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Reamde

Reamde


Reamde

valutazioni:
4/5 (215 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
38 ore
Pubblicato:
Sep 20, 2011
ISBN:
9781455830428
Formato:
Audiolibro

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Descrizione

In 1972, Richard Forthrast, the black sheep of an Iowa farming clan, fled to the mountains of British Columbia to avoid the draft. A skilled hunting guide, he eventually amassed a fortune by smuggling marijuana across the border between Canada and Idaho. As the years passed, Richard went straight and returned to the States after the U.S. government granted amnesty to draft dodgers. He parlayed his wealth into an empire and developed a remote resort in which he lives. He also created T'Rain, a multibillion-dollar, massively multiplayer online role-playing game with millions of fans around the world.

But T'Rain's success has also made it a target. Hackers have struck gold by unleashing REAMDE, a virus that encrypts all of a player's electronic files and holds them for ransom. They have also unwittingly triggered a deadly war beyond the boundaries of the game's virtual universe-and Richard is at ground zero.

Racing around the globe from the Pacific Northwest to China to the wilds of northern Idaho and points in between, Reamde is a swift-paced thriller that traverses worlds virtual and real. Filled with unexpected twists and turns in which unforgettable villains and unlikely heroes face off in a battle for survival, it is a brilliant refraction of the twenty-first century, from the global war on terror to social media, computer hackers to mobsters, entrepreneurs to religious fundamentalists. Above all, Reamde is an enthralling human story-an entertaining and epic page-turner from the extraordinary Neal Stephenson.

Pubblicato:
Sep 20, 2011
ISBN:
9781455830428
Formato:
Audiolibro

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Disponibile anche come libroLibro


Informazioni sull'autore

Neal Stephenson is the bestselling author of the novels Reamde, Anathem, The System of the World, The Confusion, Quicksilver, Cryptonomicon, The Diamond Age, Snow Crash, and Zodiac, and the groundbreaking nonfiction work In the Beginning . . . Was the Command Line. He lives in Seattle, Washington.


