Nicholas 's Reviews > Reamde

Reamde by Neal Stephenson
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Jan 04, 12

bookshelves: kindle, sci-fi
Read from December 25, 2011 to January 04, 2012

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.
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Reading Progress

01/02/2012 page 500
48.0% "Part one was stellar. Very, very pleased with the way that Stephenson introduced his diversity of characters and then mixed up their pairings. The technothriller elements are well done, but I prefer the geek-thriller aspects. I was, for example, sad that he failed to out geek Cory Doctorow's For The Win in his explanation of the economics minutia of gold-farming, but I'm completely entranced"

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