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)
If two thirds of it had been left on the editing floor it could have been a good story, but it was so long, so convoluted, so repetitive and ultimately so tedious it kept putting me to sleep. Eventually I forgot what the heck was going on and who was doing what, then forgot I was meant to be listening and eventually just fizzled out and gave up. Only the second book I've ever given up on.
Really quite hard to fathom why so many thousands of unnecessary words were written about so many mundane details and why the author had the will to do it.
If you specifically absolutely love this genre and the longer it is the more you like it, then give it a go. If not, don't even think about it.
Wow. Was this really a book by Stephenson. I hope he goes back to his old style of writing. Trying to become Robert Ludlum is clearly a train wreck. The only thing that tops the poor story line is the narration. I actually think this was the worst attempt at narration that I have listened to. It was like finger nails on a chalkboard when he attempted any accent. His voice is more geared toward non-fiction. I will have to remember his name and stay away from any fiction books narrated by him.
Bottom line. Choose another author if you want espionage. I loved all of Stephenson's prior works. This is just not up to his level. A huge disappointment.
Enjoy the adventure
What I appreciated most about “Reamde” was a reoccurring theme that a person’s decisions have consequences on the lives of others. Neal Stephenson, author, seems to be saying “It’s not just about you and your issues”.
I also enjoyed the nonstop suspense - - well, after the 1st few hours. Yes, the book starts out slow.
The plot premise struck me as a bit ridiculous and caused me to lower my rating of “Reamde”. The book centers around an On-Line Game, Russian Criminals living in Canada and Middle Eastern Terrorists on a Jihad.
I became a Neal Stephenson fan with Cryptonomicon, but Reamde blew me away. This is an outstanding storyline that will keep your headphones in your ears from start to finish.
A hunt for the source of a computer virus that infects a computer game (and a game that has somehow achieved Facebook popularity?) merging into an international terrorist plot-without-a-target via a circuit breaker? Come on...
Stuck with one plot.
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