Snow Crash is much like an action packed buddy movie with lots of car crashes and an implausible plot with guys doing guy stuff. Just the sort of book I like.
There is some good fun stuff here and some original thinking. The book is mostly a mish-mash off imagery of the sort that Cyberpunks like to call Eyeball Kicks. It is also full of well-researched anthropological and religious references to the ancient Sumerian pantheon. It takes place in the very near future, but I am of the opinion that the world will not have changed enough in the next ten years to allow the political and technological revolutions that are the foundation of the book.
The basic premise is that a burnt-out samurai hacker pizza delivery man can save the world from Snow Crash, a computer virus that can spread to humans by recoding the deep structures of the brain. A nifty idea until Stephenson relates it to a Sumerian hacker named Enki who lived 3,000 years ago.
The main flaw in the book are the difficulty that I had in suspending disbelief. Stephenson has to work harder on making things work. The book is also flawed in that it reads like a rough draft at times and there are gaps in the plotting. References are occasionally made to previous events that appear to have been skipped. There is no real denouement, either. Like The Diamond Age, which I read a few weeks ago, Snow Crash just ends all-of-a-sudden. There are many plot threads that I would like to have seen completed. What happens to Raven? Do he and Hero become friends? What happened to Y-Tâ€™s mother? What happens to the nuke that Raven was driving around with?
By all means read Snow Crash, but don’t expect great literature.
I am listening to â€œA Monstrous Regimentâ€� by Terry Pratchett now. It is a silly story of a girl who joins the army disguised as a young man. It is full of Pratchett puns and the usual cast of Vampires and Trolls and Igors.