"Good book, shame about the narration"
Enjoyable story with some interesting characters. Nice tongue in cheek critique of globalisation and the digital age. Unfortunately the narrator was very poor. Nearly gave up as his attempts at anything other than a broad American accent were so terrible. Would recommend reading this rather than listening to it as a result.
"Quality and quantity - can't go wrong."
Epically convoluted adventure
This stunning quest for gold and revenge manages to cross half the real world and a fantasy one too. Non stop plot that never looses the thread.
Hillgarten's reading lights up the characters, and even though his Russian/Hungarian accents verge through Mexico and Pakistan, his English accent is so POSH it's almost comic, and his Welsh is um.... he's obviously never heard a Welsh accent, he keeps the pace going so that one wants to just keep listening.
This could not be made into a film. Maybe a series of films. There is just too much stuff.
I'll be looking for more by both the author and the narrator. Very good listening.
"detailed but just boring"
it just fails and falls flat. it goes nowhere and says nothing. it describes and didn't explore. anathem takes you there, cryptonomicon makes you understand... this just bores you.
"Suspension of disbelief required!"
I managed to stick this out for 12 of the 30+ hours required before I finally decided to stop subjecting myself to a nonsensical plot and needlessly descriptive prose. About an hour in the story starts to hang together on a series of irrational actions which I had hoped would later be explained as part of some elaborate scheme however this was not to be the case. Characters act in ridiculous manners with the flimsiest of plot devices used to push the activity from one scene to the next all the while taking hundreds of words to describe what should have been conveyed in a couple of sentences. The author appears to have a loyal following with some other works attaining praise but this is a clear miss for me.
"great fun but a bit too long"
I felt that some sub plots were over developed and didn't really add to overall narrative other than by weight
very well read apart from a couple of dodgy accents - the Scottish one was particularly irritating but thankfully not a major character
I would go for another book with same author and narrator though but probably I'll wait for a suitably long business trip
"so long and so good!"
Adventure and action thriller. Full of people I want to know about. As someone who doesn't MMO, but is player adjacent, it made sense for me and had enough of the right kind of detail to be loveable. Much story. Such Wow. I was very happy with the ending.
Finally a Stephenson book with an actual ending!
I was a bit hesitant at first about an American narrator (I'm British, so it's odd for me to hear a whole book in American), but Malcolm Hillgartner was excellent. Granted, his Scottish accent sounded Irish and his Welsh accent sounded more British than the British guy, but he's a great reader and those accents are minimal in the story and forgivable for how good he was in all other respects.
In terms of the story itself – what a great yarn. Long, complex, balanced, knowledgeable, humourous in places and, as above, actually has a great ending, unlike other Stephenson books I could name *cough* Diamond Age, Snow Crash *cough*
"great story, well worth the journey."
great story, great journey , good characters and plot line well worth a read. a bonus to any sci-fi fan
"Great story, terrible accents"
This is a great story on the whole, surprisingly exciting and fun for a story with so much infodumping, has a great array of characters from different backgrounds. Mostly good narration apart from terrible, bordering on offensive (I'm thinking of the Irish accent here) accents.
"Neal Stephenson does 24"
Frankly, I love this one. I've listened to it twice now, and upon reaching the end was tempted to go back for a third time. I'll probably end up listening to it once a year.
Pretty much every character in a Neal Stephenson book is clever and interesting, and Reamde is no exception. It's a refreshing change from most thrillers, where you find yourself in a state of perpetual frustration with the protagonists (I was once bitten on the shin by a Lee Child novel).
This even ups the ante on James Bond's globe trotting by trotting on several globes at once. The characters range from practically everywhere, and Malcolm Hillgartner does an excellent job. Unlike the Seveneves narrator, he wisely demurs from attempting a welsh accent. In fact, he imbues proceedings with a frenetic pace, and his delivery of Stephenson's frequently witty prose is top notch. He even pronounces Linux correctly.
If you are of a, shall we say, even slightly geeky persuasion, this is manna from heaven.