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Reamde: A Novel by Neal Stephenson
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Reamde: A Novel (edition 2011)

by Neal Stephenson

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,2281422,892 (3.89)143
Member:GeorgiaDawn
Title:Reamde: A Novel
Authors:Neal Stephenson
Info:William Morrow (2011), Hardcover, 1056 pages
Collections:Fiction, Your library
Rating:****
Tags:fiction, thriller, 75 book Challenge, April 2012

Work details

Reamde by Neal Stephenson

  1. 70
    Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson (mhcityplanner)
  2. 60
    Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson (Anonymous user)
  3. 50
    Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (Anonymous user)
  4. 30
    Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson (Galorette)
  5. 20
    For the Win by Cory Doctorow (kjforrest)
    kjforrest: Both books cover gaming, gold farming and economics in an interesting way. For The Win is much shorter and a better read, but Reamde is good too.
  6. 20
    Halting State by Charles Stross (infiniteletters)
  7. 00
    The Bloodline Feud (Merchant Princes Omnibus 1) by Charles Stross (Anonymous user)
  8. 00
    Bad Feminist: Essays by Roxane Gay (themulhern)
    themulhern: There has been some talk about Stephenson's female characters and some assertion that he is anti-feminist. My feeling is that he is, perhaps, writing his female characters as "bad feminists" in the sense that Roxane Gay uses that term in this collection of essays.… (more)
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English (139)  German (3)  French (1)  All languages (143)
Showing 1-5 of 139 (next | show all)
After Snow Crash and The Diamond Age--both fast paced sf adventure romps, Neal Stephenson took on much weightier topics (and wrote much weightier books). Reamde represents a spiral-like return to his earlier roots. "Spiral-like" in that he's returned with an improved skillset. He is able to juggle many more threads (writes from the point if view if at least ten characters, covers MMPORGs, international espionage, terrorist cells, militias, in one fell swoop), has command of much more material (the details of MMPORGS world building, the geography of Seattle, Xiamen, and the northwest Canada-US border region, the bureaucracy of MI6, the CIA, and to an extent the Russian mob), and is even better at nailing endings. This enables him to create a plausible 21st century thriller that reminds me a great deal of Snow Crash given its breakneck pace, but remains deeply rooted in reality. Well, to be fair, a reality in which an attempt by a russian gangster to re-acquire money stolen by a chinese hacker via a computer game virus (REAMDE) ends up bringing in a high evel Al-Queda operative.

I consider Reamde Snow Crash 2.0. And that's high praise. ( )
  kspence | May 19, 2015 |
This is a very long book. Very long. Basically it's a hacker/terrorist action thriller. Except because its so detailed and well, long, it doesn't exactly "zip" like many action books. What redeems it is that Stephenson is clearly very very talented (this is the first book of his I have read).

That said, giving it three stars because it is so slow to get going and I was not found of the fact that he has so so much Almost needless detail and loves to jump from point if view to point of view and back and forth in time. This break in the flow of the story was mildly annoying. For these reasons I give it 3 stars instead of 4.

Recommend however if you have the time. ( )
  dham340 | May 10, 2015 |
I haven't read any of Stephenson's work in a while, and this was a good reminder of why he is one of my favorite authors. He weaves together a multitude of topics such as massive multiplayer online games, the Russian mafia, and outdoor survival. His descriptions of modern Chinese culture seemed spot on and really reminded me of my own time spent there. My only complaint is that, at times, it was tough to keep track of all the different characters. However, this may have been due to only having small moments to read the book while taking care of two young kiddos. It's an interesting and fun read. ( )
  EllsbethB | May 9, 2015 |
I wanted to like this book so much more than I could.

The characters were consistently unbelievable, acting in ways which didn't fit their supposed culture, history, or demonstrated personality. One particularly brazen example was a hip black Seattleite casually stereotyping a woman as a "dyke" because of the woman's clothing and hairstyle (a pixie cut!).

