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)
Was expecting quite a lot after listening to "Anathema" and "Cryptomicon". Was anticipating high concepts explained and unconventional plot lines, what I got was a post 911 wish fulfillment fantasy. Putting tech nerds and survivalists in the center of the war on terror was not really what I was expecting. I found myself rooting for one of the protagonists who was hoping the jihadists and the rednecks would wipe eachother out. Oh well, proves that even literary geniuses have an off day, kind of like the painters of the Cistene Chapel making flaws in their work to prove they are only human.
I listened to the first 2 parts of this - and it seemed ok. If there was some kind of conclusion there, then I would have rated it highly. But life is too short - I would rather try something else, rather than 3 more parts of the same. 2/5 stars for 2/5 parts of the book. Maybe I will change my opinion if I ever get around to finishing it.
Already have, many times. It's funny, sad, tense, heartwarming and even occasionally shocking at others. The scope of the story was just beyond what I expected. It is so rare that a story one has not prepared oneself for turns out to be as rewarding a read. Picture a whisky drinker, handed a gin martini, who in turn discovers he now loves gin. (Tried for lightning in a bottle twice - Anathem was not a similar experience! On to Snow Crash!)
I chose the book in my post-Ready-Player-One-Ernie Cline afterglow, but this is NOTHING like that story. Okay, it's minutely similar in that a game is involved. For like 1% of the book. This is real world, minor-suspension of disbelief material. The story is so wide, I really don't have a great comparison in my contemporary fiction library in the same vein.
Anything involving the EXCELLENT reading of Hillgartner - so proper, serious, refined - and Richard's borderline-Asperberger's personality.
Yes, but as long as it is... unlikely.
Check it out. Give yourself a moment to fall in love with these characters, then be ready to groan as they fall deeper and deeper into trouble. Be prepared to travel.
I have listened to other Neal Stephenson books and loved them. This one was ok, and I would not disuade anyone from listening to it, but it was not on par with his other books. At nearly 40 hours, it should have been better.
Absolutely! The first 3/4 of this book is almost unbearably tense. I loved it. The characters are great, the reading is captivating and the detail is classic Stephenson.
The story might be a bit farfetched but it is probably one of the most accessible Stephenson novels. The action is non-stop and the solutions to the characters' problems are very creative.
no-it's 38 hours but i have recommended it to friends. There is something for everyone in this book, besides it being well-written.
I don't like thrillers and I especially don't like novels about computer viruses (which it is not) but the geography and change in cultures is enthralling. I love that the heroine is an African American woman and her nemesis is an African Welshman who happens to sound like Richard Burton-and despite being a terrorist is a facinating, understated character.
He does a pretty good job with all the accents-midwestern American, Scottish, Russian, Chinese, British, Welsh-did I forget any? I'm still only half-way done with the book.
If the filmrights to the movie haven't been picked up by now-I predict it will be a movie by next year at the latest!
Cryptonomicon has returned
Richard is probably my favorite character due to his complex and very American contemporary story.
The death of John in the forest on his "knees" redeeming himself of his ghosts of Vietnam. Subtly and respectfully back-storied with an absolute understanding of that generation of midwestern veteran tied to modern day redemption while protecting his highest treasure; Zula. So artfully tied into the action packed conclusion to the book. I have NEVER experienced such a fulfilling final series of concluding chapters in a contemporary fiction book. Cryptonomicon (as a former crypto guy) is the only book to come close.
Neal has returned to his epic, contemporary, real life, detailed, high-tech stories. This book returns to the genre of Snow Crash and Cryptonomicon. As a dad, prepper, gamer, former military officer, 30 year veteran programmer and Internet startup guy, this book hit every angle of interest for me.I had two favorite SF authors; Gibson and Stephenson. Now I have one; Stephenson.Thank you for coming back! We have missed you.
I did not listen to this title immediately after purchasing it, so I forgot some details about the size of the book. I think I might have been on Part 2 or 3 when the story was heading to what could have been a natural conclusion point. A decent story, but not stellar at that point, but it did not end.
It took a twist that I never saw coming.I have read/listened to a few of Stephenson's books now and have really enjoyed them thoroughly.
There are a couple others of his that I have started, but were not able to really get into due to the complexity (for lack of better term) that they started out of the gate with. Sometimes trying to learn a new language and topography while trying to enjoy a story can be a little daunting. Reamde didn't go that route at all which made it a little bit easier to flow into it.
I normally listen to books during my commute, and this was one of those books that I found myself not wanting to get out of the car so that I could keep listening to the story.
This book was really like putting together a jigsaw puzzle that you didn't have the picture for... it slowly started to take shape out of all of these complex little pieces until about half way through you have a pretty good idea of what it is supposed to look like, but until the last piece is placed, you cannot be totally sure...
1. Plot: I am a huge Neal Stephenson fan. And this is Neal Stephenson at his best. All elements of this story take place in the here and now, which makes this story incredibly thrilling. Hackers? Check. Fully developed MMORPG? Check. Terrorists? Check. Right wing self described crazies? Check. Kidnapping, M6, and Russian Mercenaries, check, check, check. Neal Stephenson is an excellent writer, one of the few who can carry complex story lines involving all these elements in harmony, moving in and out of the individual moments quietly and in perfect tune with each other. It's like a symphony of stories that all come inevitably crashing together in the end in a beautiful and insane climax. Stephenson also captures things like the subtle notes of the now though references of Wikipedia, Facebook, etc...
2. Narrator: Hillgartner captures the narrator in third person beautifully, and paces this book extremely well. Especially considering it's length. He clearly took time to pace appropriately. What is left to be a little desired is dealing with his interpretation of women. As women are some of the primary characters in this book, there are times that the narration has felt forced.
I cannot recommend this enough. I started it over the second I was done w/ the 1st run-through. An epic story, amazing characters, just a solid piece of entertainment. Some reviews say this is "lighter" than some of his other works, but that is only sort of true. I would say it is very accesable to a wider audience, but a smarter than average audience, to be sure.
I have fireds who are listening to Reamde as well & we talk about how they are dreading that it will be ending... I suggested the entire re-do or re-pllay. They had never even considered that w/ prior books, but are fully expecting to w/ this one.
Story, all over the map doesn't do the book justice. But if you've read N.S. before, you know what to expect.
No, but I was very happy w/ the narrator.
Laughed out loud, looked up locations on Google Earth & some other outside searches. Typical w/ N.S. reads.
Get this book, go on a road trip.
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