Reading Day #1

I started on page 804 (of 1042) in REAMDE, and now I’m on page 844.

It’s getting to the point in the novel where all of the factions present–the surviving russian mobster, the jihadist cell, the CIA-agent, the virus-writer-MMO-player (who is now teamed up with the russian mobster’s former computer contractor and the jihadist’s captive’s friend), and the MMO game’s company’s CEO (who is the jihadist’s captive’s uncle)–are all geographically about to run into each other.


We’ve been following all of their personal stories in a kind of meandering viewpoint for a long time now, and all of those stories, while entwined, were separate, but they’re all about to become one. This is a pretty typical Stephenson thing and it’s always the payoff for getting though 75% or so of a 1k page novel, because he always pulls it off so satisfyingly. Even though this is probably the least satisfying novel I’ve read by him, it’s still tickling my brain in all of the right places.

I just came to the end of the 19th “chapter”, but each chapter is really just a day in the story, and is broken up into unnumbered sections where the viewpoint character changes. I mentioned on a recent episode of my podcast that Stephenson (and Pynchon) does this a lot, where there is a giant amount of detail for each day of the story, such that the story is “short” in that this one only takes 20someodd days of time, but still takes up 1000 pages.

Also, I just biked 2.8 miles. Feels so good!


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