19 January 2012
Reamde by Neal Stephenson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
First things first: Neal Stephenson has some of the more interesting ideas in fiction lately, even if I don't love everything he's done, or even find it 100% compelling.
Second things second: The assumption that Stephenson is a sci-fi writer first and foremost may be my own individual error that I need to repair, as Reamde is not a science fiction title. It's a good book with a lot of great moments, but it's not really science fiction.
What it is happens to be part criminal thriller, part corporate espionage, part techno-heist. A virus is loaded into an MMO-style game run by a man who's essentially created a stable currency in his game. The story tracks his - and his company's - attempts to stop the theft of the money and involves a lot of terrorism, hacking, etc.
For a 1000+ page book, it's very fast-paced. As long as it was, I don't feel like it was padded for any real reason, and, while it wasn't the book I wanted to read, it was still a book I'm glad I read. I think the one issue I have is the positioning of this, either in my brain or publicly, is that this is a science fictional title when there's really no sci-fi elements to speak of. It's probably better written than most books like it, but it also ensures that those who would enjoy it may never get around to picking it up.
Anyway, yes, recommended. Good-to-great, but not what you might think it is. I liked it, in any regard.
View all my reviews