Snow Crash

Book – Snow Crash

Author – Neal Stephenson

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. – Goodreads Synopsis

Before we get started, let’s put on some of that synthwave baby.

Am I Being Cyber Punked?

Ok – so you start off by being introduced to the main character HiroProtagonist… Man1_q7m5ypdymhkq_mmxuvhjqg@2x that’s gotta be a joke. Wait… am I the butt of the joke here? That’s his name? Hiro is delivering pizzas all decked out in some futuristic armor with a katana to boot. It’s a high action car chase filled with explosiveness!

It’s around this point where I think to myself “OK – What the hell am I reading? Is this guy just living out some fantasy in his mind during his boring pizza delivery job?” That is really what I thought for the entire time I read this novel. I was waiting for something to be revealed that would make sense of this ridiculousness. The owner of the pizza place is an Italian Mobster? (Whaaaaat?) Neal Stephenson has got to be screwing with me right now. Spoiler alert – I still don’t know if I was tricked or not. I’ve never experience Cyberpunk reading before…but you know what? It felt good.

Nah That’s Just Cyberpunk

(Are you still listening to that synthwave? Good.)440px-shibuya_night_28hdr29

It’s rough, it’s gritty, it’s underground. There are people living in slums jacking into online virtual reality worlds, and people going to industrial park concerts. You got skateboarders and motorcyclists. You got a dark cityscape lit up by neon lights. You got punk baby.

I love how the punkness turns humorous as well. Sometimes this book just goes so over the top with it, that I ended up laughing. The government employees that work for the FBI have to get polygraph tested all the time, they get timed when they read memos to make sure they read them, and all of this other over-the-top futuristic absurdness that feels like satire at it’s high moments. It is very enjoyable to a punk like me

Sumerian Mythology

Fitting with the futurism punk, comes some thoughts about religion. Neal Stephenson again shows that he does his research when it comes to what he is writing about. There are major plot lines of the story that are tied to old religious mythologies, with the Sumerian myths in the spotlight. I have never learned so much about Sumerian mythology (Well maybe in school a long time ago…but who remembers that…) while reading a novel. I love when something I am reading inspires me to learn more. I was on wikipedia half of the time looking up to verify if what I was reading was actually based in truth or not. (It was.)

chaos_monster_and_sun_god
Stab him with your forks!

Now I feel if my Grandmother had read some of these parts, she would have been appalled. There are some hints that religion was created sort of like a computer virus to control people. That’s some atheistic cyberpunk right there. My grandmother would have looked at that the same way she looked at me when I was reading The Da Vinci Code for pleasure. Be warned it may offend some people. (So check out this quote below!)

“Ninety-nine percent of everything that goes on in most Christian churches has nothing whatsoever to do with the actual religion. Intelligent people all notice this sooner or later, and they conclude that the entire one hundred percent is bullshit, which is why atheism is connected with being intelligent in people’s minds.”

 

Should I Read It?

Do you like virtual sword fights? Then hell yeah you should check it out. It was a fun read, and although not the greatest thing I’ve ever read, I still really enjoyed it. I was originally recommended this novel Snow Crash, after all the hype that I gave Ready Player One. I can see the similarities outside of the virtual world, but that is about it. If you have heard the same thing, I would go in expecting something quite a bit different.

You know I don’t really like to spoil to much or go on about what the plot really is about. That’s what the synopsis is for. Rest-assured though, through all the satire and punk there is a plot that will keep you turning the pages. Hiro The Deliverator is one cool punk.

“The Deliverator belongs to an elite order, a hallow subcategory. He’s got esprit up to here. Right now, he is preparing to carry out his third mission of the night. His uniform is black as activated charcoal, filtering the very light out of the air. A bullet will bounce off its arachnofiber weave like a wren hitting a patio door, but excess perspiration wafts through it like a breeze through a freshly napalmed forest. Where his body has bony extremities, the suit has sintered armorgel: feels like gritty jello, protects like a stack of telephone books.”

