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Reamde [Hardcover]

Neal Stephenson
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (165 customer reviews)
RRP: 18.99
Price: 15.19 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

20 Sep 2011
Across the globe, millions of computer screens flicker with the artfully coded world of T'Rain - an addictive internet role-playing game of fantasy and adventure. But backstreet hackers in China have just unleashed a contagious virus called Reamde, and as it rampages through the gaming world spreading from player to player - holding hard drives hostage in the process - the computer of one powerful and dangerous man is infected, causing the carefully mediated violence of the on-line world to spill over into reality. A fast-talking, internet-addicted mafia accountant is brutally silenced by his Russian employers, and Zula - a talented young T'Rain computer programmer - is abducted and bundled on to a private jet. As she is flown across the skies in the company of the terrified boyfriend she broke up with hours before, and a brilliant Hungarian hacker who may be her only hope, she finds herself sucked into a whirl of Chinese Secret Service agents and gun-toting American Survivalists; the Russian criminal underground and an al-Qaeda cell led by a charismatic Welshman; each a strand of a connected world that devastatingly converges in T'Rain. An inimitable and compelling thriller that careers from British Columbia to South-West China via Russia and the fantasy world of T'Rain, Reamde is an irresistible epic from the unique imagination of one of today's most individual writers.

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Reamde + The System Of The World (Baroque Cycle 3) + The Confusion (Baroque Cycle 2)
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 912 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Books (20 Sep 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848874480
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848874480
  • Product Dimensions: 16.7 x 24.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (165 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 236,711 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Neal Town Stephenson (born October 31, 1959) is an American writer, known for his speculative fiction works, which have been variously categorized science fiction, historical fiction, maximalism, cyberpunk, and postcyberpunk. Stephenson explores areas such as mathematics, cryptography, philosophy, currency, and the history of science. He also writes non-fiction articles about technology in publications such as Wired Magazine, and has worked part-time as an advisor for Blue Origin, a company (funded by Jeff Bezos) developing a manned sub-orbital launch system.

Born in Fort Meade, Maryland (home of the NSA and the National Cryptologic Museum) Stephenson came from a family comprising engineers and hard scientists he dubs "propeller heads". His father is a professor of electrical engineering whose father was a physics professor; his mother worked in a biochemistry laboratory, while her father was a biochemistry professor. Stephenson's family moved to Champaign-Urbana, Illinois in 1960 and then to Ames, Iowa in 1966 where he graduated from Ames High School in 1977. Stephenson furthered his studies at Boston University. He first specialized in physics, then switched to geography after he found that it would allow him to spend more time on the university mainframe. He graduated in 1981 with a B.A. in Geography and a minor in physics. Since 1984, Stephenson has lived mostly in the Pacific Northwest and currently resides in Seattle with his family.

Neal Stephenson is the author of the three-volume historical epic "The Baroque Cycle" (Quicksilver, The Confusion, and The System of the World) and the novels Cryptonomicon, The Diamond Age, Snow Crash, and Zodiac. He lives in Seattle, Washington.

Product Description

About the Author

Neal Stephenson is the author of eight novels, including the cult successes Snowcrash and Cryptonomicon. He has been shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award six times, winning with Quicksilver. Four of his last five novels have been number one New York Times bestsellers. He lives in Seattle.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars In need of firmer editing 3 Dec 2012
By Spodder
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As with all of Neal Stepehnson's novels from Cryptonomicon onwards, this book deserved to experience better editing than it received. Overly long, and sprawling across continents, seemingly disparate story lines slowly converge before a dramatic denouement in which the 'good guys' are assisted by some remarkable coincidences which would have been acceptable in a Dickens serial, but feel overworked and an attempt to get the plot over the line in a modern work of fiction. Character development is fairly non-existent, from the capable young woman to the hard-bitten, former special forces soldier, any one character from this novel can easily be cut out from one of Stephenson's other more recent works and transplanted with a mere name change to this one. Read and enjoy if you would like more of the same, but avoid if you'd like something different from a formerly very original author.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great start, dreadful ending 22 Aug 2012
This for me was a 5 star book for the first 600 pages, 4-star for the next 200 pages, and then the last part rapidly degenerated into a confoundingly drawn out and highly improbable non-stop action finale, with ridiculous amounts of unnecessary and uninteresting details, as all the book's heroes and villains managed, miraculously, to converge from all over the world onto one spot where they could fight it out amongst themselves (and others) whilst endlessly scrambling up and down mountain paths in a cloud of bullets and blood.

And yet the first section of the book is a finely balanced and well-paced thriller. Inspiring stuff that had me staying up into the small hours not just reading but also investigating Google maps in order to find out more about some of the areas Stephenson was describing in the story.

Such a pity that an otherwise great read became a long drawn out struggle to finish the book - I found myself "speed-reading" through the final 50 or so interminable pages of tiresome forest combat in order to reach the predictable happy ending and move on to something better to read. I only wish I had paid a bit more attention to some of the other reviews here before choosing this particular book as an introduction to Neal Stephenson.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
By Shivan
I have been almost worshipfully keen on Neal Stephensons work since I first came in contact with "The Diamond Age", and worked my way through his list. Each piece was differently brilliant, managed to give penetrating insight to arcane areas of the human experience, with amazing characterisation, and a delivery that spanned from techno-fetishism to it was with Great Anticipation that I discovered that another title was out.
The sad truth is that "Reamde" was ok, but something was missing. The choice to create a straight thriller resulted in a lot of back to back action sequences (which he's always been good at, don't get me wrong) which ended up just feeling a bit tired by the end. The magic just wasn't there, and I know that it'll stay on my shelf for years, while the others get taken out and re-read and lent out to people enthusiastically.

