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Reamde Hardcover – 20 Sep 2011


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 912 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Books (20 Sept. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848874480
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848874480
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 6.7 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (178 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 241,428 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

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Palito del Monte on 22 Aug. 2012
Format: Paperback
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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By anorakgirl on 2 Nov. 2012
Format: Paperback
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 Brian Clegg TOP 500 REVIEWER on 26 Aug. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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. I've really enjoyed his science fiction work like Cryptonomicon and Anathem before, and have even managed to overcome my loathing of extremely long books, as in these works Stephenson is not indulging in drivel, but really fills them with content. However, Reamde has left me with very mixed feelings.

I loved the plot segment that the book's title refers to. Reamde is a virus that takes computers hostage, linked to a massive multiplayer online game called T'rain, which was created as a way of using the virtual coinage inside the game for far more than simply buying a new sword. If you are interested in computer gaming, the parts of the story that revolve around the game are brilliant - as is the twist of the virus resulting in an organised crime gang trying to track down its creator.

However, this only accounts for around 1/4 of the 1,000 plus pages, and I was far less happy with the rest. Firstly, while the multiplayer game storyline is borderline SF, the rest is just a straightforward action thriller with good guys versus evil jihadists. This mostly consists of two huge set piece battle sections, each lasting several hundred pages. I'm not particularly interested in this kind of storyline, which despite being page turning in its intensity at the peaks had a lot of dull troughs. It didn't help that where previously Stephenson's expansive writing was a result of having lots of content, in the battles it really did feel like there was far too much padding and I found myself skipping whole pages at a time to get to something happening. I'm afraid he has strayed into late J. K.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Shivan on 20 Dec. 2011
Format: Hardcover
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 humour......so 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By t0sh on 16 Dec. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Like many readers, I've enjoyed several of Neal Stephenson's books although I did struggle through some of the longer ones in places. Unfortunately, although I quite enjoyed reading through this lengthy tome at the start, the last 20% of the book severely disappointed, which ended up spoiling most of the book for me. The book is overly detailed, describing scenarios and subjects for pages and pages which then turn out to be almost irrelevant, including the MMO game that was used to provide the basic framework for the book. In typical Stephenson fashion there are groups of characters that get up to separate but intertwined activities but for them all to arrive in the same area at the end through remarkable coincidences, luck or at best a moderate hunch is a little hard to swallow. The book ends in a few pages of conclusion with an unsatisfying antagonist resolution and a Disney-esque happy ending chapter, as if Stephenson realised he was about to hit 1000 pages and ran out of steam. Then there are the plot gaps or quick resolutions such as:

(***SPOILERS!!***):

1. Marlon, the guy arguably the cause of everything in the book including the book's title, disappears from the last 30-odd pages of the book and is literally dealt with in an off the cuff remark in the afterword.
2. Moments of peril get quickly resolved using deus ex machina devices such as man-hunting cougars.
3. What happened to the rest of the terrorists? The Forthrast's village? The helicopter pilot? The millions of dollars of virtual gold?
4. The deaths of some minor terrorist characters are explained in heavy detail, but Jake was being spoken to by Jones one minute and the next mention of him is Richard sorting through his things at his funeral.
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