Neal Stephenson predicted the internet-what’s he predicting this time?

The New York Times has a new review of Neal Stephenson’s new novel Reamde as written by Tom Bissell, a writer who knows his way around a word or two. It’s tempting to repost the entire thing, but here is the general thesis of the review: 

There are times when you wonder if Reamde is the smartest dumb novel you have ever read or the dumbest smart novel.

Sounds like Reamde is essentially Ghostface Killah, but in novel form.

It’s nearly impossible to summarize the plot of such a massive tome, but Bissell gives it the old college try, going into massive virtual game worlds that have real-life consequences, the book’s impressively high-even for a thousand-page doorstop such as Reamde-body count, and the idea of a “Welsh terrorist” (“A funny phrase, like ‘Mongolian pastry chef’ or ‘Spanish engineer.’”).

The whole review is a massively entertaining piece of criticism, and it makes the book seem like it’s not a half-bad read, either.

While you’re at it, you should go ahead and read Bissell’s harrowing tale of becoming addicted to Grand Theft Auto IV, as well as cocaine.

-Drew Millard