LIFE OF CHAZ (1)

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39 thoughts on “Snow Crash

  1. I need to read this one. About a month or so ago, I saw something about “Cryptonomicon” and then checked it out, devoured it in a matter of days. It’s EXACTLY the kind of book I’m normally into, and all I kept thinking is, how have I never even HEARD of this book before? Or this author? He got swept under the rug somehow, I guess. But was definitely ahead of his time – and a great writer, as if it needs said.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Hey Chaz. Thanks for liking one of my blog posts last night. I’m glad that you thought this cyberpunk book was interesting. Although, I personally wouldn’t read something in that area. I’m not a huge sci-fi girl. Maybe someday.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I enjoyed a lot of this book, but I remember getting really tired of the exposition. A book that has so much to explain about its world is going to have info-dumping, but he really piled it on. And everything around that ancient space herpes was handled a bit clumsily, I thought.

    But I did enjoy it overall, and it was so ahead of its time as far as the technology was concerned.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I love this review. It is very readable and I feel like I learned a lot just from the review. I’m not sure the book would be a good fit for me, I know at least one teenage who might really like it. Thank you for the recommendation.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Charlee: “Our Dada loves this book.”
    Chaplin: “He says YT is his favorite, especially when she goes around slapping stickers on things, like ‘That was stale’ on the Deliverator’s car.”
    Charlee: “Isn’t it usually food that’s stale and not cars?”
    Chaplin: “I wouldn’t know, I eat all the food I find before it has a chance to go stale.”

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Awesome review. I have never heard of synthwave, but I feel like I should be night cruising in an ’85 VW Golf. I am very new to Stephenson but his Baroque Cycle books were recommended to me. I have Quicksilver but have not started it yet. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Great review. Neal Stephenson is my husband’s top favourite author (which says a lot, since he reads a ton of sci-fi and is a pretty smart dude). I’ve never read Stephenson’s books yet, I guess mainly because I haven’t been that interested in “virtual sword fights,” as you put it, lol, especially fictional ones, lately. But you’ve got me interested. I might give it a go. The Stephenson title that called to me the most, from my husband’s bookshelves, was “Cryptonomicon.” Thanks for sharing (and thanks for liking my post! :))

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Lol! Love your thoughts on Hiro being the protagonist’s name! That never occurred to me when I read the book—totally should have, but in my defence, my Dad’s name is Hiro, so it didn’t faze me 😉☺️ Good review, by the way; like how you don’t do the whole synopsis thing either 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Another great review, Chaz! I have never read any cyberpunk, and really have no interest in the genre. Until now. Your review had me going “huh?” and “whaaaa?” That craziness sounds like a good read.

    And just FYI- in online .gov training they hide links and clicky graphics to make sure you read and click on everything. The training cannot be completed without clicking/watching embedded videos/ etc, so timing an agent ti see if he read a a memo is… well, real.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Snow Crash is my favorite work by Neal Stevenson – I like how he explores the idea of mind viruses and how it could intersect with cyber-reality and keeps the story going throughout. Many of his other novels are more encyclopedic and the story just… falls by the wayside. I liked Snow Crash better than Neuromancer (even though Neuromancer is foundational to cyberpunk) because it stayed funny and engaging. I don’t really know what other cyberpunk books are out there… have there been others that you’ve liked?

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I liked this post having read ‘Snow Crash’ a long time ago, others have recommended ‘Cryptonomicon’ and I would endorse that, it is very good indeed. I also recommend his ‘Baroque Cycle’ books. Good to be reminded of the quote about what goes on in Christian churches – I shudder to say that it is right on the nose, as they say!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I absolutely love snowcrash!

    It is streets ahead of ready player one, it is full of ideas that were way ahead of their time for when it was written in the mid 90s whereas ready player one is a bad rip off with no actual original plot.

    Snowcrash is really good, but nothing compared to Anathem, Diamond Age and cryptonomicon to name a few awesome Neal Stephenson booms 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Don’t know about the synthwave, I’m listening to a youtube mix and wonder why November Rain gets onto every Youtube mix…
    I loved Snow Crash, I read it when I was heavily into Second Life, so I could forgive some of its narrative misgivings for its reflections of life in the virtual world.

    Liked by 1 person

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