Reamde

Reamde

by Neal Stephenson
4.2 160

Paperback

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Reamde 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 160 reviews.
bookhimdanno More than 1 year ago
The size of this book is going to turn some people off. The depth of this book might do in some more, but it is exactly these things that keep Neal Stephenson fans coming back and spending a lot of time getting through them. When people see me carry this massive doorstop around (and seriously, this thing could be used as a murder weapon) they would inevitably ask me about it and the author. I would always start off by saying Stephenson writes science fiction, but then I would immediately backtrack. He writes fiction that is heavily involved with science, but not spaceships and aliens. Rather it is the cutting edge technology that infuses our lives today. But then he layers in history and philosophy in such fresh ways that it keeps me thinking about it for years to come. As for the size of the book, it includes every aspect of the narrative in such subtle layers the story just organically builds from one level to the next. The whole time it gentle ratchets up the tension to reach one thrilling climax. What is most enjoyable of his work is the sheer amount of knowledge he lays on the reader without once relying on gratuitous explanatory text, rather he just seamlessly blends in detail descriptions and factual references into the action. One character doesn't understand something and the expert character explains it in a very concise and clear manner. The opposite of most medical TV shows where one Doctor will explain the most basic things to another (really for the audience). Honestly I would really enjoy the other Doctor on the show to say something like "No shoot Sherlock, I went to medical school too." This book starts out as a family drama, moves to a Russian mob story, then to a computer hacker plot, then to a terrorist attack, all building to a showdown in the mountains. I really loved as I started getting to the end and all the main players, both good and bad, were all converging together from all possible angles for the showdown of all showdowns. You could sense it coming and the pages flew by until you get the gun battle. A lot of reviewers have focused on this 150 page plus scene but it is worth it as you get to see every character reach their story's conclusion. There is no I wonder what happened to moments at all; Stephenson covers it all. I am giving this 4.5 stars only because I accept this just won't be for all people. Generally 5 star means that I think if you do not like this book then there is something wrong with you. 4 stars mean I really love this book but get it that some people will not. Reamde is an amazing techno-thriller that is well worth your time investment. It is the only thing which holds me back, it is that time investment. Most books I read I know I could just gut it out and be done in a day, with Stephenson I have to accept that I cannot do this. I have to commit to several good days reading and accept all the other books I cannot read at the same time. Much like Phoebe making all the cookie varieties so they won't feel bad about being left out, Stephenson is committing to just the one variety once and a while.
STORE NOOKUSER More than 1 year ago
It's pretty crazy, but in this modern age some authors still expect to get money in exchange for writing a one thousand page book for you to enjoy. Scoundrels! Also, I'm about half way through the book and so far it's fantastic. Any Neal Stephenson fans reading this, it's well worth the 17 dollars(which is less then half the cover price and you can buy it from your couch at home without paying for shipping or having to wait for it to be shipped).
pklausler More than 1 year ago
Neal Stephenson has written books that will stretch your mind and make you wake up in the middle of the night years later as your subconscious continues to work through their implications. Most of these books are also funny, gripping page-turners that will deprive you from sleep until you finish them. This is Stephenson's first book that's a member only of the second category. It reads like a screenplay of a really good summer action movie for a smart audience with clever dialogue and awesome special effects -- and a few days after you finish it, you won't remember any of it. If you're a Stephenson fan, you've already bought it and read it. If you're not (yet) a fan, you might actually be more impressed with some of his earlier work. I would hate for a new reader to enjoy Reamde and then pass on Cryptonomicon because you get the mistaken impression that the author is gifted with an awesome command of English but hasn't got much worth saying in it. He's actually a writer whose work will be read decades from now by people who want to understand us and our times better.
roustabout More than 1 year ago
so nice to see Stephenson writing so directly again. I am taking a stab at anathem, also, and the artifice he writes there inflects and makes artificial, to my ear, the prose. This book has the direct tone of Snow Crash, freeing Stephenson for the great observational character I like so much from him.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Maybe less cerebral then his "Crytonomicon", but much more fun. Would great ensemble cast movie as the great characters scatter and re hook-up. Think of "24" type story, but instead of Jack Bauer you have a bunch of unique type characters that are just thrown together.
SlayerMom More than 1 year ago
Not only did I order the hardback so I could lend it to people, I went back and started it over immediately after finishing it - something I've never done before. The time I've spent in EQ and WoW contributed a lot to my enjoyment of the in-game action and background, but the mix of action and insights into people and processes would have been enough to make it a great book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read other Stephenson stories (Cryptonomicon, The Diamond Age) and enjoyed them. However, reaMdE was a disappointment. It was like Tron cross-bred with Jason Bourne, but lacking an overall idea what it all meant. The fascinating beginning involving the multi-player game T'Rain and the reaMdE virus that was infecting and subverting that world seemed like the start of a really interesting story. Then....Stephenson turns the focus on a band of Jihadists and the rest of the story seems designed for NRA gun aficionados. Excessive numbers of pages are devoted to detailed descriptions of the gun and martial arts battles (standard fare in today's movies, which I'd hoped to avoid in more literate matter). The master hacker gets carried along in all this Jason Bourne action-movie storyline and even meets T'Rain's master Richard. But, at the end, nothing of his role as virus maker, his possible future or relationship with the main character, Richard Forthrast, is ever resolved. In effect, it seems like two separate stories, each incomplete, and