by Neal Stephenson.
Being a sci-fi book of the cyberpunk flavour; not really what I usually read. I bought the book a year and a half ago or so, during a period when I was devouring the works of William Gibson; it was very fun and a bit of variation, but the novelty died off when I started on Snow Crash and I suspect some Malazan book took away my attention. So I had in fact started on it, so it wasnt just shelffiller..
Anyway, the book is about mostly two people; Hiro Protagonist (a freelance hacker and pizza delivery guy) and Y.T. (a skateboarding Kourier and Hiro's partner in the information gathering business), in a not to far future that has seen world stability go to hell, and the US is pretty much broken up into small city states, everything being owned by companies. On top of this, internet has turned into some kind of advanced version of alphaworld or a mix of facebook and World of Warcraft, depending on what seems most familiar, called the Metaverse. The main plot is about someone trying to push a digital drug called Snow Crash in the Metaverse, which seems like an idiotic idea since digital drugs shouldnt affect your actual body, but this one does, with severe sideeffects.
The story itself is actually quite short, it could be a short story almost. The book is all about the details however. Uses some mythology freely, explores the characters in a way that makes them come alive besides just being tools for the story, loads of fun bits, be it with puns, way to look at the future or society, the list goes on. Even the fact that it was published in 1992, and 17 years later it still seems like a good way of looking at the future makes it somewhat amusing. And Y.T. is very possibly the most interesting female character in a book I've ever read, no matter what genre.
Actually, it kinda ends up being a pretty weird read. The plot gets put on hold a lot of times, for weird discussions on viruses, language, personal life, how things work in the future, all that kind of stuff, and ends very abruptly. Which is pretty annoying.. So in the end, all the details makes it fun reading, while the actual story drags it down from being a fantastic book.