Dec 22, 2010

If This Were A Virus You Would Be Dead Now

Fortunately it's not. It's me talking about "Snow Crash" by Neal Stephenson.

I was going to call it a review, but it's probably more of a gush and recommendation for you to read it.

It's a post-cyberpunk story published in 1992 that predicted a whole lot of the way things are now. The main character is named Hiro Protagonist, he's last of the freelance hackers and the greatest swordfighter in the world. It says so on his business card. He also delivers pizza. It's the only book I know of with a hacker who carries and uses a samurai sword. That alone would be awesome enough, but I haven't gotten to Raven.

All you need to know about Raven is he rides around on a motorcycle with a nuclear warhead in the sidecar and a tatoo on his forehead that says "Poor Impulse Control."

Anyway, it's a story of the internet and computer viruses and Sumerian legend and pizza delivery and the Mafia and the church of Scientology and it's just awesome.

I haven't read anything like it, it combines computer detail with humor with action with mythology with language with in case you didn't notice, these are all Austin's favorite subjects.

The book has flaws but its strengths far outweigh any flaws or weaknesses of the book. If you're looking for an exciting ride and want to laugh and feel your mind expand, read it. That is all.
five out of four stars.


Jacob I. McMillan said...

Yes but what is the plot? All you've told me about is the characters and the themes. Plot is the thing that keeps people reading, or at least that's what every book on writing that I'm reading right now tells me.

Also, you were reading this months ago. Did you just finish?

Austin said...

No, i just got around to writing about it.

the plot in a nutshell is Hiro is investigating what is happening that is making people start speaking in tongues, comparing an infocalypse with the tower of babel myth. i don't want to discuss too much plot because you'll figure it out on the way, I don't want to ruin anything for those who want to read it.

Charlo said...

Ha. I was reading the fist snippet of this on google reader and thought, "so far, I think Austin would like this," then I opened the link and realized hay Austin would, in fact, like this book.

Ammon said...

No mention of the guy who bugged you to read it for months on end until you finally heeded him!?! What gives?

Glad you enjoyed it. It's definitely one of the 10 books I've enjoyed the most that I've read in the last 10 years or so.

Austin said...

If I thanked for everything you recommended to me, I don't know when the list would stop.

Sorry, I meant to, then I forgot. :(

Everyone, Ammon recommended it to me. Hooray, Ammon!