I'm a Stephenson groupnik. I own all the books he has written, save one. If I get started on the Baroque Trilogy or on Anathem or on Zodiac, it's difficult to stop me. To the point that my family religiously avoids to bring me in "started" mode relative to these.
But I don't get Reamde. Attention, mild spoilers follow.
The catchiness stops at the title misspelling (complete with the geek culture reference). The rest is just some book. I realize I might be overly harsh, because I hoped for a story and levels of creative imagination made almost a requirement by the other Stephenson books. But this is how I think now (two months after finishing reading). I promise that, while reading the book, my opinion was even harsher.
There is almost no scientific fiction. There is perhaps some fiction, but of the kind that, if it didn't dully happen already in the real world, one wonders why. If this book was published 20 years ago, it would have been a hit. Character descriptions are still Stephenson'esquely sharp and powerful. The "adventure" ingredients are spicy and rushy enough. This is the creation of a very talented and very experienced writer, after all. But there was something lacking all the way through. Once you finish it, you just get to stand there, scratching head. If at least the ending was not so melodramatically holywoodian.
It is my first rewiew with such a tone and I'm not happy about it.