So far is clearly the best audio book of my collection, in part because of the story, but also because the narrator, Jonathan Davis, creates a truly amazing atmosphere.
I tried to read a paperback edition some years ago, but I was not in the correct frame of mind possibly, I gave up. I should have tried harder. The story is very very good.
The geek side of me is constantly thinking that metaverse, the virtual reality world described in the book, is now mostly possible to do, with the current technology. Imagine a distributed network of modified Doom3 servers, sharing only a common currency, and a protocol for jumping between servers (something like portals). Big corporations would pay to have big cluster of servers capable of keeping a couple hundred users online, probably payed with advertising in that world (targeted with your profile, of course). Or they could collect a entrance fee, and provide services to the avatars.
Or even neighborhood servers, where people chip in to pay for it but get to have a place to build their home.
A entire business could be made just from selling models of avatars, as the book explores.
Anyway, I lost some time already thinking about the possibilities of this idea. The only thing that is not quite common yet is the hardware part, the googles and that kind of stuff.