Although I did enjoy this overall, it did not live up to my expectations of what a Neal Stephenson work should deliver. The story often dragged and just didn't have the brilliance of, say, Cryptonomicon.
There is a good book in here. In fact, there are probably three or four of them. What Reamde does well is engage readers with a wide variety of scenes, contexts, characters, and storylines. Quite easily, this book could have been split into component parts and divided into complete novels. Taking that sort of approach would have also required that the slack, too-descriptive scenes be edited or removed and tightened up. Instead, what Stephenson has done with Reamde is create a loose mass of winding and complicated story arcs that move independently and do not resolve until the very end of the book. It's not an intellectual challenge to follow these threads--Stephenson's writing is never lush or even clever enough to demand much active attention--but it is tedious. And tedium is a killer in a book that lasts more than 38 hours in the reading.
No I have a good memory and I truly enjoyed it the first time.
Yes only when the coward left his woman did I smile extra wide when he was murdered
Slow to start like a Eastwood flick . You watched as the pieces came together .
This book seems like two different novels that were put together: a Stephenson novel and a war-on-terror thriller. I liked the former, but the latter was in severe need of editing. When I started listening the story caught my imagination and I couldn't wait to hear more, but by the end I was just relieved that I had finished the book. The narration was good although my copy had several audio glitches.
Great science fiction. Starts with a simple premise, what if one could launder money in a video game? There's no death rays, quantum entanglement, exotic planets, or magic powers. It's not even in the future. His grasp of the technical issues is spot on. That little kernel of "what if" yields entirely entertaining tale of foreign intrigue, gangsters, lovers, cyberpunks, psychopaths, and fruitcakes caught up in a very tangled web. So many characters and subplots it's hard to keep track of it all in an audio book. This is a book that shouldn't fall into the wrong hands. It's scary how easy it is to do the dastardly deeds.
I took one star off the story because right in the middle of some of the suspense/action he pauses, to give one of the characters history going back three generations, describe the trees and rocks, ballistic considerations, etc.. Maybe it's a style thing, but many times but I really wanted the bullet to finish it's flight so I'd know if great grandchild lives or dies.
Im a good listener
I think this book written by Joe Author would average one less star. Neal gets that extra from having written lots of cool stuff in the past.
I found the book kind of tedious. I would find myself thinking about work or bills or laundry that needed doing instead of paying attention. His attention to detail and description is to the point where he seems to be mocking himself. This would be a typical scene.
"The gunman was certainly outside and stalking him so Joe climbed the stairs and went into the bedroom. When Joe went to look out the window a small object on the sill caught his attention. It was a black ant. The ant was on its hind legs, its forelegs up and praying like a penitent Christian post confession. It brought Joe back to his childhood in Authorland when ants and Christians were in abundance and frolicking in the wheat fields during harvest. The smell of the harvested wheat came back to him then. Filling his senses as if he was back baling the wheat with his brother Jack. How Jack loved ants and wheat. And Christians. These thoughts made Joe sigh and take in a deep breath. That breath saved his life as while inhaling he arched his back five degrees more than he usually would have after a normal sigh and the bullet that pierced the pane of glass missed him by millimeters.
He looked down at the sill. The ant was nowhere to be found."
I love detail and descriptive scenes, but if I had been reading this in paper form I would have flipped to the back to see how it ended about 2/3 of the way through.
Also, I wish I had a whiteboard at the end to write down all the characters, where they were, what they were doing and how they were connected. The actions scenes went on so long I would forget who was where in the room - who had guns - who was hurt, etc.
It took me a while to get into this book, but it was worth it. I enjoyed it and was sorry it ended when it did. I would recommend this book to others that are into technology, or gaming, or a good terrorist kill plot with the correct ending.
Zula: She was an innocent bystander and though she was caught up in a bad situation, she stood up to it and did something about it when she had a chance.
The accidental discovery of a terrorist cell in China.
The computer virus that infected a terrorist organization.
Yes, although it took me longer to actually finish listening to this book than any other in over a decade. This is a very long listen, and It just didn't grab me and make me want to listen for long stretches at a time. Thus my headline, borderline, because that's where I felt that I was with this title. It was JUST good enough for me to keep listening, mainly because the fantastic characters, but during the last third of the book I stopped listening a couple of times only to return. It felt oddly like this book owed me something in return for the large investment of my time, and I was bound and determined to see it to it's conclusion, and this was more than my simply wanting to see how it ended. I don't think that I've ever felt quite like this about a book before. Perhaps thats why I'm writhing this review, which is very rare for me.
Yes, I listened to Snow Crash a number of years ago. Mr. Stephenson certainly has the gift to be able to create engaging characters, as he did with that book, although it this case, I felt that there were perhaps a few too many of them. The characters were Russian, Hungarian, Chinese, Arab and a Chinese/British as well as an British/African.The Americans were all white males who ran the gambit from geeky, eccentric & rich to older Hippies, Vietnam Vets and oh yeah, even militia survivalistists types who home schooled their kids, while their mom's walked around with guns. Unlike Snow Crash, and for me at least. It felt as if he skipped from character to character, or group to group, too quickly.
Very good narrator, who differentiated the characters in the book very convincingly.
Perhaps. Perhaps not. Just like a felt about finishing this one. In the end. I'm glad that I did though.
I love Audible. I have a disability, which makes reading difficult for me, so it's an important part of my life, and I'd be lost without it. Keep up the great work!
Depends on what
Nothing in particular. He just sounds like Casey Kasem (sp?) or some other glad-hand radio announcer whose style was a bit of a mismatch for what was probably intended to be edgy and a little counterculture (of some type).
Excitement then slow disappointment.
Stephenson never could finish a book with anything like the power with which he occasionally starts it. In this case, a fascinating set of extrapolations and insights into our world and a reasonably interesting group of characters quickly gives way to a book written by a focus group of Tea Party-leaning libertarian agnostics intent on preaching to the readers.
I am sorry I wasted my money on such a bad book. The story could have been told in 1 hour not the 36 hours. I have listened to 5 hours and will not listen to any more of it. I just wish I could get my money back from Audible.