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Reamde

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3.97  ·  Rating details ·  47,533 ratings  ·  4,796 reviews
Four decades ago, Richard Forthrast, the black sheep of an Iowa family, fled to a wild and lonely mountainous corner of British Columbia to avoid the draft. Smuggling backpack loads of high-grade marijuana across the border into Northern Idaho, he quickly amassed an enormous and illegal fortune. With plenty of time and money to burn, he became addicted to an online fantasy ...more
Audiobook, 39 pages
Published September 26th 2011 by Brilliance Audio (first published September 20th 2011)
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This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Liz I don't recall if they ever mentioned it. "Sergi Sokolov" has a nice ring to it though, so I think I'll make that my head-canon unless I re-read it…moreI don't recall if they ever mentioned it. "Sergi Sokolov" has a nice ring to it though, so I think I'll make that my head-canon unless I re-read it and find a canon answer to your query. (less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Hogan Kinda sure these are different books and in no way are to be viewed as a series.
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Jenne
Sep 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites

Me: la la la I'm sure this will be edifying and weird.

Book: Yes this will be a book about math and philosophy and like, historical dudes J/K actually I am like 14 Die Hards all squished together!

Me: SHut up, I have to stop reading this and actually make a living!

Book: no YOU shut up!!

Me: Seriously, they say people need to sleep occasionally.

Book: Bitch, I am NOT DONE. I will TELL YOU when you can sleep.
Kemper
Damn, but this book exhausted me. It wasn’t just having to hold up it’s 127 lbs. of bulk while trying to read that wore me out either.

Stephenson hasn’t made it easy on his fans since Cryptonomicon in 1999 with it and every book since being about 27,000 pages long while spanning the late 1600s in Europe to World War II to another world complete with it’s own languages and customs, and each book was also crammed with detailed information about topics like finance and code breaking. When I saw that
...more
Ryan
Aug 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's important for writers to recognize their strengths. With Reamde, it's clear that Neal Stephenson has embraced his: the infodump. There are infodumps about the setting of wind shield wipers on cars in Seattle, bears roaming the Rockies, and Walmart.

These may not be thrilling subjects, but Reamde is a infodump fueled thriller. After just 300/ 1000 pages, Stephenson grows tired of American Walmarts. Before we know it, his hero's niece, Zula, is kidnapped and flown to China, where we are given
...more
Dan
Sep 03, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The fact that this book came out 2 days before I take a 12 hour flight to china is proof that god loves me and wants me to be happy.
Will Byrnes
“Birth and death,” Chet said. “The poles of human existence. We’re like meridians, all beginning and all ending in the same place. We spread out from the beginning and go our separate ways, over seas and mountains and islands and deserts, each telling our own story, as different as they could possibly be. But in the end we all converge and our ends are as much the same as our beginnings
Neal Stephenson has taken the notion of a multi-player, on-line video game as the basis for an action novel
...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
I know, I know. When Stephenson writes really smart, I get annoyed while I force myself to finish the book (Quicksilver). When he writes a (sometimes) action-packed crime novel full of terrorists and international espionage and virtual worlds (Reamde), I get stuck near page 100 or 200 and allow myself to be talked into pushing onward, and start regretting it around page 700, and feel annoyed when I finally finish.

Here's the thing. I like a fun crime novel. I read all the Stieg Larsson books. I
...more
Julio Genao
Aug 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Remind me never to read reviews written by my most ardent "fans."

This book is great, but it appears #TeamStephenson was expecting the opening of the Ark of the fucking Covenant.

If you want a smart, contemporary, geeky, international action thriller written by someone who just spent 10 years writing an epic about the connections between the tech of the 17th century and the tech of the 21st—in longhand, on, like, parchment, with a fountain pen, the showboating bastard—then read this.

It's fun. And
...more
Graham Crawford
I love Neil Stephenson (most of the time), and I loved this book - most of the time. When He's good he's brilliant, but when he's bad he's mind numbingly dull. This is probably his most commercial/mainstream book yet - It screams please make me into to a Hollywood action movie, or big budget miniseries. For my taste it screams this too loudly.

The best parts of the novel are about the Chinese hacking and Gold Farming scene, the REAMDE virus- all classic slick Stephenson. Once we are back in
...more
Nick
Sep 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought, when I started reading this book, that Stephenson had turned in a classic Great American Novel. By that I mean that the introduction to the main character (although actually this is a seriously ensemble piece, so it’s probably better to think of him as the spine character – the events in the book could not take place without him, even when – as much of the time – he’s out of the room and has no knowledge of what’s going on) is a perfect, serious statement of a particular moment of ...more
Jeffrey Keeten
Dec 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I took the week off between Christmas and New Years and decided the perfect book to end the year with was the new woolly MAMMOTH sized Neal Stephenson book. Because we were traveling down to the in-laws house, a 12 hour trip to the ship channel in Texas, I checked out a library copy. With this size of book it is easy to break the spine while reading it and this is a book that actually forces the reader to abuse it to actually read the book. In retrospect, though I was glad I didn't have to ...more
Andrew Smith
May 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
At over 1000 pages, this book has the scale of epic tomes such as The Stand and 1Q84, though the the story itself seems to bear a much closer relationship to Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One. It has vast geographic spread, featuring action in settings as widely spaced as Idaho USA, the Philippines, China and (very briefly) the UK. But outside of these real life locations there is a good deal going on within the confines of a multiplayer online role-playing game that has much in common with World ...more
Mark
Aug 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
[Note: longer review now in place. Spoilers may be present.]