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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (4/5)
    Greatly entertaining tome. I will come back and really write a review but I enjoyed this action packed book by one of my favorite authors. This story is global, covering US, Canada, China, Philippines. And the characters include jihadist, gamers, Russian mafia/gangsters, hackers, secret agents, and people living off the grid. I like Stephenson because he does provide a lot of info, some have faulted this of Stephenson. This while having a lot of cyber/technology, was mostly just plain thriller and very readable.
  • (4/5)
    not as good as Cryptonomicon, but still very entertaining. nothing about is sci-fi though, the tags lie -.-
  • (5/5)
    Very exciting and well written techno-page turner spanning multiple continents and cultures. Intricate plot. Great character writing, especially the females. Reminded me of reading Clancy, Grisham, Larsson, only as thick as three of them, and more complex. Or like binge-watching a season of Homeland. I couldn't stop reading this book, my first by Neal Stephenson. It won't be my last. I checked to see who optioned the movie rights, but it looks bound to be a series on Fox TV. I'll watch it. I already miss this book.
  • (2/5)
    Far far too long - this would have been a good book at 350 pages but 1050 it was not. Pace started to pick up around p650 but then the last 100 pages dragged. Interesting concept but poorly executed.
  • (4/5)
    The good: without exception, the principal characters in this one are extremely interesting and extremely likable, and they come with quite varied backgrounds. A Vietnam War dodger who is now a rich man due to the MMORPG world that he created. An adopted Eritrean daughter/niece who is both smart and as tough as nails. A couple of Russians with hearts of gold, one an enforcer and one a tech geek. A Chinese hacker. A Chinese girl thrust into the mix with no warning, but with the wherewithal to do herself proud in the end. A grizzled CIA/special forces type who's good in a pinch. An Mi6 agent whose Asian heritage makes her a natural to be in a position to get sucked into things. And the story line is very good, as well. Imagine if Second Life or World of Warcraft were to play a major role in the setup and resolution of a story and you have a good idea of what "T'Rain" does here. The bad: this thing really could have used a solid editor and some belt-tightening. In particular, the ending (essentially a showdown in Idaho, with all of the principal characters more or less reuniting after being apart for a good chunk of the novel) could have been--and arguably *should* have been--much, much shorter. Heck, that bit alone was longer than many other novels in their entirety. Still, if I'm gonna read a long, long novel, it may as well be something from someone as good as Stephenson, but I just hate to think of him and "slogging through" in the same breath. And I would be lying if I were to deny that there were times here when I truly was slogging through here.
  • (4/5)
    For a long time I wouldn't look at Neal Stephenson's REAMDE because I found the title irritating. But a good reader from around these parts made it sound pretty attractive, so I finally dug in.When I'd made it to the 1/3 mark, I wasn't sure this one was going to catch hold of me just then, maybe demanding more concentration than I could muster. Surprisingly, it did. I'm not into video gaming, not in the least, although I mostly get the concepts (from early computerized RPGs I did play maybe 30 years ago, and from roughly 20 years working in high-tech). At that point I remarked that the plot was entertainingly unpredictable, and there were several appealing characters. The style is much more accessible than that of, say, Snow Crash. I decided that I was probably going to make it through all 1044 pages.By the end, I could say that I enjoyed it enough to give it 4 1/2 stars. On later reflection, though, I had to take that down to 4. Once the grand finale was past, I found that I was bothered by the way Stephenson set up so many characters with a ton of background and, shall we say, screen time and then just let them disappear. And yet, with all that, there are principal characters who last right through to the end without our getting much or any background on them at all. That disproportion seems to me to be a structural flaw big enough to affect my rating.When it comes to tech-savviness (damn, that looks weird--I don't think I've ever seen it written down before), I fall somewhere in the range between "I know enough to get it" and "I'm ignorant enough not to know whether this is real or just a plausible invention." So when Stephenson writes about such things as teenage Chinese video gamers mining virtual gold for profit and computer game players running elaborate hierarchies of automated characters, I'm not sure whether I'm learning something (because it really happens) or being treated to a logical but imaginative extension of what actually goes on in computer-based fictional environments. But while I'm reading the book, I do feel as if I were being let in on whole secret worlds and allowed to glimpse the workings of covert operations.The same goes for Russian criminal organizations, Islamic terrorist cells, and gun-toting off-the-grid denizens of remote Idaho homesteads, all of which figure in this complex yarn of justice, loyalty, and revenge. Not to mention adventure and romance. And pursuit. And international intrigue, twenty-first-century entrepreneurship, and several varieties of smuggling. And gun culture and gun violence. Also Chinese society, U.S.-Canadian border activity, and Midwestern extended-family relationships. And much, much more.Somehow, a thousand-plus pages didn't seem too long. The story held my attention. I was pleased with the ending, which on some level reminded me of a Gilbert & Sullivan operetta, although I've never seen G&S (or anybody else, for that matter) deliver such a protracted shootout.
  • (5/5)
    You have to love a book with an Apostropocalypse AND a shout out to Charlotte Bronte. Or, I have to love it. This was a great ride from start to finish.
  • (3/5)
    Despite the fact that one of Stephenson's novels includes a character who drives around with a thermonuclear bomb in the saddlebags of his motorcycle, this is the most implausible of his books I've read.
  • (3/5)
    When trying to place Reamde in the spectrum of other Stephenson novels that I have read (or attempted to read in the case of Cryptonomicon) I find that this book is of the Stephenson variety that I am not as fond of. On the one hand, Snow Crash, Diamond Age, and Anathem engaged my imagination so much that the passage of pages happened without my noticing. On the other, I could barely slog through half of Cryptonomicon. Reamde had just enough excitement and fantasy in the beginning (especially around the MMO T'Rain and its intricacies) to hook me so that, by the time I got to the point where I felt like I was slogging through (I can pinpoint this as the moment when all of the characters, having converged and then been flung apart, begin converging again and the story of each stops being different from each other and starts being nearly identical as they converge again), I felt an obligation to finish it.

