My Amazon review, will expand later:
As someone of roughly the same age as the author, and with a similar experience growing up with many late nights of connecting to BBS boards via 2400ish baud modems, I could definitely see were many of his inspirations were coming from. That said, he also did plenty of research on current computer trends, with the many references to card swipers, activist hackers, and professional trolls. Many characters that you hate eventually are learned to have reasons for some of their more objectionable behaviors, and the karmic wheel of justice makes sure to roll over the real cads. I bought this book because I had heard a lot of people complain about Chuck’s use of present tense, and I wanted to see a novel length example of it. I think it’s a natural style for him, and he handles it extremely well. Chuck’s penchant for quick one liners and vivid imagery is perfect for a book set in the current or near future, and the dialog comes across as something you would actually hear a person in real life say.
TLDR; version: I really enjoyed it, and think anyone else who isn’t going to try and use it as a manual for taking over the internet or expecting James Joyce also will.