normal things make you laugh because everything seems so surreal.
Yet it deals with the issue of memes (units of cultural information, in the same way a gene is a unit of genetic information), Sumerian Myths, and what happens when America goes Anarcho-Capitalist, not to mention skateboarders. It's a mix of things that should not ever go together.
My only real gripe was one of the love scenes, infact, it was the only love scene, has a situation that I found slightly disturbing, only lessened by the fact it was a book.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Snow Crash
This is one of Neil Stephenson's best as far as I'm concerned, which is saying a lot since he is f%*#ing amazing in general. Read more
Published 21 months ago by fussypants
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful
Disclaimer: Bad english

After playing Deus Ex: Human Revolution and rewatching the Matrix Trilogy, I've desperately been looking for some gritty/noire cyberpunk content... Read more
Published on Oct. 17 2012 by Koronisz
4.0 out of 5 stars Cool and smart!
Given all the rave reviews Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash has received over the years, it's a wonder that the book has been sitting there on my shelf for well over a decade now. Read more
Published on Aug. 25 2012 by Patrick St-Denis
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 years later and still cool
This was my first time to read a novel by Stephenson. It actually surpassed my expectations. Some of the ideas in this book are original and highly imaginative, and especially the... Read more
Published on May 3 2012 by Ryan G
5.0 out of 5 stars Pizza Delivery & Kourier versus Mind Robbers
Hiro Protagonist is the hero of future twisted world created by Neal Stephenson. Hiro is also the protagonist. Read more
Published on Dec 17 2011 by fastreader
1.0 out of 5 stars Cyber Trash!! Worst book ever!!
This was the most painful book I have ever read! It is so disjointed, the reader has little or no idea what world the characters are in at any given time. Read more
Published on Oct. 31 2005 by Paul Guibord
1.0 out of 5 stars Maybe I just don't care much for the cyberpunk genre...
...but this has got to be the most disappointing novel I've ever wasted my time on! Okay, so I listened to the audiobook version while I was driving to and from work, and so I was... Read more
Published on July 12 2004 by D. Prince
5.0 out of 5 stars Most entertaining book I've read in a long time.
First off, I read this book in just over 2 days. I quite honestly couldn't put it down - extremely action packed, better than most movies I've seen lately. Read more
Published on June 30 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Why you should read Snow Crash
You should read this novel if you
1. enjoy a dark vision of the future presented as comedy;
2. appreciate masterful word play;
3. Read more
Published on June 18 2004 by C. Myers
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