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  • Published: New York : Bantam Books, 1992.
  • Year Published: 1992
  • Description: 470 pages ; 18 cm.
  • Language: English
  • Format: Book

Reading Level

  • Lexile: 970

ISBN/Standard Number

  • 0553380958
  • 9780553380958


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Snow crash

by Stephenson, Neal.

There is currently 1 available

Where To Find It

Call number: Science Fiction / Stephenson, Neal

Available Copies: Pittsfield Adult

Additional Details

In reality, Hiro Protagonist delivers pizza for Uncle Enzo's CosaNostra 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 of the shadowy virtual villain threatening to bring about infocalypse.

Community Reviews


Cyberpunk classic set in an alternate present, a libertarian-wet-dream version of the world. The United States government is all but defunct, just one of many corporate entities (Mafia pizza places, Reverend Wayne's Pearly Gates drive-thru worship centers, The Clink local jails) that operate "franchises" across the country. Even police and military functions are contracted out to competing private outfits such as General Jim's Defense Systems and the MetaCops. Max Barry's Jennifer Government world all over again. I loved Jennifer Government.

Much of the action takes place within the Metaverse, a sort of 3D virtual reality cyberworld--basically the internet as depicted in Futurama.

Disrupting this glorious Eden of individual sovereignty is a drug (snow crash) that turns functional human beings into placid gibbering idiots, and a computer virus (also called snow crash) that turns hackers into mind-wiped gibbering idiots. A pizza delivery boy and a skateboard courier undertake to find the source of the poisons and save the world.

Snow Crash isn't without problems.
--Whinge #1) The pizza boy hero protagonist (awesomely named Hiro Protagonist because "you'll never forget it") is conveniently the world's greatest hacker AND the world's greatest swordsman. His courier partner YT, a 15 year old girl with a badass skateboard and a uniform full of badass gadgets, is basically Batman. Because of course she is.

--Whinge #2) Snow Crash starts fast and fascinating but then a third of the way in collapses under the weight of its own exposition. A digital librarian lectures Hiro (and us) ad nauseum on Sumerian history, biopsychology, linguistics, glossolalia, archaeology, and ancient Middle Eastern mythology. It's not uninteresting but the plot screeches to a halt for a good hundred pages.

--Whinge #3) The most abrupt ending of any book in the history of ever. WHAT HAPPENS NEXT STEPHENSON YOU COLOSSAL DICK??

BUT. Totally worth it. Now that I've read it I see Snow Crash's influence everywhere, movies and board games and books and video games, everywhere. Except for the lecture portion it was extremely hard to put down. Plus it has awesome nuclear-powered cyborg doggies. I just wanted to hug 'em.

There's a recurring harpoon theme that I don't know how to interpret. Main Bad Guy Raven is a harpoon-throwing Aleut. YT uses a magnetic harpoon to tag rides on her skateboard in traffic. Moby Dick is referenced. Raven gets (ow) harpooned in the (ow) manhood while (ow) having sex with his girlfriend. I'm sure someone smarter than me has extracted some literary significance from this motif. It's everywhere.

The best!

One of Stephenson's series of books with confusing titles -- this is not about someone whose plane fell out of the sky in the arctic. (Zodiac is not about astrology. Diamond Age is not about paleontology or Madonna). It's fast paced and grabs you from the first pizza delivery. You know who the hero is from the start (that would be Hiro) but he doesn't hit you over the head in that manner very often. There's so much going on here that it's hard to explain. I've never figured out if the author had a similar background to me, or if he just throws in so many references to so many things that any reader would find something that feels like recognizing a long-lost friend.

Great Cyberpunk Novel

This book has it all: great characters, great plot and a brilliant setting. If you are looking for a book that will both entertain and make you think about the world we currently live in follow Hiro Protagonist is his epic question to save the (virtual) world.

Fantastic book, if it is your subject matter

Published shortly before the Internet boom, this book is a hopeful but realistic look at the future of humanity, ecology, religion, computers and business.

None of these really interest me as simple subject matter to base a book on, but this book covers all of these topics in such a wonderful way.

Characters maintain their personalities throughout the book, but Stephenson has a brilliant way of making you change your mind about them without changing the characters personality, making them more realistic and relatable.

The humor is subtle in most parts, which doesn't make the author seem like he's trying too hard and the writing is fantastic.

The only drawbacks were located in the middle of the book, where an entire background on almost every religion imaginable was introduced, making it seem like a thesis in religious studies rather than a novel, but it does raise some interesting alternative views, and all in all is related to the story and it's characters even though I found my mind straying through many of these parts and had to re-read them.

Overall, a great book I'd highly recommend for anyone who reads.

Brilliant cyberpunk

Snow Crash is the pinnacle of cyberpunk, a genre of sci-fi that's both high tech and gritty. In this book, our Hero- aptly named Hiro Protagonist- takes on a new drug called Snow Crash in a virtual world that's attacking peoples avatars in a MMORPG... and their brains in real life.

This book is unique and dramatic, fresh and exciting, thrilling and... oh you get the idea. It's bloody brilliant.

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