[ Read E-pub ] ☩ Reamde ☸ MOBI eBook or Kindle ePUB free

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 this was going to be a modern day thriller that had something to do with a MMORPG, I thought Neal was finally taking pity on us poor readers of only average intelligence and attention span and giving us an easier book.Wrong.At over 1000 pages with a plot that races around the world and includes multiple characters in wildly different circumstances, Reamde is not a thriller you just breeze through, but like most things Stephenson, I found that the effort I put into it was rewarded with a wild and unique story and top notch writing.Richard Forthrast fled the US for Canada to avoid the draft during Vietnam and once the war was over he made a small fortune as a marijuana smuggler Years later, Richard put his pot money into the development of a MMORPG called T Rain and is now enormously wealthy and successful as the game is one of the most popular of its type around the world.Richard s relationship with his family in Iowa is strained, but he loves his niece, Zula An African refugee, Zula was adopted by Richard s brother and grew up as an Iowa farm girl and recently graduated college with a computer degree Richard offers her a job and is thrilled that he ll get to spend time with her However, hackers have put a virus called Reamde in the T Rain game and this inadvertently begins a chain of events with deadly consequences.The story roams from the US to the Isle of Man to Canada and China as well as various other locales and a huge cast of characters is involved Russian gangsters, fantasy novelists, British spies, on line gamers, a Hungarian money launderer, Chinese hackers, American survivalist nut jobs and Islamic terrorists all get mixed up in the plot, and the book culminates in an epic way with 100 tense pages that stressed me out and left me needing a nap afterwards.While Stephenson still never met an info dump he didn t like, he keeps the focus here mainly on the characters without taking long detours to explore concepts like he has in some of his other books although he does spend a fair amount of time explaining the nature of the T Rain game while working in some pretty funny observations about the fantasy genre and gaming Fans of his earlier work who grumble about the length and pace of his later stuff will still find plenty to bitch about here, and there are some dead sub plots that could be trimmed with no damage done to the overall story.But to me, that s what makes a Neal Stephenson book special Yes, he probably could have written a 300 to 400 page book that got most of the same plot into it, but without the backstories and the time spent in the mind of each character as they think through their respective situations, it d be just another book with a bunch of people running around with guns and laptops Part of the charm for me is Stephenson s quirky way of telling a story, and he s delivered another great book here. 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 and has raised it to the next level The characters in his story each have dangers and goals and must make use of available resources and allies, while avoiding or killing obstructions or enemies Unlike their in game counterparts, the novel s characters only get one life and must struggle to hang onto it against an assortment of unpleasantries, including Russian gangsters, storms at sea, massive urban explosions, petty criminals, predators of the furry, four footed variety, booby traps, and a charismatic Welsh terrorist of the Al Qaeda persuasion They acquire food, clothing and transportation as they find them and make alliances necessary to survive Stephenson has a lot of fun paralleling developments in the real world with action in the game world Don t worry, the former takes up the bulk, and I do mean bulk of this novel My ARE weighs in at 980 pps I do not know how vast the final hardcover might be if they change the font size Neal Stephenson image from LA TimesCEO and creator Richard Forthrast s massively popular on line game, T Rain, has been hacked A group of Chinese gold miners are holding people s personal files hostage until they receive payment, through the game When they foist this ploy on a petty criminal, who was in the process of selling stolen credit card data to a Russian gangster, things take a bad turn The gangster, Ivanov, rather than disappoint the even worse people to whom he reports, opts to seek out the evil doers to redress his grievance That they happen to be located in the People s Republic of China adds a level of difficulty Jetting over with his security team, which includes a mercenary, formerly of Russian Special Forces, a few subsididiary thugs, and a Hungarian systems programmer, he insists that those who had disappointed him come along One of them is the boyfriend of Zula Forthrast, Richard s niece, thus she is taken along as well and the game is afoot.In short this is certainly the fastest thousand pager I have read The action is fast paced and unrelenting, as Stephenson has chopped up his very large book into hundreds of one, two and three page sections, alternating among his various teams of characters, and so keeping things crisp and fast His characters are nicely drawn, with enough but not too much history, and enough warts to matter without becoming gross about it You will not lose any sleep thinking about them, but they are fun while you are following their journeys Yes, there are people you can root for here And even the big bad guy has some appeal, which tempers his awfulness Richard and Zula Forthrast in particular are wonderful characters, as is the commando, Sokolov There are of course a fair number of disposables, there for canon fodder or target practice.But Reamde is not a pure entertainment You can pick up some new information while enjoying this read Such as how a multi player, on line game, something like The World of Warcraft, comes to be, looking at the building blocks, things like an underlying plot, geology, color, sound, architecture, racial mix, biota I would have liked even of that Another is a fascinating treatment of what an in game economy actual entails Inside the game, off script users begin to morph elements of the game to their own purposes, altering the canon color palette and