Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
(Bantam Spectra Book)

68%

21 Critic Reviews

The flashy, snappy delivery fails to compensate for the uninhabited blandness of the characters. And despite the many clever embellishments, none of the above is as original as Stephenson seems to think.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

One of Time’s 100 best English-language novels • A mind-altering romp through a future America so bizarre, so outrageous—you’ll recognize it immediately

Only once in a great while does a writer come along who defies comparison—a writer so original he redefines the way we look at the world. Neal Stephenson is such a writer and Snow Crash is such a novel, weaving virtual reality, Sumerian myth, and just about everything in between with a cool, hip cybersensibility to bring us the gigathriller of the information age.

In reality, Hiro Protagonist delivers pizza for Uncle Enzo’s CosoNostra Pizza Inc., but in the Metaverse he’s a warrior prince. Plunging headlong into the enigma of a new computer virus that’s striking down hackers everywhere, he races along the neon-lit streets on a search-and-destroy mission for the shadowy virtual villain threatening to bring about infocalypse.

Praise for Snow Crash

“[Snow Crash is] a cross between Neuromancer and Thomas Pynchon’s Vineland. This is no mere hyperbole.”—The San Francisco Bay Guardian

“Fast-forward free-style mall mythology for the twenty-first century.”—William Gibson

“Brilliantly realized . . . Stephenson turns out to be an engaging guide to an onrushing tomorrow.”—The New York Times Book Review
 

About Neal Stephenson

See more books from this Author
Neal Stephenson is the author of Reamde; Anathem; the three-volume historical epic The Baroque Cycle (Quicksilver, The Confusion, and The System of the World); as well as Cryptonomicon; The Diamond Age; Snow Crash, which was named one of Time magazine's top one hundred all-time best English-language novels; and Zodiac. He lives in Seattle, Washington.
 
Published August 26, 2003 by Spectra. 480 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Horror. Fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for Snow Crash
All: 21 | Positive: 14 | Negative: 7

Kirkus

Below average
on May 20 2010

The flashy, snappy delivery fails to compensate for the uninhabited blandness of the characters. And despite the many clever embellishments, none of the above is as original as Stephenson seems to think.

Read Full Review of Snow Crash (Bantam Spectra Book) | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Above average
on May 04 1992

Although Stephenson ( Zodiac ) provides more Sumerian culture than the story strictly needs (alternating intense activity with scholarship breaks), his imaginative juxtaposition of ancient and futuristic detail could make this a cult favorite.

Read Full Review of Snow Crash (Bantam Spectra Book) | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Blog Critics

Above average
Reviewed by Bruce Kratofil on Aug 30 2004

When reading Snow Crash, you make obvious comparisons to the cyberpunk novels of William Gibson. If I was getting paid by the word I’d do a long compare-and-contrast between the two. Since I’m not, I’ll just say that I enjoy both writers and would imagine that anyone who likes one would like the other.

Read Full Review of Snow Crash (Bantam Spectra Book) | See more reviews from Blog Critics

Pajiba

Above average
Reviewed by FyreHaar on Jul 14 2010

The first chapter of the book was incredibly gripping...The final expository chapter felt contrived but was probably necessary to provide a satisfactory understanding of what had been hinted at throughout the book.

Read Full Review of Snow Crash (Bantam Spectra Book)

Pajiba

Good
Reviewed by Brian Prisco on May 27 2009

It's a book you put in someone's hand, press a finger to their lips, kiss them on the forehead and walk away. So here you is.

Read Full Review of Snow Crash (Bantam Spectra Book)

Tor

Above average
Reviewed by Richard Fife on Apr 14 2011

If you haven’t read it, give it a whirl. It might just blow your socks off. Just a word of warning, it does get expositional in places, but the freaky part is, all the places he is talking about ancient Sumer and is dropping names of researchers, yeah, those are actual people...

Read Full Review of Snow Crash (Bantam Spectra Book)

SF Site

Good
Reviewed by Paul Graham Raven on Jan 04 2016

...most of all, Snow Crash defends the oft-repeated (but rarely supported) notion that "SF is inherently about the time in which it is written", which is why it will always remain a defining novel for the generation who drove the first virtual wagon trains deep into the digital frontiers.

Read Full Review of Snow Crash (Bantam Spectra Book)

SF Signal

Good
Reviewed by John DeNardo on Sep 21 2003

Additionally, I was a bit thrown by the introduction of Hiro as a pizza deliveryman...Still, these are minor detriments in an otherwise well-told tale. Snow crash is sure to please.

