Erin's Reviews > Reamde

Reamde by Neal Stephenson
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Oct 30, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: 20th-century, adventure, crime, fiction, thriller, russian-mafia, techno
Read from September 22 to October 30, 2011

i judge a good novel on its 'click point'--that place where, once you've gotten, you can't put it down. for your average airport paperback this point has to be within 20-50 pages of the start. otherwise no one would buy it to read on the flight. for your classics, say hemingway, the click point is more in the 75-100 page range. it's harder to adjust to the prose, but once you're there, you're totally in. for neal stephenson, the click point is more like 250 pages. (this excluding 'snow crash' and 'diamond age', which are more formulaic scifi novels--still brilliant, but shorter.) neal's good books are all in the 1000 page vicinity, so a 250-page click isn't a big deal, and man, when you're there, you need at least a thousand pages to satisfy you. i get depressed and start slowing down around page 800 just to make the story last longer.

but this one, it's different. 'reamde' has a click just short of page 100, and from then on, you're finding excuses not to do any work, or go to sleep, or attend to the mundane things you need to manage in your life. it's suddenly like a quentin tarantino movie, all, what does this need? the russian mafia! welsh jihadists! off-the-grid survivalists! and there you go. totally brilliant. all the character development you get in a thousand-page book, but all the page-turning suspense you get in a 250-page airport pulp thriller. love it. best one yet. i hate that it takes this guy three years to write a novel. and i love it that he makes me so happy every time he does it. the only thing i'm sad about is that i probably won't read another book this year that does it for me like this one.
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10/05/2011 page 230
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