Review: Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson


Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

Published Year: 2000
Genre: Science Fiction / Virtual Reality
Subtitle: Good (3 stars)
Cover: Excellent (5 stars)

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.


A part of me still feels as though I should have loved this book. Maybe if I had read it in 2000, when it was first published, I really would have. Others absolutely adore it, and I can see the appeal, but it just didn't speak to me (if you've read it, that was sort of a pun).

We've got Hiro Protagonist, and right off the bat I can't get into this name. I do get the attempt at humor behind it, but it's just not my sense of humor. So, sorry to all of you who love the irony there. Anyway, he's our main character. But then, there's also YT, (I do appreciate the humor behind her name (stands for Yours Truly; go ahead, call me biased, I won't deny it) who is also main-character-ish. I can't call her a true main character to rival Hiro, because we don't get any background about her or depth or motivation from her character. (Big foul by the way, NS, I would've appreciated either/both of those, big time). I won't even bother listing secondary characters here, because for their complete lack of depth or connections they might as well not have as existed.

Aside from the characters, there's the whole: we don't find out major bits of information about the characters, the world, the whole point of the story until really late in the book. This is also partly why I couldn't get into this novel. Literally every time I wanted to put the book down, NS would insert the word "Snow Crash" and my interest was piqued enough to keep going. Mind you, I didn't actually get any answers about it until 95%. (Yes, this drove me absolutely insane).

Now, I will say the Metaverse did sound pretty hip and Hiro was one cool dude having been one of the original programmers. Because of that he knew some hacks (like I said, cool). But I couldn't even tell when people were in the Metaverse vs. Reality! Maybe that's just me, but maybe it's not. I think that should be clear. Also, I want more Metaverse time, less Librarian lectures. Because information should be shown to the reader, not just dumped in the middle of other exciting YT plot lines, thank you very much, NS.

I wanted to love this book, I really did. And I think that's why I'm still being nice in my star rating. 

3 out of 5 stars.