I finished Reamde in a long stretch that covered the last two disks. Overall reaction is: I loved the book. This kind of book is why I enjoy Stephenson. I saw a reviewer on GoodReads characterize it as “Info Dump, Action, Info Dump, Action.” That is true, and the depth of description and sense of place that Stephenson gives to the stories is so very enjoyable. I can gauge my enjoyment of a book by if I have the sense I’ll miss the characters after I’m finished reading, and I can say that I will miss hearing about what is next for Zula, Sokolov, Olivia, Richard, Marlin and Yuxia. In reality these characters would go on with their daily life and probably not have similar adventures and intrigue as they did in the six weeks covered in the book which is fine.
I’d suggest anyone that enjoys technically savvy, exotic location, detailed, and rich stories give this one a try.
Also, this was my first novel experienced via audiobook. I feel like I’ve been thrown back into the hey day of radio! One of the great things about listening to the story is that you can hear the pronunciations and inflections of the reader to give you clues about the story. Another is that you have a chance to get through mundane busy work while entertained and letting your mind focus on the story being read. I would put my book on and do the dishes, or water the lawn. I found it very restful to listen to the book and something that I would look forward to just as much as sitting and reading a physical book.