    In the end, I wanted badly to hear more about the videogame and its world and less about the back-country of northern Idaho.
  • (5/5)
    hahahahahahha.. this is the last word of the day hahahah
  • (4/5)
    Not science fiction in any sense of the words, but this was still surprisingly good. It caters to the tech/geek crowd just enough to suck you in, and then basically turns into an espionage novel. Still, it kept me reading, and I finished its 1000 pages in about a week, so that's saying something indeed.
  • (4/5)
    Excellent book. Has it all. Terrorists, gamers and spies. Massive book as well at just over 1000 pages.
  • (5/5)
    Neal Stephenson puts his character development skills in full display here. And keeps you guessing who the real protagonist is until quite a few incidents have occurred. It makes you care for the protagonist in a unique way. Stephenson also has a unique way of expressing the subjects feelings in words that while may be lengthy, they leave you with an satiated understanding of the subjects mindset.

    Action packed, emotional, and fast paced! Enjoy it!
  • (3/5)
    Ridiculous, bordering on preposterous, almost a farce, but sadly insufficiently over the top to actually be a farce, and so it's just bad. Gamer SF has been a thing for a considerable time, and terrorist adventure is a cliche. Smashing them together into a tome via coincidence and luck is just shoddy and does neither any favours. Detail, as ever is not Stephenson's hallmark, and he manages to display many instances of failing in this regard as usual. He does have a wondrous visions which has granted his other SF works some acclaim. Sadly there appears to be only one concept involved here, which is that a multi-player game could be designed such that it's fun to play and still have a deliberate appeal to script-kiddies looking for easy money. Rather than explore any consequences of this, the rest of the book is an utterly stupid last man standing terrorist shoot out, where all the guys end up with a girl of their choosing. It's trite, stereotyped, annoying and lazy.The plot, such as it is, is that Richard having drifted through various careers including a secluded US/Can border crossing has founded a successful online MUD similar to WoW and made his fortune by allowing entrepreneurs to mine game currency for real USD. The boyfriend of his niece accidentally gets a PCvirus from that game, that corrupts a russian mafia's finance scheme. The russians kidnap him and Richard's niece and seek revenge on the chinese hackers who'd written the virus. This operation accidentally involves a jihadist operation in the same city, and they all flee back to the US and the secret crossing into Canada. Whereupon the farce becomes more evident as five separate groups crawl around the mountains all trying to shoot each other. It's just silly. Some of the detailed errors that just jar completely beyond my suspension of disbelief (yours may vary) were such as: Guns and ammo being repeatedly dunked in seawater and firing completely well, despite all characters noting the importance of keeping barrels out of mud at other times; a human hunting cougar (just about believable) having made a kill then continuing on to hunt past several more corpses as if it didn't already have months of food in front of it; perhaps worst of all being able to find an in game character prepared to swap millions of real USD for in-game currency of limited utility and not even for in-game artifacts; nearly everyone has an utterly inhuman pain tolerance as well being able to run on broken limbs having being repeatedly shot or buildings dropped on them. It's too long, not good enough, stereotyped bordering on racist and lacking in innovation or joy. It's not totally without merit, and the plot rattles along fast enough without too much tedious exposition of his earlier works, but you can't sustain 1000 pages of rattle. The coincidences rack up beyond unlikely into stupid, and the characters lack any kind of depth at all, being over trusting incapable of surprise and capable of surviving utterly extreme levels of pain and wounding without suffering or impeding their movements. Although this is perhaps slightly less bad than his worst writings, I would recommend you read Diamond Age and Snow Crash, and then find a better author to spend 1000 pages with. Ready Player One for gamer SF and maybe Tom Clancy for terrorism techno-thrillers. Both combined are fewer pages.
  • (3/5)
    This was one long techno-thriller. Stephenson's books are usually a good deal weirder and I missed that. The ninjas didn't even show up, though you'd think I'd be satisfied with hackers, Russian mafia, Al-Qaeda terrorists and various other gun-nuts.
  • (5/5)
    A good long thriller from Neal Stephenson - a slog through Iowa, Xiamen, British Columbia, Seattle, an imaginary MMORPG, with geeks, jihadis, Russian mobsters, Idaho isolationists, an adopted Eritrean refugee making her way in the world, a former pot smuggler turned legit money laundering billionaire...
  • (3/5)
    Good story although complex at times. Worth muddling through until it all becomes clear.
    Neal likes to describe things...a lot.. frequently. Sometimes you don't need to know (for 3 pages) what a minor character did before catching up to the many major characters. But Neal will let you know. Could have been 300 pages less and still fabulous.
  • (2/5)
    Mr. Stephenson obviously wants it both ways. There is the compensatory strain which manifests itself in hyper-macho action: often with minimal sexual overtones, and those are usually muted. A great deal of nerdy effort is expended in describing swords and firearms. I don't care much for this strain, though its resonance halted my reading of his Baroque Cycle. I read Quicksilver twice and yet couldn't manage the vagabond plotline.

