lunes, 7 de mayo de 2007

Snow Crash

by Neal Stephenson

The stage doesn’t need to be set for the reader to make sense of Neal Stephenson’s future USA. Instead he grabs his reader by the throat and plunges him into a seemingly alien but somehow very real world on the brink of utter destruction. And what a disgusting, corrupt mess of a world it is. If it weren’t for the utter lovability of the novel’s two foci, Y.T. and Hiro Protagonist, the cataclysmic threats presented here wouldn’t be all that unnerving. It isn’t until one considers how eerily similar the life they’re fighting for is to our own that things really start to get scary.

Presented in dialogue even quicker than it is hip coupled with uncompromisingly dark yet hilarious description, Stephenson could not have told this story more vividly with a multi million dollar Hollywood production. Hiro needs to "goggle in" to his computer to enter the parallel cyberspace "Metaverse", but the reader just needs to turn the pages of Snow Crash to be part of the always increasingly hardcore action. Every two chapters or so the story alternates gears between the aptly named Hiro Protagonist’s conspiracy investigations and the dirty work of the fifteen year old thrasher Y.T.. From swordfights and Sumerian myth to high speed highway surfing and brainwashed cults, this pair covers all bases on their manic mission to save the world from what they no as little about as the reader. Yet somehow that doesn’t matter. The story manages to be equally gripping when talking about the Tower of Babel as when describing the sudden harpooning of five people by a bloodthirsty killer.

It is impossible to outline the plot of this action-mystery without somewhat tainting the experience that is in store for the reader. That fact is a testament to the author’s ability to, among the chaotic detail, engage the reader’s raw senses with an atmosphere so full of mystery that each scrap of truth he offers is met ravenously. Stephensons words at once entertain, puzzle, and entice throughout the novel. At its core lies the intriguing dilemma that is the origin of human language, and how it was separated into the myriad tongues that make it up today. However English came to be, its lucky to have an inventor like Neal Stephenson for a steward.

Read this book!

lunes, 30 de abril de 2007


Aeropuerto Internacional Ministro Pistarini
Ezeiza, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Second floor, near International Departure gates
(Leftmost of three fountains)

This brass fountain provided a much needed drink after having spent $18 USD on a seemingly contrived mandatory airport tax. Despite the warmer than desirable temperature, the taste was rich and refreshing. Highly recommended, considering what appears to be a general lack of drinking fountains in metropolitan Latin America.

Taste: 8
Comfort: 6
Temperature: 7
Trajectory: 9
Pressure: 9
User Interface: 8