I’ll admit I was a little intimidated by the page count of Neal Stephenson’s Reamde when I picked it up from the library. I wasn’t sure I wanted to invest the time in a 1000+ page book only to have it turn out to be a dud, or less than interesting.
Instead of spending the time reading I decided to listen to the audio book. Somehow the unabridged audio book (32 disks) didn’t seem as intimidating as the tome. The past few weeks I’ve been spending my walking to/from work time and some treadmill time listening to business-startup-interview podcasts because they are very interesting to me at the moment and are full of practical and usable information. The past week I switched to listening to the Reamde audio.
Although I have listened to non-fiction audio books this is my first time listening to a fiction audio book and especially on of this length. I have found that I can’t do anything that requires me to read or use any analytical skills (such as Twitter or coding) while listening or I’ll tune out the story and tune back in some time later having lost key bits of the plot. Instead I have to make sure to listen while I’m walking, exercising, doing the dishes, or watering the grass.
[There be spoilers ahead]
The plot so far follows Richard “Dodge” Forthrast, a guy in his 50′s who after being a draft dodger created a very successful MMORPG (think WoW). At a family reunion he meets his niece Zula whom he makes a connection with and hires to work for his gaming company, Corporation 9592. Zula’s boyfriend is a hacker that decides to pull a infosec job to harvest some credit card numbers for his client, an accountant named Wallace.
I’m at the point in the book where the first turn has happened: the transaction between Peter and Wallace is complete, but Wallace finds that his prize has been held ransom by another hacker that encrypted the credit card numbers and is holding the data for a ransom payable only in gold in Uncle Richard’s fantasy world of T’Rain.