    The other application of Stephenson's literary efforts is a sensible poetic attempt to illuminate the scientific curiosity which nudges our understandings forward and allows technology to better harness our nefarious intentions.
  • (5/5)
    If you have never read Neal Stephenson, this may be a great place to start. Reamde is a nuts and bolts techno-thriller that will have you turning pages and cancelling appointments all the way through its 1000 pages.

    It goes something like this. Richard Forthrast is a former pot smuggler with a castle on the Canadian side of the US border. In his middle age, Richard has made a substantial fortune as the creator of a MMORPG called T'Rain. Richard's adopted niece is called Zula. She once walked across Eritrea. A computer virus called Reamde causes havoc within the game of T'Rain and even more havoc in the real world.

    The plot plays out over 20 days during which time we meet a homicidal Russian gangster and an honourable Russian security consultant. We journey across the world with a Hungarian IT expert and a Chinese video game hacker. We fall in with a brace of spies, one British of Chinese origin, one American of Irish origin. We encounter a slew of Jihadists led by a Welsh autodidact named Abdallah Jones. We travel from Seattle to Xiamen, China and back to Canada. On the way there are side plots in Taipei, Manila, Cambridge and the Torgai Hills in the gameworld of T'Rain. It's pretty manic and almost completely unputdownable, a feat which is mirrored in the book by several online game sessions that last for hours and often require characters to pee in buckets so they never have to leave their seats.

    In the past I have read Cryptonomicon and all two and a half thousand pages of Stephenson's Baroque Cycle trilogy. I don't think Reamde has quite the literary sophistication of those enjoyable works, but at the same time it's a more accessible book that functioned as a perfect holiday read. But, make no mistake, Stephenson-lite is still a more erudite and thrilling experience than almost any other popular novelist I can think of.

    In Reamde, fingers fly across keyboards as bullets fly across continents. Hackers hack, spies spy and terrorists terrorize. Richard and Zula Forthrast make two of the most unlikely heroes and they seem, at least to this jaded reader, as unlike the usual crop of thriller protagonists as it is possible to imagine.
  • (5/5)
    This story has a bit of everything - an imaginative computer game world, Russian gangsters, hackers, credit card fraud, Islamist terrorists, action spanning 5 countries, and the involvement of several law enforcement & intelligence agencies all of which combine in to one compelling story which unfolds from the seemingly dull beginning of a family reunion in rural Iowa where Richard Forthrast seemingly isn't too keen on being present for, or at least the social interactions it requires.As the story unfolds a boyfriend of a cousin gets involved in credit card fraud, which draws in the involvement of Russian gangsters who are then screwed over by a computer virus which originates in China and decide to take the cousin hostage to unravel the virus problem. From here events slowly become more complicated, imaginative and widespread. Before long the threads of the story begin crisscrossing and the story builds to a ending which I felt was very good.At 1,044 pages it's quite lengthy and in parts detailed, however overall I felt the story was excellent and the world it portrayed was the sort that makes you lament that the story is over. Having read and also enjoyed Cryptonomicon I will certainly be keeping an eye out for any other Neal Stephenson books I may come across.
  • (5/5)
    Full of clever Stephensonian bon mots. Toward the end, I lost track of the objectives of the bad guys entirely; the good guys' objective, to thwart the bad guys, was pretty obvious. The coda is a bit irritating, and so are some of the last bits of the final shootout. As with Stephenson's other novels, there are a number of groups of individuals, forming networks with internal alliances, which interact in complicated ways. This book has much in common with the thrillers, "Interface" and "Cobweb", that Stephenson penned with his father-in-law, and yet a good deal in common with "Cryptonomicon" in its intricacy and its focus on the transmission and accumulation of wealth. The book is psychologically sound; the "Furious Muses" really wrung a bell for me as did Zula's preoccupations. The importance of the virtual plot diminishes as the action returns to the North American continent leaving a lot of very loose threads and a bit of a let-down.Stephenson raises significant and disturbing questions in all his books, and it may be that his most contemporary novels are the most disturbing because the questions are more immediate.He has constructed a mythology in which Midwesterners are the most virtuous of all people, possessed of strong family affections and good with guns and technology.
  • (5/5)
    Oh, I sure do love Neal Stephenson.
    Here's my new and revised list of his books, in order of how much I like them:

