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Snow Crash School & Library Binding – Oct 2001


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Product details

  • School & Library Binding: 468 pages
  • Publisher: Turtleback Books (Oct. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0613361628
  • ISBN-13: 978-0613361620
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 13.8 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,164,218 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author



Neal Town Stephenson (born October 31, 1959) is an American writer, known for his speculative fiction works, which have been variously categorized science fiction, historical fiction, maximalism, cyberpunk, and postcyberpunk. Stephenson explores areas such as mathematics, cryptography, philosophy, currency, and the history of science. He also writes non-fiction articles about technology in publications such as Wired Magazine, and has worked part-time as an advisor for Blue Origin, a company (funded by Jeff Bezos) developing a manned sub-orbital launch system.

Born in Fort Meade, Maryland (home of the NSA and the National Cryptologic Museum) Stephenson came from a family comprising engineers and hard scientists he dubs "propeller heads". His father is a professor of electrical engineering whose father was a physics professor; his mother worked in a biochemistry laboratory, while her father was a biochemistry professor. Stephenson's family moved to Champaign-Urbana, Illinois in 1960 and then to Ames, Iowa in 1966 where he graduated from Ames High School in 1977. Stephenson furthered his studies at Boston University. He first specialized in physics, then switched to geography after he found that it would allow him to spend more time on the university mainframe. He graduated in 1981 with a B.A. in Geography and a minor in physics. Since 1984, Stephenson has lived mostly in the Pacific Northwest and currently resides in Seattle with his family.

Neal Stephenson is the author of the three-volume historical epic "The Baroque Cycle" (Quicksilver, The Confusion, and The System of the World) and the novels Cryptonomicon, The Diamond Age, Snow Crash, and Zodiac. He lives in Seattle, Washington.

Product Description

Amazon Review

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. --Acton Lane --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Stephenson excels in marrying geekspeak with riotous action (Guardian)

A cross between Neuromancer and Thomas Pynchon's Vineland. This is no mere hyperbole (San Francisco Bay Guardian)

Brilliantly realized. Stephenson [is] an engaging guide to an onrushing tomorrow (The New York Times)

A fantastic, slam-bang-overdrive, supersurrealistic, comic-spooky whirl through a tomorrow that is already happening. Stephenson is intelligent, perceptive, hip (Timothy Leary)

Like a Pynchon novel with the brakes removed (Washington Post) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Michael Heron TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 31 Mar. 2015
Format: Paperback
I dithered over whether this was a four or five star book for a while. The thing that most risks its five star status is... good grief, I hope you like exposition. It's engaging to begin with, but rapidly becomes a crutch for the plot. It's a somewhat cheap way of dumping lots of relatively complex back-story into the book.

But in the end I decided 'five stars' based on just how much I enjoyed the book and how sorry I was when it ended. It's such a fun read, especially for someone like me with a background in programming. Unlike many 'nerd books', it all rings absolutely true - not just in the surface details, but in the deeper philosophy of design and development. The world in which Snow Crash is set is beautifully evocative, playing on contemporary trends of globalisation and corporatisation in the information age. The characters, Hiro and YT in particular, are likeable and competent with enough human weaknesses to keep them interesting. The main antagonist, Raven, is maniacal without being comically manic. The big sweep of the book is deep and redolent with modern day memetic mysticism, managing to neatly bridge the worlds of digital malware and Sumerian linguistics.

More than anything else though, it's just a thoroughly engaging book. At the end of it, I was left feeling like I could have easily have gone for another 200 or so pages without feeling bored. That's really what you want at the conclusion of a novel like this - the wish that it would keep on keeping on.
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59 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Ferrious on 22 Oct. 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
Lets get this out of the way: I adore this book. It's cyberpunk with all the fun put back in, and there are scenes that are literally worth reading the entire book for.

