A review of this — 5 years ago
I did not find the main plot of mythology and neuroviruses to be very believable or interesting, but I still found this to be one of the most enjoyable books I have read in several years. Stephenson’s vision of post-modern franchised America is simply outstanding, and his characters are largely believable and sympathetic. To be honest, I would have been perfectly happy to read an entire book about the exploits of the Deliverator and the strange but familiar world in which he works.
Beyond the uncanny setting, I found Stephenson’s writing to be extremely accessible. A work in which significant portions explore the thoughts of the characters can be taxing, but I found that Hiro’s thought processes are quite similar to mine.
I am sure The Metaverse seemed much more interesting when the World Wide Web was virtually unknown outside academic circles than now, it is remarkable how much Second Life and other multi-user virtual worlds have grown to fulfill the vision of Snow Crash. Some of the other technological advancements in the book, such as Y. T.’s computerized skateboard, still seem as far from reality as when the book was initially published.
The technical jargon is usually explained to the reader in the guise of Hiro discussing it with another character, but someone without any knowledge of computer science might have difficulty understanding some of the details. Fortunately, these should not be necessary to appreciate the novel.
If this is an accurate reflection of the so-called cyberpunk genre, I am sorry that I have been so slow to explore it. Highly recommended for anyone who considers themselves a hacker, and strongly recommended for science fiction fans in general.