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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel



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Snow Crash

by

Snow Crash Cover

 

 Upcoming Event

Tuesday, November 11, 2014 07:00 PM
This month we meet to discuss Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson. Join us!

See our full selection of signed editions from authors coming to Powell's

Staff Pick

Snow Crash is one of my favorites. It's an epic cyber-punk tale that contains elements that are both fantastical and very realistic. The characters are richly imagined, even the villains. It is fast paced and well embellished, containing elements of Sumerian mythology and cryptology combined with very probable future tech and easily plausible events. As with all of Neal Stephenson's books, Snow Crash is dense, entertaining, and thought provoking.
Recommended by Hobie, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

One of Time magazine's 100 all-time best English-language novels.

Only once in a great while does a writer come along who defies comparison — a writer so original he redefines the way we look at the world. Neal Stephenson is such a writer and Snow Crash is such a novel, weaving virtual reality, Sumerian myth, and just about everything in between with a cool, hip cybersensibility to bring us the gigathriller of the information age.

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 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.

Review:

"Stephenson has not stepped, he has vaulted onto the literary stage with this novel." Los Angeles Reader

Review:

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

Review:

"Fast-forward free-style mall mythology for the 21st century." William Gibson, author of Neuromancer

Review:

"Brilliantly realized....Stephenson turns out to be an engaging guide to an onrushing tomorrow." The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"Snow Crash takes on a whole slew of nasty contemporary trends and extrapolates them hilariously into a pessimistic and unlikely newar future....this is one book to chill out with this summer." Mondo 2000

Review:

"Stylish noir extrapolation becomes gloriously witty social satire...savor Stephenson's delicious prose and cheerfully impudent wit. Cyberpunk isn't dead — it has just (belatedly) developed a sense of humor." Locus

Review:

"A fantastic, slam-bang-overdrive, supersurrealistic, comic-spooky whirl through a tomorrow that is already happening. Neal Stephenson is intelligent, perceptive, hip and will become a major force in American writing." Timothy Leary

Synopsis:

First arriving on the scene in 1992 to critical acclaim, this definitive novel of the information age weaves virtual reality, Sumerian myth, and just about everything in between. Stephenson is author of the bestselling Cryptonomicon and The Diamond Age.

About the Author

Neal Stephenson issues from a clan of rootless, itinerant hardscience and engineering professors (mostly Pac-10, Big 10, and Big 8 with the occasional wild strain of Ivy). He began his higher education as a physics major, then switched to geography when it appeared that this would enable him to scam more free time on his universitys mainframe computer. When he graduated and discovered, to his perplexity, that there were no jobs for inexperienced physicist-geographers, he began to look into alternative pursuits such as working on cars, unimaginably stupid agricultural labor, and writing novels. His first novel, The Big U, was published in 1984 and vanished without a trace. His second novel, Zodiac: An Eco-Thriller, came out in 1988 and quickly developed a cult following among water-pollution-control engineers. It was also enjoyed, though rarely bought, by many radical environmentalists. Snow Crash was written in the years 1988 through 1991 as the author listened to a great deal of loud, relentless, depressing music.

Mr. Stephenson now resides in a comfortable home in the western hemisphere and spends all of his time trying to retrofit an office into its generally dark, unlevel, and asbestos-laden basement so that he can attempt to write more novels. Despite the tremendous amounts of time he devotes to writing, playing with computers, listening to speed metal, Rollerblading, and pounding nails, he is a flawless husband, parent, neighbor, and all-around human being.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 10 comments:

chipkerchner, March 24, 2013 (view all comments by chipkerchner)
I'm asking myself "Why didn't I read this book back in early/mid 90s?" This book is amazing in so many ways. His description of technology is eerily dead on to how we've progressed in the past 25 years. It's both fun and exciting (android life forms, 3D fully immersive internet, skate boarding wonders, heroic pizza deliverers/hackers). While it's mildly dystopic (hyper inflation, private enterprise running what's left of society, unstoppable assassin, floating refugee ship island, mind controlling viruses). Cyberpunk books should "try" to model themselves after this one.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
exxxconn, August 4, 2012 (view all comments by exxxconn)

If you like Cyber Punk and Humor than this is your book!!! Great plot elements and wonderful characters abound in this classic gem. One of my favorite books and I highly recommend it.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Anna Hernandez, January 4, 2010 (view all comments by Anna Hernandez)
The world in this book is bleak but offers a light at the end of the tunnel for our troubled world. "Wait a minute, Juanita. Make up your mind. This Snow Crash thing—is it a virus, a drug, or a religion?"
Juanita shrugs. "What's the difference?"
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(2 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 10 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780553380958
Author:
Stephenson, Neal
Publisher:
Spectra Books
Location:
New York
Subject:
Science Fiction - General
Subject:
Science fiction
Subject:
Science Fiction - High Tech
Subject:
High tech
Subject:
Science fiction, american
Subject:
American fiction
Subject:
Humorous fiction
Subject:
Science / General
Subject:
Science Fiction and Fantasy-High Tech
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Bantam Spectra Book
Series Volume:
#97-752
Publication Date:
20000531
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
480
Dimensions:
8.22x5.56x1.01 in. .81 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Genre
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » Featured Titles
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Adventure
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Classics
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Cyberpunk
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Featured Titles

Snow Crash New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$15.00 In Stock
Product details 480 pages Spectra Books - English 9780553380958 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Snow Crash is one of my favorites. It's an epic cyber-punk tale that contains elements that are both fantastical and very realistic. The characters are richly imagined, even the villains. It is fast paced and well embellished, containing elements of Sumerian mythology and cryptology combined with very probable future tech and easily plausible events. As with all of Neal Stephenson's books, Snow Crash is dense, entertaining, and thought provoking.

"Review" by , "Stephenson has not stepped, he has vaulted onto the literary stage with this novel."
"Review" by , "A cross between Neuromancer and Thomas Pynchon's Vineland. This is no mere hyperbole."
"Review" by , "Fast-forward free-style mall mythology for the 21st century."
"Review" by , "Brilliantly realized....Stephenson turns out to be an engaging guide to an onrushing tomorrow."
"Review" by , "Snow Crash takes on a whole slew of nasty contemporary trends and extrapolates them hilariously into a pessimistic and unlikely newar future....this is one book to chill out with this summer."
"Review" by , "Stylish noir extrapolation becomes gloriously witty social satire...savor Stephenson's delicious prose and cheerfully impudent wit. Cyberpunk isn't dead — it has just (belatedly) developed a sense of humor."
"Review" by , "A fantastic, slam-bang-overdrive, supersurrealistic, comic-spooky whirl through a tomorrow that is already happening. Neal Stephenson is intelligent, perceptive, hip and will become a major force in American writing."
"Synopsis" by , First arriving on the scene in 1992 to critical acclaim, this definitive novel of the information age weaves virtual reality, Sumerian myth, and just about everything in between. Stephenson is author of the bestselling Cryptonomicon and The Diamond Age.
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