However, the Kindle Edition lets the book down significantly. OCR errors abound in another Kindle Edition that has obviously been hurriedly thrown together without much care. There's no attempt to make the formatting Kindle-friendly either. Now these errors don't ruin the book, it's still a great yarn, but they drag you out of the story rather harshly when they line up several times in a single paragraph.

Bottom line: Read this book, but if you can do it in paper form. While I love my Kindle to bits, I simply can't recommend getting this particular book as an ebook.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 3 Feb. 2000
Format: Paperback
A book with brilliant ideas and plenty of substance, but even more style. Every cariacature and cliche is here, but taken to the slickest, coolest, and baddest end.
It's not a complex plot, but it's a complicated one. With multiple story threads, that means that when the time for a re-read rolls around, you'll feel like you're reading a different story. I'd like to believe this was intentional on his part (the Diamond Age has a similar feel to it)
The scope of this book ranges from the bizarre to the absurd, from the civilised to the savage. The future Stephenson shares with us is hopefully not prophetic, but is realistic enough to come true, and is still near enough to the real world to see trends in society making it come true.
Inspiring, frightening, exciting and amusing all at once, I don't think I've read any book more times than Snow Crash.
Read 'The Diamond Age' (same author), 'Interface' by Stephen Bury (pseudonym). Also excellent books.
As another reviewer mentioned. For a similar style of read, read the also excellent 'Only Forward' by Michael Marshall-Smith.
Buy it, now.
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful By SiD on 4 Sept. 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
I own the paperback version of Snow Crash so wouldn't hesitate in rating it five stars, but it would seem that for the Kindle edition the publishers lazily OCR-ed a paper copy without proofreading it.

Many words are misspelt (e.g. corner becomes comer, run becomes rum), punctuation is missing and the occasional word (mostly abbreviations) is replaced with blank spaces. There is at least one mistake every three or four pages (though often several on one page) which really rips you out of a very enjoyable read.

Definitely one to buy as a paperback.
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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 16 Oct. 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
OK, first up, this is a great book which every SF fan should read, but for heaven's sake buy the paperback!

The Kindle edition is the most atrocious piece of typesetting I've ever had the misfortune to read. It has clearly not even been spellchecked, let alone proofread. At one point chunks of words from one line were being randomly inserted into words in the line above, rendering the paragraph into complete gibberish. The first introduction of the crucial Babel/Infocalypse term is completely mispelled, despite it being in bold and a triple sized font.

I'm astonished that Amazon has the barefaced cheek to charge nearly five quid for this shoddy garbage, and I've half a mind to demand my money back.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Killie on 15 Nov. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Reading "Snow Crash" by Neal Stephenson was my first ever venture into the Science-Fiction sub-genre of Cyberpunk. I actually read it as part of a Sci-Fi Reader Challenge which has already helped introduce me to other types of Science Fiction novel. What I found was a book full of cyber-noir locations, eccentric but rather stereotypical personalities and a complex, roller coaster ride of a plot that brings together elements of science, technology and religious thought.

The story itself revolves around two main characters, a hacker known as Hiro Protagonist and a 15 year old skateboarding courier known as Y.T. The novel initially focuses on the accidental meeting between Hiro and Y.T. and uses this to highlight the dystopian United States, where everything has been privatised and communities are organised into their various franchised mini nations. However, the plot line soon develops into a mad cap and rather comic adventure as Hiro and Y.T. get pulled into fighting against a group conspiring to control humanity though a virus in both the real world and cyber world.

The first few chapters in the story really are quite superb, as they take the reader on an action packed, high octane narrative of a Pizza Deliverator who must deliver the pizza on time or he faces unknown punishment from the company that he works for which is owned by the Mafia. Stephenson did a great job with this early section of the novel as the quick pace and enjoyable thrills ensured that I was hooked right from the beginning.

Of course the pace doesn't stay that fast for ever but the plot itself continues to provide many enjoyable and varied elements that have probably helped to give the novel such a high place in geek culture.
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