    Snow Crash (1992)
    The Diamond Age (1995)
    Anathem (2008)
    Cryptonomicon (1999)
    Reamde (2011)
    Zodiac (1988)
    Interface (1994) & The Cobweb (1996)
    The Big U (1984)
    The Baroque Cycle (2003-2004)

    I considered bumping Reamde up past Crytonomicon, but then decided, no, I really can't, because although Reamde is non-stop fun, Cryptonomicon was more interesting and in-depth, as far as its subject matter.
    Reamde is an action-packed thriller. It's a very clever, intelligent, geeky thriller, but it's basically an action movie in literary form. A friend of mine compared it to the books he wrote with his uncle (Interface and Cobweb). I can see the comparison, but those books were both very mainstream in outlook - almost something you'd expect to pick up at an airport newsstand - and Reamde goes miles beyond that.

    It's over a thousand pages, but it doesn't feel long at all. (Although it does feel heavy - I was actively envying people with Kindles as I was reading this.) It's got: gamers, hackers, Russian mobsters, Al-Qaeda, businessmen, spies, right-wing militias, nerds, things that blow up, people getting shot, kidnapping, hostages, China, the Philippines, Canada, large amounts of cash, airplanes, boats, and many other People and Things that are Bad-Ass and Awesome.

    Great both for Stephenson fans and as an introduction to his work.
  • (4/5)
    Yes, I gave in. My love for the Neal is greater than my hate for Harper Collins price-gouging. But they can blow me on the Kindle pricing.
  • (4/5)
    I hadn't yet read enough Stephenson to know what to expect with this book, so I was assuming it would be more sci-fi. So I was confused, and then didn't have enough patience for what felt like a slow start. So I put it down and came back to it a month later, and oooh, it's a techno-thriller! With terrorists! And clandestine border crossings and urban and wild adventures. What a fantastically fun read!
  • (3/5)
    My least favorite Stephenson and his most mainstream work. An awful lot of work for not much more than a Clancy thriller.
  • (5/5)
    I may have to come back to this after a while to write a well-rounded review. I love Neil Stephenson's work. What impressed me most about this novel was the way he moved his characters around and put them into new combinations and situations. It wasn't easy to manage the Czech Sysadmin, Chinese rural peasant, Chinese hacker, Russian security specialist, Eritrean/American refugee, US Spook, UK Spook, marijuana mule turned gamer millionaire and his Idaho anti-government family in a way that didn't feel forced or reek of Deus-ex-machina. As an author, Stevenson's chops really shined with how he managed to put this cast into novel and interesting combinations and get them at the right time to where the action was taking place.

    As far as the international MMO gold-farming virus plot, I actually think Cory Doctorow's For The Win! does a better job of explaining the finances of this to people and pointing out why regular people should care or even be fascinated by its intricacies.

