Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

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.

My impressions:

I loved the premise of this one. The author compared ancient Sumerian language to an audio virus which could infect programmers and spread like bush fire. I loved the beginning too, with a pizza delivery almost gone wrong. I loved the dystopian world where governments had collapsed and societies were held loosely together by anarcho-capitalism.

Still the book was far from perfect. It was obvious it didn’t age well for one thing. The ending was horrible, preceded by info-dumpish, chapter-length explanations, interesting only for nerds, and a fairy-tale interpretation of Neurolinguistics which sometimes was fine and sometimes bordered ridiculous. Some characters really made me raise my hackles, especially a teenage girl called Y.T., a smart skater Kourier Mary-Sue who enchants everybody around her even if she is as flat as a cardboard pizza box, perhaps even flatter. Different cyberpunk gizmos that she carries along seem to act as an equivalent of individuality. Don’t even let me start writing about romance story arcs, as dry as sand on the desert.

Final verdict:

The book read like a list of brilliant ideas and missed opportunities. A dated version of cyberpunk I could swallow. Some characters, especially females, I couldn’t. Still disliking it  completely was for me impossible, flaws or no flaws, especially because of lovely Sumerians who were treated by the authors as equals to our contemporaries.

Rating icon. A hairless cat is wearing a santa hat and a sour expression. On the hat reads: meh.

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7 Responses to Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

  1. blodeuedd says:

    And it failed, tough luck

  2. Carole Rae says:

    Not for me. I do like the cover though. 🙂

  3. heidenkind says:

    I’m not sure I’ll ever manage to force myself to try Stephenson

  4. Melfka says:

    Awwww, bummer!
    Did you read his other books? His Quicksilver and other in the Baroque Cycle? (I’m almost sure I’ve asked you that before, but well, I’m getting old and forgetful)

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