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2011 Reads > RM: What you thought of Reamde (spoilers)

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Poly (xenphilos) So, I finished Reamde a few weeks ago (I've been busy with midterms in the meantime) and overall, it's a solid thriller novel, but nothing stuck with me afterwards. The MMO aspect was the most interesting part, but I felt it wasn't fleshed out enough before Reamde moved straight into spy-thriller all the way through to the end.

The story itself was interesting, though I'm partial to thrillers. All the main characters, especially the women, were really interesting, although Richard and Zula's family at the end seemed a bit like random strangers and some of their deaths at the end didn't have much emotional weight to them. The end "battle" is probably the weakest part for me because of the unimportant deaths and it felt just a little too tidy. I think I might have preferred if one of the main characters died, but I'm not really sure I would have enjoyed it more.

And finally, here's the inevitable comparison to Neal's past work. I feel like every novel that he wrote up until now had a fully-realized idea that stuck with me, like the convents for intelligent people in Anathem, the virtual reality and dystopian future in Snow Crash, the nanotech in Diamond Age, and even The Mongoliad's martial arts/weaponry, but Reamde's MMO and geological processes simulation engine didn't grab me in the same way partly because it wasn't given more page time and also because it didn't influence or form a main backdrop for the story.

Overall, for me, it was a solid and enjoyable book, but I'm probably not going to read it again and considering it's a Stephenson book, I can't help but feel just a little disappointed. What about you guys and gals? What did you think of Reamde?


Nick (whyzen) | 1295 comments I've said in the forums many times what I thought of the book so I'll just try and hit the highlights.

Good main characters. Villains ( with the exception of Sokolov ) that were too cookie cutter. A main plot that couldn't keep me interested for the full duration of the book. The last 20% while having the most action really felt laborious to me.

Now the part I did like was the reasons behind why Richard built T'Rain. Some of the reasoning behind the setup of the virtual world. I really liked the duel between the two authors writing the Lore for the game. There were parts of the Sokolov and Olivia story that weren't that bad but fell kind of flat once they made it back to America.

I'm not sure I would say this book was enjoyable. It had its moments but for such a behemoth text it was unable to sustain a level of interest to carry it through to the end. I haven't read other Stephenson novels but I really hope "Snow Crash" is nothing like this since I've heard so many great things bout it and I hope to eventually read it.


Patrick | 93 comments My one sentence review would probably be: An ok thriller that is several hundred pages too long.

The main characters were good. The basic T'Rain premise was interesting but really was not developed as much as I would like. It was disappointing when the T'Rain setup in the beginning was basically rendered irrelevant by the terrorist thread. When the terrorists kidnap Zulu it becomes obvious where the novel was going to end and that made me impatient with the various twists and turns that happen to the other characters later. The end really doesn't pay off either. The final battle happens without any real surprises. The death of Jones is trite. Frankly I would have been happer if he had been eaten by the cat. Finally, as xenphi says, the deaths in Richards family don't really have much emotional impact.

I wanted to like this this book. I'm a self confessed Stephenson fanboy. I started reading Snow Crash and Anathem again from the beginning right after finishing but REAMDE simply did not work for me.


message 4: by Ken (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ken | 141 comments Holy ley lines Batman. I guess I'm of the mind that Neal is pulling one on us here. It's a little too convenient that everyone of the team that gets assembled along with all the villains all seem to converge on the same spot at roughly the same time and then we go through the long drudging shootout chapter. It almost seems to me that the main story was from the point of view of the people playing the avatars for a game that encompasses the large part of the book, while T'Rain is a game within a game so to speak. He doesn't admit that, but I was thinking that at 75% the way through. Call it Richard's new ReamDe game with the older T'Rain being a submodule. Just a theory on my part, but it would explain how everything came together so conveniently.


John | 19 comments I had several problems with this book. Based on the title and several synopses I had read I had hoped the book would be more "techy." But once the author provided the setup of the T'rain MMO and the basics of how gold farming worked the tech portion of techno-thriller was done and what was left was standard thriller with two many characters, moving in too many different directions, yet all ending up at the same place at the same time.

Also, the book could have easily been shorter by at least a third. There was a lot of filler that felt unnecessary. I read Cryptonomicom, another lengthy book, and never felt as if it was padded or inessential.


message 6: by guy (new) - rated it 5 stars

guy | 4 comments guess I might not be the proper Stephenson fan b/c I really liked reamde and got bored and couldn't finish anathem. overall I really like his digressions more than his actual storytelling and could have used more of those in reamde. am I alone in this?


message 7: by Kevin (new) - added it

Kevin Webb | 7 comments I have only read Cryptonomicon and Anathem, and loved them both as well thought out novels with great ideas and execution. I had trouble getting through Reamde as it really felt like a two or three ideas crushed together in a thriller. So much of the concepts I loved in the building of the T'Rain world seemed to be abandoned as he moved into the thriller. It was as if someone handed him a mediocre thriller and asked him to "Stephenson it up", so he added the MMO components.


Fresno Bob | 584 comments I love Snow Crash, Diamond Age and Cryptonmoicon, but all suffer from what my SF nerd buddies call the "Stephenson Problem" in that he suddenly realizes, "Wait, I need to end this in the next 9 pages...."

I think he went completely the other way this time, saying, "OK fanboyz, you want a real ending, I'm going to take the next 170 pages to end this!"


message 9: by tim d. (new)

tim d. (tim_d) HELP!!

I started this book, was really into it then the part where Zula and Pete meet with Richard and Pete goes off to make the exchange with Wallace comes up. HOW can Zula NOT notice the duffel bag Pete carries back over to the table? There's no mention of it?? She doesn't notice the gash in his finger from cracking the CD in half???

Am I missing something? Is this explained later on?? I was really enjoying this book until i reached this point and I'm having a really tough time moving on.

Someone... please... help.


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