Snow Crash is highly energetic, satirical science fiction about a near future in which virtual reality is ubiquitous and America has dissolved into a chaotic sea of franchises and burbclaves (a contraction of suburb and enclave -- these aren't satire, they already exist). There are some structural similarities between this book and the 1999 movie The Matrix: both are wonderful despite having a plot that, viewed at a high level, is pretty silly -- the good stuff is in the details.
I first read Snow Crash when it came out in the early nineties; I recently picked it up again since I loved it the first time and because I was curious to see how it has aged. Overall, it has aged well -- to Stephenson's credit the emergence of the commercial internet hasn't upstaged his Metaverse, and the socioeconomic trends that he spends much of the book making fun of are still going strong, and still need to be mocked. So, I continue to recommend this book and probably will for another ten years.
copyright © 2000 John Regehr