In 1972, Richard Forthrast, the black sheep of an Iowa farming clan, fled to the mountains of British Columbia to avoid the draft. A skilled hunting guide, he eventually amassed a fortune by smuggling marijuana across the border between Canada and Idaho. As the years passed, Richard went straight and returned to the States after the U.S. government granted amnesty to draft dodgers. He parlayed his wealth into an empire and developed a remote resort in which he lives. He also created T’Rain, a multibillion-dollar, massively multiplayer online role-playing game with millions of fans around the world.
But T’Rain’s success has also made it a target. Hackers have struck gold by unleashing REAMDE, a virus that encrypts all of a player’s electronic files and holds them for ransom. They have also unwittingly triggered a deadly war beyond the boundaries of the game’s virtual universe - and Richard is at ground zero.
Racing around the globe from the Pacific Northwest to China to the wilds of northern Idaho and points in between, Reamde is a swift-paced thriller that traverses worlds virtual and real. Filled with unexpected twists and turns in which unforgettable villains and unlikely heroes face off in a battle for survival, it is a brilliant refraction of the 21st century, from the global war on terror to social media, computer hackers to mobsters, entrepreneurs to religious fundamentalists. Above all, Reamde is an enthralling human story - an entertaining and epic pause-resister from the extraordinary Neal Stephenson.
©2011 Neal Stephenson (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
“Stephenson...delivers a sprawling thriller that shows him in complete control of his story.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Noir futurist Stephenson returns to cyberia with this fast-moving though sprawling techno-thriller...Who’ll prevail? We don’t know till the very end, thanks to Stephenson’s knife-sharp skills as a storyteller. An intriguing yarn—most geeky, and full of satisfying mayhem.” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)
“Sometimes when you’re reading Neal Stephenson, he doesn’t just seem like one of the best novelists writing in English right now; he seems like the only one.” (Lev Grossman, Time)
Reamde is my FAVORITE audiobook I've listened to so far. I was a big fan of Stephenson before diving in with this, and while this may not be his best book, it still shows what a fantastic writer Stephenson is. His ability to illustrate moments and create really full, nuanced characters that you completely have a feel for as if they were your own friends, is quite amazing. And Hillgartner, my god, this man does an incredible job at bringing all the characters and narration to life. Really fantastic, fun ride.
The only other Stephenson book I'm intimately familiar with is Cryptonomicon and it certainly bears a resemblance, in Stephenson's sweeping prose that often veer into tangents of seemingly unimportant information, yet provide a richness for the reader that I find really amazing. It's a very different story than Cryptonomicon in that events are often retold from 3 or 4 or 5 different perspectives as they each character (or set of) experiences the same event but from a different angle. His skill in constructing these scenes is very evident in this book. Think Pulp Fiction but in novel form.
Nope. But he is absolutely top-notch. He brought the book to life in a way that even reading it myself probably wouldn't have. His narrative voice is excellent as he really brings life to Stephenson's witty voice but his ability to morph into any one of the many many characters Stephenson has in this book is quite remarkable. There's a multitude of accents Hillgartner displays skill with in this reading and it really goes a long way to bringing the story to life in a great way.
Often didn't want to stop listening to it. And would pretty much take any chance I could to pop in headphones and continue the ride.
Only qualm I have with this book is that many of the events occur and feel like deus ex machina is happening or that when certain events happen it is a bit unbelievable that certain characters seem to find each other at the same place at the same time. If you can suspend your disbelief, which I found it easy enough to, it's really a fun listen.
No. I don't read books or listen to them twice. Just me, not because a book is good or bad
All of the twists and the group of characters you end up liking
Better than average
It's a long book that is well worth the time spent. Around 40 hours. I was sad when I was done because I had spent so much time with the characters that I didn't want it to stop.
No, while the basic plot mixing the world of gaming and international terrorism has great potential, the story is overly long due to the level of detail provided that often doesn't enhance the story.
Maybe, based on other works.
This is one that could be read or listened to equally.
Unless you are looking to kill a lot of time, listen to something more compactly written.
Kowalski, someone's looking at my profile. Find them. Rico, time for boom boom. Private, send the family a funeral bouquet.
It was a good story from the start, but there were a few moments where I worried that I was going to dislike how the author developed his characters. Nope. The characters were excellent. For the first while I also thought the story would follow one character (Richard), but there was a full cast.
Stephenson's latest novel is an amusing blend of the real-world thriller genre with cyberpunk plot elements thrown into the mix. The story takes a long time to get moving, and sadly, the most interesting part is in the beginning of the novel.
The setup depends on the kinds of issues that actually could exist in the real world (and, in the case of the team fortress 2 hat money-laundering scheme uncovered last year, do exist in the real world) - but sadly, Stephenson's lack of overall understanding of the game-world mechanics shows through and drags the book down in the later chapters. Much of the book reads as though Stephenson did his research into the world of game-based financial transactions by reading economic briefings from EVE online's staff economist, rather than by researching the more significant subscriber bases of the massively popular MMORPGs, such as World of Warcraft. This results in dragging, slow sections of the book, waiting on problems so ludicrous that they can only be the result of a gross misunderstanding of the fundamental social structures and technologies they attempt to describe.
In the end, it appears Stephenson wanted to write a "comedy" of errors involving terrorists, gun-play, and Idaho separatists, and decided to appease his technologically literate, if aging fan base by throwing around technological ideas which are neither fresh, nor even accurate. Gone is the visionary of The Diamond Age and Snow Crash, and instead come the cheap thrills of a laughably shallow vision of how the worlds of massively multiplayer online games might collide with international terrorism and espionage.
Neal Stephenson is at his best in techno-thriller Reamde.
A particular reason why I like Stephenson's humorous characterizations is because the villains are depicted as idiots.
This is correct because a person must be an idiot in order to be a villain.
John Christmas, author of "Democracy Society"
Technical MMORPG Thriller
The conflict in the valley. A lot of believable action without being gratuitous.
Its not just a game...
This book managed to be extremely entertaining and while the scenarios may have been hard to believe at times the book never felt too terribly "unbelievable". The subject matter, although it is centered around a video game, isn't so techy that a normal person not so much on the cutting edge or into gaming would get lost. The main characters were likable and the character development was superb.
I was engrossed from early on. It is clear that the author did a large deal of research to paint an accurate and entertaining read.
He did the myriad characters well enough that you knew the difference, notices transitions, and easily followed. He did a great job.
The later scenes with the chase from Canada.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. What a nice surprise to pick a book that you think will be a mindlessly entertaining read and get truly engrossed in it. I know some readers thought it was too unbelievable but if you are willing to suspend disbelief as much as you would for a typical adventure novel than you should enjoy this one.
I doubt it seriously.
I don't know. He may have done his best with the material he had to work with.
I can't think of a single one. The book was in 5 parts and that is a plus if the book is interesting but it's a definite negative it's one of the most boring listens ever. Sorry to say that I could not finish the first part.
Maybe I did not give it a fair chance but I was bored out of my mind and decided not to waste any more of my time.
Engaging, addictive, exciting
Russian security expert (Socolov?)
Suspense, intrige, and a lot of popcorn
The combination of author and narrator is outstanding. The two should work with each other again.
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