Reamde – Neal Stephenson

It’s been noted, here, by me, that I’m a big old fan of Neal Stephenson. Well, what thinking person isn’t, amirite? Big (BIG) books of exciting things happening and interesting ideas about how the world might/does work and some pretty cool characters (and harpoons!).

This is one of the most Stephensonian books it’s possible to imagine. Someone’s managed to work out how to make a World of Warcraft style game where it’s easy to make real money, and someone else has managed to figure out a way to hack it and rip off hundreds oof thousands of players. It’s a financial crisis inside a world that doesn’t technically exist! And the Russian mafia have lost quite a lot of money on it. And for some reason there’s a cell of Islamic terrorists involved? And people in the real world get kidnapped and/or shot and stuff. And there is a string of what you’d have to call improbable events, but each one is just about plausible based on the skills and motivations of each of the characters involved and things keep happening and just when you think it must be nearly over someone switches sides/another set of people turn up with more guns AND IT KEEPS GETTING BIGGER…

Neal Stephenson traditionally has a problem ending stories. This one ends properly, I think. But you don’t read Neal Stephenson for the ending, you read him to strengthen your forearms see a world full of bigger, wilder, crazier ideas and people and that galloping chase across whatever world(s) he’s made up this time.

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