Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

Read: 5 December, 2014

Hiro Protagonist (no, really) delivers pizzas for the Mafia, and must never, ever be late. On a night where absolutely everything seems to be going wrong, it looks very much like the pizza will be late, until he’s saved by fifteen year old Kourier, Y.T. Thus begins a partnership that sees the rise, and fall, of a linguistic virus/religion transmitted to hackers through the Metaverse.

Snow Crash is a dog pile of interesting ideas. Reading, it felt like something new was being thrown at me every couple pages. While that certainly made for an interesting read that I suspect I will still be thinking about for a long time, it also means that there wasn’t much room for character depth – or even for me to grow to care for the characters. Sure, Hiro and Y.T. are cool, but they never got to feel like people.

The sheer amount of content and detail also means lengthy info-dumps, like the multiple chapters of Hiro sitting in his Metaverse office talking to the Librarian. The Librarian is explaining the whole backstory for the plot while Hiro occasionally interjects with a question or comment, and this goes on and on and on. The ideas were interesting, but I couldn’t help but think that there absolutely must have been a better way to deliver them.

I think that the pacing and style of the book would have worked much better as a movie, but then all those info-dumps would have needed cutting.

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