I kept reading long after I had lost interest, hoping to be hooked back in. Instead, I was frustrated by plot holes and Deus Ex Machinas. ( )
  wishanem | Jan 27, 2015 |
Full of clever Stephensonian bon mots. Toward the end, I lost track of the objectives of the bad guys entirely; the good guys' objective, to thwart the bad guys, was pretty obvious. The coda is a bit irritating, and so are some of the last bits of the final shootout. As with Stephenson's other novels, there are a number of groups of individuals, forming networks with internal alliances, which interact in complicated ways. This book has much in common with the thrillers, "Interface" and "Cobweb", that Stephenson penned with his father-in-law, and yet a good deal in common with "Cryptonomicon" in its intricacy and its focus on the transmission and accumulation of wealth. The book is psychologically sound; the "Furious Muses" really rung a bell for me as did Zula's preoccupations. The importance of the virtual plot diminishes as the action returns to the North American continent leaving a lot of very loose threads and a bit of a let-down.

Stephenson raises significant and disturbing questions in all his books, and it may be that his most contemporary novels are the most disturbing because the questions are more immediate.

He has constructed a mythology in which Midwesterners are the most virtuous of all people, possessed of strong family affections and good with guns and technology.

I have read some reviews that argue that Stephenson's book is somehow anti-feminist. These arguments rest mostly on dialogue and a few musings about the understanding of or knowing about the idea of "feminism" among certain people or cultures. But the book can also be viewed as extremely feminist; while Zula is put in a very bad position she makes herself the opposite of a victim in a way that has gruesome consequences for several of those who try to terrorize her. Good work, Stephenson.

The idea of the "cerulean collar" workers is as old as Zodiac. ( )
  themulhern | Nov 26, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 139 (next | show all)
All of Stephenson's fiction has thrilling moments (and as his novels tend to be big, those moments can go on for many, many pages), but this is the first of his books that is nothing but a thriller, one that will sit comfortably on shelves weighed down by, say, the complete works of Robert Ludlum.
added by dcozy | editThe Japan Times, David Cozy (Nov 27, 2011)
 
Sci-fi geeks flock to the master's wildly complex novels -- but his latest, "Reamde," is maddeningly conventional
added by bertilak | editSalon, Andrew Leonard (Sep 19, 2011)
 
REAMDE, Stephenson's latest novel [...] is a book that represents a new kind of equilibrium in Stephenson's literary canon: a book that is simultaneously as baroque as System of the World and as cleanly and crisply finished as Anathem. It is, in other words, a triumph, all 980 pages of it
added by r.orrison | editBoing Boing, Cory Doctorow (Sep 14, 2011)
 

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Neal Stephensonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hillgartner, MalcolmReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Iacobelli, JamesCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
Richard kept his head down.  Not all those cow pies were frozen, and the ones that were could turn an ankle.
Quotations
"Fate has given us a totally awesome foe." -Qian Yuxia
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Four decades ago Richard Forthrast, the black sheep of his Iowa-based family, fled to a wild and mountainous corner of British Columbia to avoid the draft. Quickly realizing that he could make a lot of fast cash carrying backpack loads of high-grade marijuana across the border into Northern Idaho he began to amass an enormous and illegal fortune. Living an affluent but lonely and monotonous life in B.C., Richard became addicted to the online fantasy game World of Warcraft and like many serious players of the game he also fell into the habit of purchasing viral gold pieces and other desirables from Chinese gold farmers—young men who make a living playing the game and accumulating virtual weapons and armor that can be sold to American and European buyers who have more money than time. Luckily for Richard, it was the perfect opportunity to launder his aging hundred dollar bills and begin a new business venture to further expand his fortune.

Now the head of a major computer gaming group called Corporation 9592 with its own super-successful online fantasy game, T’Rain, Forthrast is caught in the center of a global thriller and a virtual war for dominance that is accidentally triggered by a young gold farmer.
Haiku summary
A fast-paced thriller
Hackers, mobsters, terrorists
Done Stephenson-style

(saltmanz)

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When his own high-tech start up turns into a Fortune 500 computer gaming group, Richard Forthrast, the black sheep of an Iowa family who has amassed an illegal fortune, finds the line between fantasy and reality becoming blurred when a virtual war for dominance is triggered.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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