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Reamde: A Novel Kindle Edition
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|Length: 1055 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top customer reviews
Sure, go and read a sample of the "top" reviewers, two or three will do and then say you don't agree with the fact that all that negative prattle sounds a bit "off", almost like they had to push hard to create lines such as "Not up to his old standard" or "A pale ghost of the old Stephenson" in order to submerge it in praise while criticizing a lack of this or that. But what can you do when trying to find fault with a true master except dare make ridiculous comments of the likes as "characters lack both depth and idiosyncrasy" which lose all meaning after a thousand pages of pure unadulterated action.
I will concede it seems aimed at a younger public and also primed to be turned into an action movie, which I fervently wish will happen some day, as it will easily rival any "Star Wars" or "Hobbit" flick provided it is directed by a Spielberg, Lucas, Cameron or Scott.
I thought he stumbled with the Baroque Cycle but came back strong with 'Anathem'. He continues strong with 'Reamde'. (That's not a typo; the title is a play on Read Me.) While 'Anathem' was dense and challenging (an inter-dimensional first contact novel that explored themes of Platonic ideals!), 'Reamde' manages to be both light and dense at the same time. I thought 'Anathem' had little (although not no) humor but 'Reamde' is as funny as 'Snow Crash' or 'Cryptonomicon'.
So, what's it about? I don't know - and I seem to say this a lot about Stephenson books - that I can sum it up elegantly or quickly. I'll put it this way: It's a madcap thriller featuring - MMORPGs, Chinese MMORPG gold farmers, Chinese hackers, the Russian mafia, a fledgling British spy, a jaded American special forces operative, fundamentalist Islamist terrorists, fundamentalist anti-federalist Christians, and an Eritrean/naturalized American heroine. If that sounds interesting to you, have I got a book for you!
Stephenson manages to bring it all together although he does take 1000 pages to do so. I debated whether or not to give this one five stars. (I really wish GR had half stars!) In the end I withheld the last star because I thought the book was a bit too long and meandered at times. And - and this is a quirk of mine - the last action set-piece was too drawn out for my taste. I am not that great at visualization. I don't need 100 pages of - as my friend Boden Steiner put it - 'bullet time' to convey action.
However, as cliche as it is - I am cribbing from my friend Boden here - this *IS* a book only Neal Stephenson could write.
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