Die hard Neal Stephenson fans that only want to see him write "Neal Stephenson" books should stay far away from this one. This book is a much more straight forward techno-thirller than the typical Stephenson work and I say that isn't a bad thing. Stephenson's prose and his always well researched scientific and technical details are present mixed with techno action reminiscent of a James Rollins novel. The book moves along at a breakneck pace and never drags, a great feat for a 1000+ page (38+ hours) book.
This book is fun and entertaining and if you are looking for a great action thriller to listen to, you won't go wrong with this one. If you are looking for a "Neal Stephenson" novel you might want to skip it.
This book is fantastically fun. Stephenson loves technology and the geeks, hackers, and visionaries who bring it to the world. In his world, unlikely connections happen between people from everywhere. The women of his books are strong, smart and funny, and the men are strong, smart and funny too. This story will take you all over the world and you won't ever want to put your ear buds down.
It's well read too, except for the very poor regional accents. But that's not a big deal to me if a book of this size is read in an engaging way.
And best of all, it's over 38 hours long, enough time to get completely immersed in this uniquely written story.
I cannot beleive I have wasted so much time listening to this drivel. What a load of incomprehensible rambling, it just made no sense to me at all it was so incredibly far fetched. After reading previous reviews I must say I was left utterly underwhelmed.
Geek, Gamer who hates wasting credits.
I am a big fan of Mr. Stephenson's work and he has his ow style that may not be everyone's cup of tea. But if you are brave, persistent, a lover of 3 D characters, quirky worlds and have no issues with nonlinear story telling, the please jump in with both feet.
To me a hard core fan this is Stephenson LITE -- but so a good place for new comers to start. This is not your typical summer thriller or techno thriller etc. This is a Stephenson Thriller. Fun, DETAILED , darkly funny (in spots) and full of people you will really care about
Good story, very interesting characters .... well performed, holds you interest through very compelling story.
I am a fan. This book as with most of Stephenson's works, has many things going on at once, but these are not brought together very well at the end of this book. The end just seems to happen. Perhaps the author got tired. I got the feeling that we had hours of story and then, rather abruptly, "the end".
Malcolm Hillgartner gives a terrific read. The individual characters are not overdone, excellent!
I am a big Neal Stephenson fan and will continue to come back for his latest publication. I generally love the way he develops his characters and storyline, although he does have a tendency to be "long-winded". That is what happened in Reamde. By the fourth hour (really, not sure of the time elapsed, but it was probably longer) of gun shooting and slogging thru the woods, I just wanted it to stop.
While it was a good book the outline was fairly deceptive. What I expected to be a book about Richard Forthrast and this virtual world he had created and a virus that was affecting the clients, that might delve into huge technological ideas, instead turned out to be the set-up for a very different story.
It was instead about someone else and a very spy/crime feeling drama instead of anything overly technical. The technical parts that did get discussed were so overly described that you would have to have not heard of the internet, and wanted to know specific intricate details that no one could be bothered with.
I say spy/crime feeling because I don't want to give away what actually occurs.
Other than that, all I can really warn you is the author spreads the story in around 6 different directions, will talk one part up until you're really interested and then swaps out to the dullest thread that hasn't received any attention. He then picks some small point about that thread, maybe what the person is wearing, and then discusses that ad nauseum until you're ready to fall asleep before picking up the drama around that thread again, building it to a critical point and then swapping away again.
The story was good, was entertaining, but didn't go where I'd hope it was going from the outline, and was packed with coincidences and convenient parts all over that drove me mad.
And I still have no idea how mountain cats climb ladders.
I love Zombie books. I was surprised to find out that their many that are quite good. Need any recommends for a GOOD zombie book let me know.
Starts a bit slow and alot to keep up with but well worth......AWESOME !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I also really like the narrator and will search out more stuff by him....
Neal Stephenson writes very long books, and it is a measure of his talent that he can spend pages describing a series of very complicated events - every sideways roll, every ejected cartridge - that go to make up, say, a twenty-five second gun battle and not have it seem verbose and tedious. And it had better not, because there are an awful lot of cartridges ejected in the course of this thriller.
The stand out characters are the women. Our hero (the real hero - not the Richard Forthrast referred to in the blurb but his niece Zula) is a fantastic (in both senses) creation - conditioned by experience and upbringing to be resourceful and self-reliant. Thank goodness, as she is about to find herself unwillingly in the company of a lot of genuinely menacing and scary men in circumstances that would have anyone else whimpering in a corner with terror (provided the chain round one's neck would permit one getting to the corner). The other great female character is Yuxia, Chinese tea merchant and force of nature.
Filled with characteristic Stephensonian passages - an explanation of installing Linux and a Tor browser, descriptions of the underlying economic principles of a MMORPG, et multiply cetera - this is, despite its length, a taut, fast-paced fingernail biter of a read, lavished with loving gore and peopled by terrific characters. It isn't as funny as Cryptonomicon, nor does it overflow with ideas like that that earlier work (or The Diamond Age) but it's a winner, and Malcolm Hillgartner's narration is absolutely perfect. It only just misses out on five stars because I know that Stephenson can do better - but you probably only get one Cryptonomicon in any career, so perhaps that's churlish.