So: your starter for 10. Is it Reamde? Remade? Reamed? Read Me?

Just working out the title can be a complication in itself. But then that’s what you should expect with Neal Stephenson’s books. It’s a well known adage in the genre that if you read Neal Stephenson’s books, you’re there for a long journey.

And so it goes with this one: over 1000 pages of small text, over 2 inches/6cm thick. (I measured it!)

For what is typical of Neal’s
...more
Heidi The Reader
A former drug smuggler turned (mostly) straight-laced business man owns a multi-million dollar computer game, a refugee from Eritrea, a Hungarian computer hacker, a computer engineer, a further cast of international characters and the Russia mob all feature largely in Reamde. It is a science fiction novel by Neal Stephenson, but more than that.

This book will teach you about how flight paths are planned, how to properly check the safety on a firearm, and how the best laid plans of mice and men
...more
Davis
Dec 24, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
By the time I was about three-fourths of the way through, I found myself wondering why Stephenson had bothered to write this book. Aside from The Big U I've read all of his other works, and in each of those he used his skills —his knowledge of math and computers, his understanding of how computer engineers and programmers handle information —to build a compelling world and tell a meaningful story (often with social commentary) from a unique perspective. In Reamde Stephenson clearly stepped far ...more
Skott Klebe
Nov 05, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
REAMDE reads as though he started to write an interesting novel about massively multiplayer online gaming business and frauds, and inadvertently stumbled into writing an irritatingly conventional thriller novel about Islamic terrorists when the MMPORG novel turned out not to have enough action in it. I wonder, actually, if this is his 9/11 book, delayed somehow by nonliterary circumstance. Cardboard villains seen up close to be mere dark-skinned cartoons of inexplicable evil, heroic northwestern ...more
Bill
Oct 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, fiction, lit-fiction
i have absolutely no interest whatsoever in video games. i have never played a video game on my tv,on my computer, or on my phone. the last time i played a video game was when pac-man was the cutting edge.

so karen sends me a signed copy of this book (she's so awesome), and i was really looking forward to getting it, having read stephenson before,so even though it's a very big book, i started reading it the day it arrived at my place.

so i start reading it, and initially, much to my
...more
Monica
Great book!! Not my usual fair at all. This was a thriller with online gaming undertones. I actually learned quite a bit about the role playing games. Interesting tangents. Characterization was very good. You understood what was in the minds of everyone (except the jihadists. How could the author or anyone sane possibly know what goes on in the minds of jihadist.../sarcasm). This novel had everything I like. Strong characters both male and female, humor and lots of it (particularly around ...more
Thomas Frank
Jan 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely loved everything about the virus, T'Rain, and the hackers. Really wish the book would have focused more on that than (view spoiler). With that, my attention was definitely held - but mostly because I wanted to see the conclusion of the story.

One thing that did impress me, though, was the care that was put into ensuring the characters (good and bad ones) made logical decisions. None of Stephenson's characters here are stupid, and it was satisfying
...more
RandomAnthony
Mar 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Neal Stephenson's Reamde is over a thousand pages long. ONE THOUSAND PAGES. In the same way that I avoid movies over 130 minutes (especially if they're historical costume drama, egads) my self-diagnosed ADD usually keeps me away from books over, say, 500 pages. Exceptions exist, of course, and this novel caught my eye because 1) I had read and liked/loved Stephenson's The Diamond Age, Snow Crash, and Cryptomicon, and 2) I was experiencing one of those uncomfortable “I don't know what to read” ...more
Kim
I was so excited about this book, but it slowly slipped from a 5 at the beginning to a 3 by the end. This book was over the top...it read like Ian Fleming was alive and forced to write an action movie with Tom Clancy. A 6 hour long action movie. That over the top. Just as with any over-the-top action movie, you have to suspend disbelief to enjoy it, and it was certainly fun. Unfortunately, there was just too much schmaltz for the action alone to carry it. To be fair, I also had high expectations ...more
David
Jan 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Pot smugglers, gold farmers, Russian mafia, jihadists, Christian isolationist gun nuts
I used to really, really like Neal Stephenson. I read all of his earlier books (even Zodiac and The Big U). But somewhere along about the Baroque Cycle, I fell out of love with him -- not that he stopped being a good storyteller, but man those books were long and took forever to get anywhere.

