Great book. One of the things I had to keep doing was checking the year it was published, 1992, because Neal has described a number of things that have come to pass.

Snow Crash is rollicking story of an enfranchised America in which central government no longer has any real meaning. A drug called snow crash is circulating, and two characters Hiro Protangonist and Y.T. are collaborating to figure out what it is, and where it’s coming from.

By enfranchised I mean that nothing seems to be owned privately anymore. Everything is run by major corporations, like the Mafia, and everyone who isn’t someone is an employee. This future isn’t as far away as you might think.

What is truly amazing though is Stephenson’s description of the online world, or what we these days call massively multiplayer online role-play games (MMORPG). Designers either copied Stephenson’s ideas, or the man was indeed well ahead of his time. His “metaverse” is basically Second Life. But a little more snazzy…

As it turns out, snow crash the drug is a virus that is able to infect the minds of people, and is being used by an evil tycoon to attempt to take over the American continent. It’s a dastardly plan, and is based on a surprisingly well-researched understanding of ancient Mesopotamian mythology.

I know that because ancient mythologies were a bit of an interest 15 years ago, and he’s right on the money. Of course, he warps the history a little to suit his own purposes, but you can forgive him that.

The plot to Snow Crash unfolds with a huge degree intrigue, never becomes laboured, and kept my interest throughout. The characters are funny, which Stephenson is excellent at (Cryptonomicon is a favourite of mine), and action is never overplayed.

Probably the only bit that annoyed me was the connection between the extremely evil ™ Raven and Hiro via their POW fathers… A bit too much.

That wee criticism aside, a page turner.

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