neither one with a large vision -- just another action pic. It should satisfy the "Dark Knight Rises" crowd, but doesn't really provide much of substance, notwithstanding its loose ends. In summary: borrow it from your local library, but don't waste your "red gold" on this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great way to escape at the end of a long day, like watching a James Bond or Indiana Jones movie. A present day setting, realistic characters and situations thrown together in an extreme way for a rollercoaster ride that took several nights to get through. Enough Stephenson to reward you with a well thought out story with continuity, description and twists and turns. I didn't have to look up as much as I did during the Barouqe trilogy, therefore a much quicker and easier read. To the reviewer who got hung up on the $73 ransom, you totally missed the point. To the reviewer hung up on the violence, it fit the context of the adventure that Stephenson was trying to craft. He didn't dwell on it, but was required to remove certain characters from the plot to get to his desired ending. To the reviewer and others who thought reamde was a cheap ploy to get us to read the book, not the case at all. The readme.txt or readme.nfo file, is a file that is often included with software or file packages to give the user an overview, release notes, instruction, etc. Hackers and virus writers typically plant their payload in files that are named and spelled a certain way as to attract the sloppy clicker. Often misspelling or changing a character or two in the infected file to fool the human mind into taking the bait. Hacking and the computer virus scam was a major plot device hence it's inclusion as the story's title. Who would have thought a story with terrorists, chinese gold farmers, Russian organized crime, an MMORPG, British spys, navy seal-esque lone wolf with a one man agenda, pennies make dollars virtual scam, off the grid militia men, billionaires, iowa farmboys, a Mensa-smart american raised refugee and a mountain lion would make a good story? Stephenson did and so did I after I finished the ride.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Reminded me of one of those epic adventure dreams I used to have when I was young...heightened color, slow-motion choreography of gun battles and pursuit of and by ruthless criminals, fractal detail wherever I looked. But it left some loose ends, and the two main story lines which literally started their conjoined life in an explosion seemed to lose strength as the adventure unwound.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Several of Neal Stephenson's books are quite hard going, and all the more rewarding for that. This one is a fairly easy read, but probably best described as engrossing but shallow. From many other authors, REAMDE would have been worth five stars, but this is not from another author. Basically, I was disappointed. Unlike, say Cryptonomicom, or The Baroque Cycle, or Anathem, it didn't engage my mind and I don't feel enriched by having read it.
Strangeland More than 1 year ago
I've always come away from a Stephenson novel with the desire to learn more about some aspect of the work: virtual reality, nanotech, cryptology, geometry, banking and finance(???) among other things. Not the case here. While I did enjoy the novel well enough it became clear fairly early on how it would end. It became a question of how all the pieces would come together - something with which he did an admirable job ***SPOILER***(perhaps with the exception of the deus ex catamount.)
DuncanWatson More than 1 year ago
I was very happy to hear about a Neal Stephenson book in the style of Snow Crash. At 160 pages in I find I can't sleep or do anything else but read this book. Enjoy.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Peter saw an opportunity to make some fast cash. However, he handed the Russian mafia a virus infected thumb drive that was destroying their encrypted data base. Ivanov the customer is unhappy but wants more than just his money back and his files freed; he wants to scatter Peter's remains across the states before his comrades learn what happened and scatters his. His girlfriend Zula takes him from their home in Seattle to her black sheep Uncle Richard's farm in Iowa. When Nixon was president, Richard fled to British Columbia to avoid the draft; there he became a millionaire smuggling marijuana into Idaho. Years later with Carter amnesty, Richard used his money to create his remote "farm" in which his niece and her boyfriend visit him. However, his biggest success since he stopped trafficking is T'Rain multiplayer virtual game; that is until now, as hackers in China have deployed the REAMDE virus that encrypts a player's electronic files until remittance is made to release them. This is an exciting international thriller starring two black sheep and the woman who connects them. The story line travels the globe while containing engaging spins and a horde of characters from many points around the world. Although at times the subplots go seemingly forever nowhere, overall readers will enjoy the adventures of Zula and the two rogues in her life. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous 7 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book gives a nerd everything they can ask for. Gaming. Hacking. Guns. Explosions. The wgile nine.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Drags and drags.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't write book reports. Read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was all over the place. With most novelists, I'd mean that as a problem, but with Stephenson it's just how the story unfolded. Going from virtual space to physical space everywhere from Canada to China and quite a few places in between, this novel looks at how our interactions in virtual worlds can spill over into the "real" world. And it does with in an engaging manner with just enough action and suspense to keep the reader hooked.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Go4Jugular More than 1 year ago
Can a book that clocks in at just over 1000 pages be a riveting page-turner? In this case, the answer is an emphatic "Yes!" Stephenson intertwines the sagas of several main players, all uniquely characterized, in a novel that spans the globe from the US to China. Drug smuggling, Russian mobsters, charismatic terrorists, virtual reality computer gaming, international spies, computer geeks, money-laundering - they're all there and they all combine to form this highly entertaining novel. Precise detail never detracts from the non-stop pacing of the story, and a book that at first looks to be a massive undertaking all to soon approaches an ending that is disappointing only because it means the end of this superlative accomplishement.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Raking More than 1 year ago
Another great read by an author from whom I will now read everything that they publish as soon as I get my hands on it.