Anyway, I picked up Reamde hoping to get some of the old Stephenson cyber-thriller love again. And Reamde is a very good tale, action-packed and filled with a ton of interesting characters in a plot that
...more
Michael
This thriller represents a nice reprise of a the fun, excitement, and imagination of Stephenson’s sci fi thriller Snow Crash and techno thriller Cryptonomicon,. Though some criminal indiscretions of her boyfriend, a young woman gets sucked up in a very few steps as a tool and a hostage by some very powerful bad guys, initially by the minions of a rogue Russian gangster and later by a group of jihadists led by a particularly ambitious terrorist spawned in Wales. I don’t want to spoil the ...more
Megan Baxter
In my head, this book is very much lumped together with the recent Greg Bear book, Vitals, that I read. Both are by authors that I have previously enjoyed. (Well, my reading relationship with Stephenson started out a little rocky, but it's gotten better of late.) They are both authors whose previous works have thrown off ideas like candy, been provocative and engaging. And they both turned in books in this round of reading that are mere technothrillers. Well-written technothrillers, but I want ...more
Rick Riordan
Nov 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I understand from Stephenson aficionados that it is somewhat different than his other work, but I found it a great point of entry to this author's world. It's a long book, over a thousand pages, and it did take some commitment to get into. Stephenson's research is incredibly detailed, and his interests are myriad. The amount of information he presents could easily bog down the plot if his writing wasn't so compelling and well-crafted. The plot zigzags breathlessly all over the world -- from ...more
Moira
Oct 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
OK, look. I routinely go into small bookshops and badger clerks to recommend a giant, sprawling, poly-thematic novel, ideally one that takes place in multiple far-flung locales and features kick-ass women. Which is to say, I have read all of Neal Stephenson's novels, most of them two and three times over. I am a big fan, and just like any partisan, I am somewhat unsuited to anything aside from gushing or howling.

But honestly, I can't do either. REAMDE a good, long, and involving read. It fails
...more
Jessica
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction, own
NEAAAAAAAL. NEAL! My man! I know we're all supposed to love Snow Crash the best, but my favorite thing about Snow Crash is that I feel like it freed him up to just do whatever the hell he wants.

And he does.

This book is over a thousand pages long. Could it have been shorter? Yeah. Did we need to know the elaborate backstory of every character? Eh. Some of them. But does he spin this incredibly long and detailed yarn for hundreds of pages and then bring them all together absolutely perfectly at
...more
Justin Hampton
Jan 24, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Let's face it: Neal straight up jumped the shark with The Diamond Age. Immediately after people began hailing him as a visionary (and rightfully so) for a pretty impressive run with DA and Snow Crash, Neal started developing some bad, self-indulgent habits with Cryptonomicon, and it doesn't seem like anybody around him has enough pull or inclination to speak truth to power. Still, the argument could be made that Stephenson's digressions, while superfluous, were still quite entertaining and ...more
Hank Mishkoff
Very clever and engaging premise, but very broad and sloppy execution. I'm a huge Stephenson fan, he's on my short list of best writers on the planet, so Reamde was huge disappointment to me.

The premise (and I don't think this is a spoiler) is the intrusion of a MMORPG (a massively multiplayer online role-playing game) on real life in unexpected (and potentially disastrous) ways -- not in a Tron-like player-gets-absorbed-into-the-game sense, but in a way that strikes me as so realistic (although
...more
Althea Ann
Nov 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh, I sure do love Neal Stephenson.
Here's my new and revised list of his books, in order of how much I like them:

Snow Crash (1992)
The Diamond Age (1995)
Anathem (2008)
Cryptonomicon (1999)
Reamde (2011)
Zodiac (1988)
Interface (1994) & The Cobweb (1996)
The Big U (1984)
The Baroque Cycle (2003-2004)

I considered bumping Reamde up past Crytonomicon, but then decided, no, I really can't, because although Reamde is non-stop fun, Cryptonomicon was more interesting and in-depth, as far as its subject
...more
Ray
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
A fast paced thriller which careens around the world leaving death and destruction in its wake. It features the Russian mafia, CIA, FIB, MI6 and various police forces. It sets jihadis off against an unlikely coaltion which includes American backwoodmen and computer geeks. As ever with this writer there is a heady mix of cutting edge tech - for me at least - and action.

Stephenson does massive sprawling books but I have to say that this needed to be 1000 pages and more to fit it all in. I enjoyed
...more
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19,377 followers
Neal Stephenson is the author of Reamde, Anathem, and the three-volume historical epic the Baroque Cycle (Quicksilver, The Confusion, and The System of the World), as well as Cryptonomicon, The Diamond Age, Snow Crash, and Zodiac. He lives in Seattle, Washington.
“The GPS unit became almost equally obstreperous, though, over Richard’s unauthorized route change, until they finally passed over some invisible cybernetic watershed between two possible ways of getting to their destination, and it changed its fickle little mind and began calmly telling him which way to proceed as if this had been its idea all along.” 22 likes
“Humans needed water or they would die, but dirty water killed as surely as thirst. You had to boil it before you drank it. This culture around tea was a way of tiptoeing along the knife edge between those two ways of dying.” 16 likes
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