I got a copy from Interlibrary loan and am rather enjoying it. It has some wonderful observations about college life. The book is bound in a typical solid hardback style of the library, but the original front cover is still on the book, which makes this book out to be a novelized form of the movie, Animal House. It looks so bad that if I didn't read Stephenson before this, I never would have picked this book up.

Update (May 3, 2000): I finished it today and to tell the truth I was rather unimpressed by the whole plotline. As each subplot closes, I noticed some really horrible holes in the storyline. I do reccomend this book if you are Stephenson nut, but otherwise I think I understand why there hasn't been a reprinting of this novel for general consumption.

In the About The Author section at the end, it says:

"Neal Stephenson has no job and does not live anyplace in particular except in the summers, when he travels. This is his first published novel. In the past he has worked as a library and hospital clerk, garbage-to-energy consultant, vending-machine loader, physics research assistant, anti-perspirant test subject, crystal grower, movie extra, tutor, funeral-home driver, detaseler, theatrical lighting technician, ditch digger, greeting-card salesman, fungus farmer, paperboy, and Chinese restaurant food-chopper, which prepared him for editing early drafts of The Big U."

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