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Pizza In 30 Minutes, Or The Delivery Guy Dies

Snow Crash has a strong opening. Whether or not the rest of the novel is good, I can’t say. But I will say that the first 50 pages were outstanding.

The setting is a futuristic society. The main character’s name is pretty awesome: “Hiro Protagonist.” His job? He’s a hacker and pizza delivery driver known as “The Deliverator.”

The pizza delivery company that The Deliverator works for is owned by the mafia–led by a guy named Uncle Enzo. If a driver delivers the pizza late–over 30 minutes–they die. Literally.

Here’s the passage from the book that explains it:

If the thirty-minute deadline expires, news of the disaster is flashed to CosaNostra Pizza Headquarters and relayed from there to Uncle Enzo himself–the Sicilian Colonel Sanders, the Andy Griffith of Bensonhurst, the straight razor-swinging figment of many a Deliverator’s nightmares, the Capo and prime figurehead of CosaNostra Pizza, Incorporated–who will be on the phone to the customer within five minutes, apologizing profusely. The next day, Uncle Enzo will land on the customer’s yard in a jet helicopter and apologize some more and give him a free trip to Italy–all he has to do is sign a bunch of releases that make him a public figure and spokesperson for CosaNostra Pizza and basically end his private life as he knows it. He will come away from the whole thing feeling that, somehow, he owes the Mafia a favor.

The Deliverator does not know for sure what happens to the driver in such cases, but he has heard some rumors….But he wouldn’t drive for CosaNostra Pizza any other way. You know why? Because there’s something about having your life on the line.

That should give you a feel for the style of writing and story in Snow Crash. So far, I’m a fan.

It’s funny. It’s casual. It’s creative.

What do you think?

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9 Comments Post a comment
  1. heathermarsten04 #

    LOL, like the idea of a deliverator. Was thinking of you today as I read Dorothy Parker: What Fresh H-ell Is This. – Her life intersected with some of the authors you’re reading. Interesting seeing her comments on these authors like Hemingway and Fitzgerald. Have a blessed weekend.

    Like

    February 7, 2013
  2. I read the first 30 pages last fall without knowing that this was a tweak on the nose of books like Neuromancer (I am forgetting the genre name) and it seemed so over the top, that I set it aside. But your comments are making sense of it for me and I am looking forward to picking it up again in a few days.

    Can I put a plug in for Haruki Murakam? His book, IQ84, was everywhere at xmas and I got curious. So I got ahold of his Wind-Up Bird Chronicle which is some crazy mixture of post-modern – or maybe post-post modern — half way between Delillo and David Foster Wallace, mystery and Japanese mystical wierdness. It’s a long one, but a page turner. I have 200 pages to go. A book for some future list.

    Like

    February 7, 2013
    • My colleague wrote a review of the Wind-Up Bird Chronicle on the blog for our writers group: http://dogpatchwriterscollective.wordpress.com/2012/03/07/at-the-bottom-of-a-well-and-on-top-of-the-world/
      He decided to re-read the WUBC instead of delving into 1Q84, after overhearing someone who had read both say that they had preferred the former.

      Like

      February 7, 2013
      • Thanks for the review! I’ll check it out. I was also told that Wind-up Bird was better than IQ84.

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        February 7, 2013
    • The 1Q84 book is on my must read list after I’m done. Along with Stephen King’s 11/22/63.

      As for Snow Crash, the opening is really strong, but it’s starting to lose my interest. Not in a Neuromancer kind of way, but the middle of the book definitely doesn’t have the punch that the early portions of it do.

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      February 7, 2013
      • Stephen King’s 11/22/63 is one of my all time favourite books. I’m a big King fan so I may be bias but it was a reeeeally good book

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        February 8, 2013
  3. That paragraph leaves me breathless, and the last line is killer. I don’t know that the content grabs me, though. If I picked up the book and read this as a “trial read” in a bookstore, I don’t think I’d take the book home. But it’s hard to put my finger on the reason why. Perhaps if there was a book review written by one of the booksellers in the store, I’d change my mind–like what you’re doing on this blog.

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    February 7, 2013
    • Well, it starts strong, but as I’ve moved further through the book, it has leveled off. Don’t buy into my hype just yet.

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      February 7, 2013
  4. Oh look another book to add to my ever growing to-read list 😛

    Like

    February 8, 2013

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