Saturday, March 23, 2013

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

Rating: 2.5/5

I'm officially not a fan of cyberpunk. Okay, so I've only read Snow Crash and Neuromancer, but if I can't love those, I think that qualifies as official. I'm more of a science geek as opposed to a computer geek.

There were a few isolated things I liked in this book. I liked Hiro and his swords. I really liked the whole information meme/virus idea and the Babel/Sumeria mythology. I liked the Metaverse. I even liked the basic plot. I didn't like the way this book was written. It was jumpy in time, place, and perspective. It was confusing. I didn't feel like I knew what the hell it was supposed to be about until the last quarter of the book. I see how that follows Hiro's point of view--the reader only figures things out as he does. But it felt like there wasn't actually a plot at all until it was almost over and all the disparate and seemingly random things I'd been reading about came together. I've read books that do a similar thing, but still managed to seem unscattered, perhaps due to a stronger, more central protagonist. This book really had two main characters, and their relationship was incidental and undeveloped. A stronger bond between Y.T. and Hiro might have made a good anchor to build the story around.

Speaking of Y.T., she was a little young for the role, if you know what I mean. Kind of creepy, Stephenson. Joss Whedon's fixation on teenaged girls with superpowers ain't got nothing on your over-sexualized fifteen year old skateboard whiz.

It took me a long time to read this book, so long that it felt like a chore. It just wasn't able to hook me. I can see how some people might like it, though. It has a lot of action, humor, attitude and interesting ideas. I just think the execution--the storytelling--could have been better.

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