A very funny and fun read from Neal Stephenson, written before he got all serious. The big U is a satire of modern college campus life.
Neal's first. Full of raw ability without the polish he aquired later on. Interesting look into how a strong writer started out.
Stephenson's first published work is a bit uneven - the first half is an amusing satire of big campus life, and the second half pulls out all the stops, with an all-out war erupting, complete with mutant rats, nuclear waste, foreign nationals, bizarre cults, lots and lots of weaponry & violence - and of course, some heroic geeks.
The Big U is a farcical view of college. The setting is a major urban university. The entire place is contained in one vast building - the plex - in which myriad crazy things happen.
Stephenson's writing is light, even when things take a serious twist. His vision of human affairs in the vast place he describes is both funny and poignant. Things just happen here, usually with no repercussions. Pianos are thrown onto distant roofs, people are factionalized in crazy ways, drugs and booze run rampant, and actions rarely have any basis in reality.
Be sure to avoid the Crotobaltislavonians!
A very early Neal Stephenson. I decided I'd read enough of Neal's later work and didn't finish this one. Cryptonomicon is on a different level than this one.
A weird, confusing but addicting read.
The Big U is a hilariously-written satire of life in an American university. Stephenson applies his considerable wit and fast-paced writing to spin a story of civil war amidst the students and faculty. It reminded me a bit of "War Between the Pitiful Teachers and the Splendid Kids" but at the college level.
I've read Neal Stephenson's later works before reading "The Big U," his first book. While not as in depth or refined as his later books, this one doesn't disappoint. His style and humor are make this book an easy read. If you want a funny, lite, but not fluffy, college life paperback, this one will satisfy.