engaging in a whole new sort of color war There is a rather kind look at the culture of some real world survivalists who have removed themselves from the world in a different way, in anticipation of the collapse of civilization No one will mistake this for nobel level literature There is not much here for the literary treasure hunter, although there are a few fun references here and there One character sees his affection for the girl of his dreams in terms of Don Quixote There are plenty of nods and winks to some other action products One character, an MI6 agent, complains about the lack of romance in her job, mentioning specifically that her life is nothing like that of James Bond, as she is on her way to a place called Bourne s Ford Relating to another sort of literature, one character thinks of himself and those around him as comic book superheroes, secretly giving every one names from the Marvel universe.Stephenson has great fun paralleling the experiences of sundry characters, both with each other, and with events in the game, from coping with being chained or handcuffed to the benefits of waving to the locals one passes I am sure there are many of these but I did not keep track My limitation here one of soooo many is that I am not a gamer There are undoubtedly scads of insider references for folks who are and I expect many of them will be posting reviews on GR.Despite its thickness Reamde is not a deep book unless I missed a whole lot than I think I did , but it is very enjoyable So if you are heading to a beach or a cabin or an undisclosed location where you can read for a really long time, this is definitely a book worth lugging along If you are a gamer, this will certainly be a fun time for you, if, of course, you can drag your sorry ass away from the screen, or maybe the next time your character is terminated with great prejudice by an unexpected exploding or piercing object or a very dark spell This is a fun read Play on.Publication September 20, 2011Review Posted July 2011Re posted May 15, 2015 EXTRA STUFFLinks to the author s personal, Twitter, Google Plus and FB pagesLabour camp detainees endure hard labour by day, online gold farming by night My reviews of other Stephenson novels SevenEves The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. It s important for writers to recognize their strengths With Reamde, it s clear that Neal Stephenson has embraced his the infodump Reamde operates in two gears infodump and action, which makes for a potent combination This fusion works because Stephenson has written a thriller At first, I was surprised, but then I realized that The Baroque Cycle was also a thriller, just one set in an unusual period for the genre Regardless, the infodump and the plot are what the thriller s all about.With Reamde, Stephenson returns to contemporary America, discussing things like the setting of wind shield wipers on cars in Seattle, bears roaming the Rockies, and Walmart However, it doesn t take long just 300 1000 pages for him to get restless with America Before we know it, his hero s niece, Zula, is kidnapped and flown to China, where we are given infodumps related to Xiamen s architecture, the culture of the Russian mafia, and even international terrorism.And don t forget about the spies There are three of them, and all of them come with their own highly detailed back story Still, if anyone can make a digression into spy school, begun in the middle of a fire fight, interesting enough that readers will stay tuned for thirty pages rather than skipping ahead to see what happens in the firefight, it s Neal Stephenson.When we consider that we live in an age where we must be concise and focused in our writing, I find Stephenson s digressions especially striking For example, Stephenson quite comfortably explains how a MMORPG was marketed Does it have anything to do with the plot Perhaps Could it be skipped Almost certainly Nevertheless, for Stephenson s fans, these digressions are the hook that keeps readers turning pages, rather than the plot.And it is this reversal that makes Reamde a standout amongst thrillers Stephenson s achievement here is that he so easily demonstrates that a great thriller can be measured by the depth of its infodumps, rather than the just pace of its plot. 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. [ Read E-pub ] ☸ Reamde ♫ 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 Game In Which Opposing Factions Battle For Power And Treasure In A Vast Cyber Realm Like Many Serious Gamers, He Began Routinely Purchasing Virtual Gold Pieces And Other Desirables From Chinese Gold Farmers Young Professional Players In Asia Who Accumulated Virtual Weapons And Armor To Sell To Busy American And European BuyersFor Richard, The Game Was The Perfect Opportunity To Launder His Aging Hundred Dollar Bills And Begin His Own High Tech Start Up A Venture That Has Morphed Into A Fortune Computer Gaming Group, Corporation , With Its Own Super Successful Online Role Playing Game, T Rain But The Line Between Fantasy And Reality Becomes Dangerously Blurred When A Young Gold Farmer Accidently Triggers A Virtual War For Dominance And Richard Is Caught At The CenterIn This Edgy, St Century Tale, Neal Stephenson, One Of The Most Ambitious And Prophetic Writers Of Our Time, Returns To The Terrain Of His Cyberpunk Masterpieces Snow Crash And Cryptonomicon, Leading Readers Through The Looking Glass And Into The Dark Heart Of Imagination 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 like books about virtual worlds But longer does not make something better In fact, stretching this story out into twice the length necessary just made half of it skim worthy and tedious The ending didn t even really have one of those really great pay offs that make crime novels worth it.I m not sure I can articulate the magic of Stephenson that I know can be experienced Snow Crash I just haven t seen it since This is really of a two star book using my rating system, but a few things redeemed it slightly such as the female characters.I blogged an even longer review here. 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 funny And damned good.If you want something else, put this down, walk away, and go on witcha bad self Never you worry there s bound to be a new Patterson out by Tuesday.That is all. 