One-sentence book review: Snow Crash

I just finished reading Neal Stephenson's best-known novel, and the one-sentence summary goes like this:

A pizza-delivery Ninja defeats the Pentecostal Antichrist.

This is a strange book. It probablydefinitely won't appeal to everyone, but those who areintrigued by the idea of pizza-delivery ninjas and a primordeal ideological virus will probably enjoy it quite a bit.

A friend gave me Stephenson's Cryptonomicon to read, and while it took me a while to get into, I'd say it's easily the better written of the two books. Snow Crash is a collection of interesting ideas about language and other technologies, while Cryptonomicon is a story about people (whose lives have been shaped by interesting discoveries in cryptology and other geeky things.)

I'm tempted to pick up Anathem, and also to start Stephenson's Baroque cycle, but I think I'll try to get through the rest of the Dune books first.


Anonymous said...

I'd recommend The Diamond Age for next Stephenson novel, actually.

Also, what did you think of the humour in Snow Crash?

Jack said...

Compared to _Cryptonomicon_, I'd say the humor is actually more understated. Stephenson doesn't write jokes, he writes interesting situations that are intrinsically hilarious. In Cryptonomicon, though, he allowed himself an occasional guffaw at the expense of a character or three. (Waterhouse's full-page graphs, for example.)