Read Full Review of Snow Crash (Bantam Spectra Book)

EE Times

Good
Reviewed by Jeremy Cook on Sep 13 2013

It's no Marley and Me, (which I have read), but there are a few parts that will make any dog-loving, sci-fi nerd smile. If you want to become more familiar with the cyberpunk genre, Snow Crash is defintely a good read.

Read Full Review of Snow Crash (Bantam Spectra Book)

SF Book Reviews

Above average
Reviewed by TC on May 01 2000

Snow Crash is funny, witty and highly intelligent reading. It is a bit dated already...but that is the prize you pay when you try to be hip and try to describe the near future. And in this case it actually added something interesting to the story, namely a backward view into the possible future as Stephenson envisioned it a decade ago.

Read Full Review of Snow Crash (Bantam Spectra Book)

Eagle

Good
on Nov 29 2005

This is the book that made Stephenson's reputation as a science fiction writer, and it's still one of the best books he's ever written. This is my second read of it, continuing the tradition of anniversay reviews of books I loved but read before I started writing reviews, and it was every bit as good as I remembered.

Read Full Review of Snow Crash (Bantam Spectra Book)

https://www.sfsite.com

Below average
Reviewed by Paul Graham Raven on Sep 28 2014

Stephenson is what we Brits might refer to as a "Marmite writer" -- you either love his work or loathe it, and what one reader hates is -- more often than not -- what the next adores.

Read Full Review of Snow Crash (Bantam Spectra Book)

If You Write It

Above average
on Mar 24 2013

It took me several tries to get all the way through Snow Crash. The general ebb and flow of the story is confusing, the super stylized world baffling...Snow Crash was a bit more work than I usually like to put into a novel, but I did like how Neal Stephenson wrapped it all up.

Read Full Review of Snow Crash (Bantam Spectra Book)

http://www.complete-review.com

Good
on Nov 23 2015

Snow Crash is an entertaining read, and we certainly recommend it it -- strongly to those interested in science fiction, but also to those curious about where our world is headed.

Read Full Review of Snow Crash (Bantam Spectra Book)

Biblioklept

Above average
Reviewed by Edwin Turner on Jul 17 2012

All of this detailed imagining unfortunately comes at the expense of a plot that only coheres through massive exposition dumps...Still, at its finest, Stephenson’s prose is zippy, shining, hilarious stuff, and his employment of multiple character perspectives moves the book with an addictive energy.

Read Full Review of Snow Crash (Bantam Spectra Book)

http://mostlyfiction.com

Good
Reviewed by Judi Clark on Feb 28 1998

Another aspect of the novel that I like is Stephenson's ability to point out what's still physically necessary despite cyberspace - such as couriers and pizza delivery. Now that I'm thinking about it, it is time to get another copy of this book and read it again.

Read Full Review of Snow Crash (Bantam Spectra Book)

Pat's Fantasy Hotlist

Below average
Reviewed by Patrick on Jun 18 2012

Understandably, although it is an ambitious, intelligent, and entertaining novel, Snow Crash couldn't possibly live up to my expectations. It is a fun and thrilling read, no question. And yet, as much as I enjoyed it, I don't feel that it's the sort of literary work that lingers within your mind long after you have finished it.

Read Full Review of Snow Crash (Bantam Spectra Book)

Live Your Dream

Good
Reviewed by Sayed Khadri on Dec 21 2011

As with other Stephenson books, this books ending was little disappointing, was expecting one or more chapter’s to conclude the story apart from this I liked this book a lot. The research and technical details covered in this book are accurate...

Read Full Review of Snow Crash (Bantam Spectra Book)

http://www.challengingdestiny.com

Above average
Reviewed by James Schellenberg on Apr 07 2000

I admit that I was in the dismissal camp the first time I read Snow Crash. When I came to it again, I must have been in the right mood because I enjoyed it beginning to end, apart from one or two small fillips

Read Full Review of Snow Crash (Bantam Spectra Book)

http://timlepczyk.com

Above average
Reviewed by Tim on Aug 28 2013

The main character’s name is Hiro Protagonist. Key book in the cyberpunk canon. Stephenson almost invented the word avatar...having virtual reality and avatars explained to you like you have no idea what they are is annoying.

Read Full Review of Snow Crash (Bantam Spectra Book)

The Rhapsodist

Above average
on Jul 21 2011

There’s a lot to digest in this story, especially with all the exposition about Sumerian mythology...It’s like reading anything written by Thomas Pynchon, but if you can get through all that, then the characters are fun, the story is well-crafted, and it’s an interesting experience all around.

Read Full Review of Snow Crash (Bantam Spectra Book)

Reader Rating for Snow Crash
80%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 1860 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review

Reader reviews & activity

User Review

Michael Manley 20 Aug 2013

Rated the book as 4 out of 5

×