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Reamde: A Novel by the dread pirate Neal…
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Reamde: A Novel (edition 2011)

by the dread pirate Neal Stephenson

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2,0481373,255 (3.9)135
Tome:Reamde: A Novel
Them scribblers:Neal Stephenson
Pearls o' Wisdom:William Morrow (2011), Hardcover, 1056 pages
Piles o' Booty:Audio Book, Calibre, Yer cargo
How ye liked it:****

Work details

Reamde by the scurvy dog Neal Stephenson

  1. Anathem by the scurvy dog Neal Stephenson (2008)
  2. Ready Player One by the scurvy dog Ernest Cline (2011)
  3. Snow Crash by the scurvy dog Neal Stephenson (1992)
  4. Rule 34 by the scurvy dog Charles Stross (2011)
  5. Cryptonomicon by the scurvy dog Neal Stephenson (1999)
  1. Halting State by the scurvy dog Charles Stross (2007)
  2. Spook Country by the scurvy dog William Gibson (2006)
  3. Daemon by the scurvy dog Daniel Suarez (2006)
  4. Redshirts by the scurvy dog John Scalzi (2012)
  5. The Quantum Thief by the scurvy dog Hannu Rajaniemi (2010)
  1. 50
    Snow Crash by the scurvy dog Neal Stephenson (mhcityplanner)
  2. 40
    Ready Player One by the scurvy dog Ernest Cline (Anonymous user)
  3. 40
    Cryptonomicon by the scurvy dog Neal Stephenson (Anonymous user)
  4. 20
    Quicksilver by the scurvy dog Neal Stephenson (Galorette)
  5. 20
    Halting State by the scurvy dog Charles Stross (infiniteletters)
  6. 10
    For the Win by the scurvy dog 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.
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This was one fantastic book. Taking place in two worlds at once (the real world and a virtual world) with two sets of characters (again, real and virtual) means twice the action with overlapping plots.

Richard Forthrast is the developer and owner of T'Rain, an MMORPG with millions of players around the world. When a virus starts hitting members, someone has to stop them REAMDE is a virus that attacks the files in members computers, completely encoding them until a ransom is paid in the T'Rain world. Richard's niece, Zula, an Eritrean girl adopted into his family believes that she can talk the attackers into stopping and heads of to China to track down the hackers. This is the start of a battle and chase story that moves around the globe. Mirroring the way characters meet and form alliances and battle foes, strange alliances form in the real world and connect the hackers with Zula and her gang against the accidentally created foes, a gang of Islamic terrorists. Another gang which includes a female MI6 agent and a member of a Russian mob is also in the mix as is a family of hardy survivalists in the wilds of Idaho and British Columbia.

This story completely captured me and whisked me through the hundreds of pages. The characters were rich and their interactions were, at times, surprising and deep. The action took abrupt turns from one locale to another, frequently back-tracking to catch the reader up to events in a different arena until they cross into another arena.

The reader becomes quite informed as to computer hacking, virtual worlds, trans-oceanic navigation, weapons, weapons, and more weapons.

The only ding I could give this book is for the interminable final battle up and down mountains, in and out of trees, back and forth from one group to another. ( )
  mamzel | Sep 20, 2014 |
I may have to come back to this after a while to write a well-rounded review. I love Neil Stephenson's work. What impressed me most about this novel was the way he moved his characters around and put them into new combinations and situations. It wasn't easy to manage the Czech Sysadmin, Chinese rural peasant, Chinese hacker, Russian security specialist, Eritrean/American refugee, US Spook, UK Spook, marijuana mule turned gamer millionaire and his Idaho anti-government family in a way that didn't feel forced or reek of Deus-ex-machina. As an author, Stevenson's chops really shined with how he managed to put this cast into novel and interesting combinations and get them at the right time to where the action was taking place.

As far as the international MMO gold-farming virus plot, I actually think Cory Doctorow's For The Win! does a better job of explaining the finances of this to people and pointing out why regular people should care or even be fascinated by its intricacies.

Two other things I think stand out about this book. One: Stephenson makes rural American sensibilitiles seem rational and contextually appropriate. In a binary world of red versus blue, this is a big deal. Two: Stephenson draws connections between the kind of information dump that he does with the technical intricacies of military/spy/techno thrillers. He explains how things work and draws connections between the work of a Tom Clancy and the kind of thing that Stephenson writes. In a world that seems to be divided by clear boundaries, Neil Stephenson's work seem to remind us that we are more alike than we care to admit. ( )
  nnschiller | Sep 18, 2014 |
My least favorite Stephenson and his most mainstream work. An awful lot of work for not much more than a Clancy thriller. ( )
  kwbridge | Sep 6, 2014 |
I hadn't yet read enough Stephenson to know what to expect with this book, so I was assuming it would be more sci-fi. So I was confused, and then didn't have enough patience for what felt like a slow start. So I put it down and came back to it a month later, and oooh, it's a techno-thriller! With terrorists! And clandestine border crossings and urban and wild adventures. What a fantastically fun read! ( )
  evilmoose | Aug 6, 2014 |
Reamde, like Cryptonomicon and The Baroque Cycle before it, showcases Stephenson's knack for crafting intricate webs of multiple narratives, culminating in one final showdown. It reads a little like a contemporary Snow Crash, and gamers will appreciate the fact that Stephenson, characteristically, comes off as, if not a native, at least a well-informed ethnographer of MMO worlds familiar with how they actually look and feel (as opposed to the bizarre alarmist CSI-style treatment they're given in a lot of other contemporary fiction). Sadly, Reamde also retains some of the most cringeworthy parts of Stephenson's other works. Characters aren't so much well-rounded as they are painfully stereotypical, and the Hollywood action climactic scenes drag on for around 200 pages more than necessary. While that was a little more forgivable in novels stocked with nerd candy till the end (cryptography, history, weird computer viruses), in Reamde, the last few hundred pages of the book toss that all aside for a bizarre hunt-down-Osama-oops-I-Mean-Jones "climax" that leaves so much to be desired. I felt a little like I bought a ticket to see Being John Malkovich and ended up watching National Treasure.Reamde, while it gets off to a strong start and is consistently action-packed, may not be a good fit for readers who enjoyed Stephenson's previous, more sophisticated work. ( )
  joceloon | Aug 5, 2014 |
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Scribbler's nameRoleType 'o authorWork?How farrr the crew's sailed
Neal Stephensonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hillgartner, MalcolmReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Iacobelli, JamesBritches designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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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