6 days ago
Sunday, September 4, 2011
Review of Reamde
Author: Neal Stephenson
Publication date: September 20th, 2011
REAMDE begins with Richard Forthrast: draft dodger, marijuana smuggler, Iowa farmboy, and most recently, CEO of Corporation 9592, which created the online world of T'Rain. He's a workaholic making a halfhearted attempt at retirement when a virus called REAMDE wreaks havoc among the T'Rain community. Caught up in the drama is Richard's niece Zula. The story skips and weaves among the many characters whose lives tangle together in the wake of REAMDE.
Reading this book isn't the normal reading experience, in which one sits down and finds out what is going to happen next. You don't read REAMDE, you inhabit it. During the days I spent reading it, I would wake up and ask myself, "I wonder what Zula is doing right now." Because, while I was inside the world of REAMDE, the characters were as real as anyone else I encountered throughout the day. Even when I wasn't reading, they were there, eating and sleeping and living right alongside me. That's Neal Stephenson's particular brand of genius.
I read the Advance Reader's Edition of this book, which is 981 pages long. Every single one of those pages is riveting. I don't know how he did it, but Stephenson somehow wrote a thriller that's packed with nonstop action for almost a thousand pages. Reading it is exhausting and exhilarating.
Neal Stephenson's cult following will love this, but I think it will also earn him some new fans. I for one will be recommending it to everyone.