fripodding and crashing: “snow crash” neal stephenson


I gotta say, audio books are indoobly awesome. I’d first like to give a special shout out to Melissa Donovan (once again) for recommending this book to me. I was honestly going to buy the actual hard copy book, but after consideration, I opted for the audio version. This is uberhelpful for someone like me who likes multitasking. Such as being on the job and not actually being able to read when I have so many other things my eyes need to be doing. However, listening isn’t required for my job unless there’s an important meeting of some kind or I’m on the phone. Many times, this means both.

So, what’s Snow Crash all about? Well first, this novel takes place some time in the future. It’s quite interesting what kind of world we have to look forward to. Consider, if you will, The Matrix, except the real world isn’t run by machines. Yet. But as droll as reality may seem, most people hang out in what is called the “Metaverse” where you can have your own avatar to represent you, a digital home to live in, clubs to go party in… those who are familiar with Second Life will understand. It’s more like that than The Matrix. I guess.

Our hero is named Hiro. This caught my attention because not only is that his name, but he also has a sword. What other show do I watch about a hero named Hiro who has sword skills? Hmm… I wonder. Well, there’s no time/space jumping here… but it’s still pretty cool.

There’s also a young female character named Y.T. whom I was actually imaging to look different than how she was described. Perhaps it was my fault for not hearing it earlier. But whatever. She is Hiro’s “sidekick” in this story.

But what is it about? Cyberpunk issues. There’s a new drug going around in the Metaverse and it’s so strong, it practically makes you vegetable for the rest of your life. Not just in the digital world, but in reality. But wait, it gets much deeper than that. Who is hustling this drug? Where did it come from? And how and why is it spreading so quickly?! By the way, this drug is called Snow Crash. It looks like TV static… well… at a distance.

Overall, I thought this story was pretty interesting. I’m a self-proclaimed geek, so I got a lot of the lingo. I did get lost when Hiro turned to a source of knowledge called The Librarian. So much babble (inside joke) that I got a little bored. I bought the unabridged version of this audio book which spans about 18 hours total. I assume the shorter version is a bit easier to listen to, but I didn’t want to miss anything.

Speaking of which, kudos to the reader whose name escapes me. I apologize. But he did a great job portraying all the characters and giving them all their own distinct voices just by his one voice alone. I started having a crush on Y.T. even though she is too young and probably a bit too spunky for me. But now I understand why they give these guys Grammys.

Just a note, this novel has some graphic nature to it. If this were made into a movie (which they tried to do when it was first published in 1992), it would definitely be rated R, for graphic violence, strong language, and a scene of sexuality. LOL… so you’ve been warned.

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Posted in friday, fripodding

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