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 America, it degenerates into a B grade Bruce Willis Flick The shoot out with terrorists at the end had every clich in the book and why did it need to be sooooo long winded bullet by bullet Gun porn Not very smart airport stuff And the cringe worthy romance epilogue where everyone gets hitched and attends Thanksgiving dinner.excuse me while I throw up I was quite concerned by the politics Stephenson normally is quite insightful, but choosing to write about a Moslem terrorist threat in this manner demonstrates a middle American naivety he hasn t shown before Is this what he really thinks, or is it just what he thinks will get him a movie deal If he wanted to play the terrorism card it needed to be a LOT smarter than prayer rugs and gaff tape.The entire terrorism thread hinges on the deus ex machina of a wrong room number Of course the book would have been much shorter without this silly complication, but it would have been a far better one if he had stuck with the Chinese hackers and explored the great firewall of China themes thoroughly. 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 American history the present one The prose has a ringing certainty, and a compelling portrait emerges of a man in later years, slightly aloof from his extended family, whose life has followed the major threads of his time This is Stephenson pulling together the strands of his writing You get powerful depictions of the heartland of America, dynastic storytelling, and a sense of the US as a fractious, complex, fascinating entity woven into this, though, is a new world of online gold farming and the economics of MMORPGs as they become populous than many nations.So I was all set to read a kind of cross between John Steinbeck and William Gibson, and wondering whether this was going to be Stephenson s Great Book.And then the action started.And did not stop.For nearly one thousand pages.This is not a measured, dynastic thriller stepped in draft dodging, marijuana, and Warcraft It is an epic, exhausting, non stop action flick in book form It makes Heat and Kill Bill look short, tame, and dull It has, yes, an ongoing allegiance to history and culture It does not suddenly abandon the slightly melancholic sense of ageing, or the awareness that what happens now depends in great part on then But it surely isn t the book I expected on page 20 Instead, it s a superbly exciting, cross cultural adventure with a cast of thousands well, no, all right, but certainly about ten main characters who are in different parts of the world and rushing towards a final confrontation.I loved it.There are niggles, of course Stepehenson s Brits are real people when you get to know them, but they have a kind of veneer of showcase tweediness Although maybe that s just how the rest of the world experiences Brits But then there s a gang of jihadists caught between extremism and sexual violence all the time, and while there s a vague nod to the notion that the majority of American muslims would consider them insane and nightmarish, it has to be acknowledged that we never meet a muslim character in the course of the action who isn t a total bastard That was a bit disappointing, because it s something I d really like to see Stephenson do the journey of an immigrant into the US tapestry is a thing he understands On the other hand, maybe there was a storyline like that and it had to be cut There certainly wasn t room for another two hundred pages in this book as it is, the thing s printed on Bible stock.So this is a blinding book Expect a movie But it s not the showstopper I imagined it might be when I began it s a completely different showstopper It won t be the one which is bound in leather and kept on the shelf alongside your original print of Magnificent Ambersons But you will not be bored, and you will laugh, and you will stay up late to find out what happens next. 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 torture my own copy of the book, it would be a wise investment to purchase this book on your kindle, iPad, nook etc This is a book made to be read digitally My mother in law who was diligently marking my progress in the book would come in at different times of the day to find me slouched in a chair with this book perched in various positions to relieve my hands, arms and back I still have a stubborn knot in the muscle under my scapula She would say, You really aren t making much progress in that book I would blearily pull myself away from China, Canada or the latest wonderfully tense moment in the plot and bluster, Of course I m making progress it is a 1,000 page book She was right though I d get to the end of a day of power reading and find my bookmark still on the South side of the center of the book It did not seem I was really making any progress and what made it all the interesting was I didn t care I was willing to spend as much time as Stephenson would give me with Richard Forthrast the founder of the online game T Rain and self proclaimed black sheep of the Forthrast clan Zula Forthrast, the niece of Richard and the main catalyst for the plot of the novel Sokolov, the Russian Spetsnaz trained mercenary Csonger, the Hungarian computer hacker Marlon, the Chinese hacker that hatched a brilliant plan to steal millions of dollars from T Rain Olivia, the British MI6 agent Yuxia, the Chinese facilitator that gets caught up in much than she expected when she offered to help Seamus, the American CIA operative and our ultimate bad guy, Abdallah Jones, international terrorist Except for Richard and Zula none of these characters knew each other before the beginning of this international endeavor to find a terrorist In the course of the book Stephenson weaves the plot around these people and draws them all into the same goal of stopping Abdallah Jones I was right there with them, totally taken up with the plot, feeling my body tense with each burst of gunfire, sometimes despairing that the band of international gypsies could ever catch up with Jones in time I was glad that I had the time to read 200 pages at a go I think reading this book 20 pages a day might have driven me crazy This is a brilliantly composed thriller, smart, compelling, overwhelming, and ultimately satisfying Time well spent Highly recommended