REAMDE, by Neal Stephenson

The other Stephenson book this reminds me most of is "Cryptonomicon," which wasn't my favorite Stephenson read. I have a similar reaction to "REAMDE." It still has a good, healthy dose of the Stephenson humor I love so much, and the twists and turns of the plot keep you guessing, excited, and engaged. But it lacks the otherworldly quality of books like "Anathem" and the System of the World trilogy. This isn't sci fi, or historical, or even mildly fantastical: it's just fiction. Good fiction, but just plain old fiction.

I enjoyed reading it, though it took a couple hundred pages to get into; luckily, it's a massive 1042 pages in paperback. The writing is generally great, though I noticed a bit more description than was ever really necessary. In that respect, it reminded me almost of the Game of Thrones books, and Martin's tendency to over-describe. The characters are fantastic, though, and much of the book's merit rests on wanting to see what happens to them. It's a crazy, convoluted storyline, and I'm mightily impressed that Stephenson not only thought it up, but took it on. It just wish it had that little extra Stephenson oomph that makes his sci fi work so enthralling.


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