Reamde | Neal Stephenson

  • Reamde: A Novel © 2011
  • William Morrow: HarperCollinsPublishers
  • 1044 pages

There’s a curious juxtaposition here. Thrillers are, by nature, fast-pace adventure stories. Neal Stephenson’s latest thriller is a 1000+ page behemoth! Stephenson managed to insert deep characterization into his thrill ride in such a way that a 5 minute gun-fight can span 100 gripping pages.

This story covers everything from Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games to Islamic Terrorists, American survivalists hosting gun-toting family reunions to Asian hackers, Russian Organized crime syndicates to MI6, with a weed trafficker thrown in for good measure. You won’t run out of plot lines to consider!

The role of fate or luck in Reamde was particularly interesting. Stephenson managed to wrangle unbelievably improbable events into line without the reader feeling the effects of deus ex machina. It’s spectacular to see how he ties every thread together in one epic conclusion.

There were a few moments in the book where the sense of urgency departed and the thought of 1000+ pages wore on me. In hindsight, that’s probably because the action sequences are that well written.

My previous experience with Stephenson was his Cryptonomicon. After Reamde, I’m hooked.

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