    Two other things I think stand out about this book. One: Stephenson makes rural American sensibilitiles seem rational and contextually appropriate. In a binary world of red versus blue, this is a big deal. Two: Stephenson draws connections between the kind of information dump that he does with the technical intricacies of military/spy/techno thrillers. He explains how things work and draws connections between the work of a Tom Clancy and the kind of thing that Stephenson writes. In a world that seems to be divided by clear boundaries, Neil Stephenson's work seem to remind us that we are more alike than we care to admit.
  • (5/5)
    This was one fantastic book. Taking place in two worlds at once (the real world and a virtual world) with two sets of characters (again, real and virtual) means twice the action with overlapping plots.Richard Forthrast is the developer and owner of T'Rain, an MMORPG with millions of players around the world. When a virus starts hitting members, someone has to stop them REAMDE is a virus that attacks the files in members computers, completely encoding them until a ransom is paid in the T'Rain world. Richard's niece, Zula, an Eritrean girl adopted into his family believes that she can talk the attackers into stopping and heads of to China to track down the hackers. This is the start of a battle and chase story that moves around the globe. Mirroring the way characters meet and form alliances and battle foes, strange alliances form in the real world and connect the hackers with Zula and her gang against the accidentally created foes, a gang of Islamic terrorists. Another gang which includes a female MI6 agent and a member of a Russian mob is also in the mix as is a family of hardy survivalists in the wilds of Idaho and British Columbia.This story completely captured me and whisked me through the hundreds of pages. The characters were rich and their interactions were, at times, surprising and deep. The action took abrupt turns from one locale to another, frequently back-tracking to catch the reader up to events in a different arena until they cross into another arena. The reader becomes quite informed as to computer hacking, virtual worlds, trans-oceanic navigation, weapons, weapons, and more weapons.The only ding I could give this book is for the interminable final battle up and down mountains, in and out of trees, back and forth from one group to another.
  • (4/5)
    REALLY long book but really interesting and unique plot.
  • (4/5)
    how long has it been since Stephenson wrote a pure thriller? Zodiac? never? and how many thrillers go 1044pp. the notion is fast, the action is non-stop. how could this work at that length? but it does. it moves so fast there are sparks on the rails. and there's no orientation period, not much Larger Picture, to plow through. and it works, clear through: the characters instantly engaging, the settings characters in themselves. chinese cyber-criminals, MI6 and old-school Russian superspies, and Arabic terrorist cells enter the picture, all with conflicting agendas and murderous intentions. by page 600-700 or so i was so into it i kept bursting into belly laughs every few pages, as the characters persevered and had some minor victories (mostly consisting in staying alive and heading in the right direction). cracks appeared in the Forces Arrayed Against Them, and their natural defenders finally began to get a clue about what was going on. only the last 200 pages or so, in which the characters converge again from across the world for a Final Battle, flag a bit. too many changes in PoV, i think, yank us out of the narrative, breaking up the flow, combined with a few too many assaults on the Suspension of Disbelief connected with the Great Convergence. but altogether, a very amusing book that NS must have had so much fun writing, because it's so much fun reading. and fun is good. so, go ahead, README. you won't be sorry.it all feels extremely simple, at least by Neal's standards. but it's not exactly, there are layers in all that detail, in their little search for meaning, even in those vivid world settings. dip a little deeper, it's about the fuzzy logic of separating real from virtual in this wired generation. and the future consequences of that: for nationalities and borders. there is the sense that gaming is the new substitute for religion, lacking the worship thing but not in itself devoid of ethics to learn, and against that the philosophy of the jihadists, for instance, can't in the long run compete. the gamers, treating with interfaces on the fly, marshal virtual armies, monetary systems, military and civilian law, and unfamiliar environments with nothing but their wits, resilience, and access to computer tools of one kind or another, and eventually win through to the endgame, picking and standing their ground, without a lot of culture shock attached to crossing the world without money, or passports, or contacts.and partly this is because they're the good guys. there is the game (T'Rain) and there is the virus (REAMDE) that threatens and yet in a way protects them, because they can own it, use it, overcome it. and then there's the good vs evil issue, raised in the game in the war between factions that is remaking T'Rain, the game in which rebellious writers have raised opposing armies. the original concept, that old thing about good vs evil, is one of the first things one of the two writers wants to throw out as outmoded. but to the players in that other game, technically not-virtual but overlapping the gaming war, alignment becomes everything. in their choices they reveal themselves: their alignment history doesn't matter, only their choices in the now. but making the right choices makes them allies in the field, in life and death matters. they choose and they move forward, into the Great Game, out of the cold, and into each other's hearts. choose wrong and you die: and you die alone, off the sum of those choices.
  • (1/5)
    I wanted to like this book so much more than I could.

    The characters were consistently unbelievable, acting in ways which didn't fit their supposed culture, history, or demonstrated personality. One particularly brazen example was a hip black Seattleite casually stereotyping a woman as a "dyke" because of the woman's clothing and hairstyle (a pixie cut!).

    I kept reading long after I had lost interest, hoping to be hooked back in. Instead, I was frustrated by plot holes and Deus Ex Machinas.