It feels like sacreliege, but I just didn't love it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By JamesC
Format:Kindle Edition
Not up to Neal Stephenson's usual high standards. Rather long and indifferently written. Still readable with some good bits, and the usual characters. But too long. I felt that Anathem was below standard, but this has dropped another level. Reminds me of hollywood movies.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 2 Nov 2012
I am a massive Neal Stephenson fan. Cryptonomicon and Snow crash rate as my favourite books of all time. This book was described as a return to that form, but it really isn't. It's a pretty straightforward thriller - I guess it would be a good effort from another author. I felt that the characters had no depth, the plot was contrived, it didn't have anything clever or different about it, and I ended up skim reading to get to the end. Maybe I missed something, but I was disappointed (and went back and re-read cryptonomicon instead!)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Kaa
If you enjoyed Stephenson in Snow Crash best, especially the action scenes, this might be for you. If you enjoyed Cryptonomicon or Anathem, especially for the ideas, this is not going to satisfy you. Too little original ideas, too much action. After the first 50 pages of the first shootout, I realized I was bored and quickly turned the next 50 pages to find the shootout was finally almost over and I do not think I missed much. Some folks were still alive, the ones not mentioned any more I guess were shot or blown up or eaten by cougars, but I did not care about them anyway.

I commend Stephenson for his research, though. As someone from Hungary, I even found Csongor's background story more or less believeable. Pronounce "Cs" as "Ch" in children.

I read Cryptonomicon, Anathem, and even the Baroque Cycle twice. As I will not re-read this, can someone please tell me, was the poor chopper pilot finally saved?
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very American tale. 15 Aug 2011
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The Forthrast Family - A typical American family? Probably not. Richard "Dodge" Forthrast, ex-small time drug runner, haunted by the Furious Muses (echoes of his previous girlfriends), now the owner of T'Rain, the world's most successful online game; his younger brother Jacob "Jake" Forthrast, a born again Christian and Survivalist; his elder brother John Forthrast, Vietnam veteran with two high-tech artificial legs; his sister Patricia, killed by a bolt of lightning, and his adopted niece Zula Forthrast who walked to Sudan from Eritrea to escape a war.

Normal they might not be, but when Zula is kidnapped by the Russian Mafia after her boyfriend failed to deliver on a dodgy deal, they react as any family would and pull together to try and find a way to rescue her.

This book is enormous! It is 1000 pages long and none of that is filler. What this length of story delivers is a tremendous and detailed back story for all of the vast array of characters, from the Forthrast family, to Abdullah Jones, the enigmatic Welsh Jihadist, to Marlon, a Chinese gold farmer turned virus writer and many many more.

This book is also a very American story. The Forthrast family may not be an ordinary family, and even though a lot of unusual things happen to them, these events are often contrasted with the more ordinary side of American life, including things like shopping at Walmart, RVs, Starbucks, family reunions, Thanksgiving, gunshops etc. At some points in the story I felt I saw some flashes of the writing of that master of the bizarre American story, Thomas Pynchon - but in a much more accessible and readable form.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
This has got to be one of the most boring books that i've read (didn't finish it)
Published 7 days ago by nmn1066
3.0 out of 5 stars Like most people who have worked a lot with computers
Like most people who have worked a lot with computers, I immediately saw the title of Neal Stephenson's book Reamde as a variant on 'Readme' - as indeed it is. Read more
Published 7 days ago by Brian Clegg
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
To be avoided unless you have some interest in video games.
Published 27 days ago by baba-au-rhum
4.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoyed parts of the book
I really enjoyed parts of the book, but was a little too games geeky for me in places, which tended to go on for some time. Still an enjoyable read though.
Published 1 month ago by anon
4.0 out of 5 stars Pardon me?
A well constructed story, that takes a massive leap elsewhere. You think you are reading a story about on-line gaming and then we are off. Loved the change of pace. Read more
Published 1 month ago by micksramblings
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Awesome, huge epic novel, but it will get you hooked on his other books
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars back to school mr N S, A GHASTLY ERROR
Terrible, terrible writing, crude, undeveloped grammar, cf Gibson's fervent originality, no understanding of figures and tropes at all, as if uneducated in writing as such. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Have given this one to friends
This is a really well-written thriller, though maybe relying too much on coincidence. And if you didn't know anything about MMORPGs, you'll know all about how they work after... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Ralph of Cornwall
4.0 out of 5 stars You can't really complain, but still...
He is my favourite writer of the several thousand authors I have read in my life, so you can't complain. And yet. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Glenn Myers
5.0 out of 5 stars This one I liked very much
I was quite reticent before I bought this, because I'd previously read Cryptonomicon and thought it clever but complicated and sluggish - I was really glad to reach the end so I... Read more
Published 4 months ago by A. Jones
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