Long books, short attention span

Not sure what happened yesterday, but I had 4-5x the normal number of visitors to the blog. And hits from all over the world, the most countries ever. I haven’t done any marketing or advertising, so…who knows. Maybe the Google God looked down from on high and took notice.


I’ve finally made it to the last 20% of Reamde, Neil Stephenson’s massive tome (1100+ pages) describing an unlikely set of characters bouncing around two worlds (one physical, one virtual), one set of criminals/terrorists with a hostage, and several groups chasing them. It’s good, but it’s exhausting reading. Stephenson will use 4-5 dense pages just to describe a scene in nauseating detail, while my mind is begging for the plot to move forward. It eventually (usually) does, but then he shifts to the next setting somewhere else in the world(s) with a slightly-intersecting set of characters and does the whole excruciatingly detailed scene thing again. And again, and again. So the reader is forced to absorb all that scene detail multiple times AND keep track of the context of 4-5 overlapping storylines, just to move the plot forward a bit. That’s why this story is 1100+ pages. I make it sound awful, but I actually like it. As someone who reads fast, this style of writing slows me down and forces me to take breaks in reading because I get tired keeping all that shit straight in my head. And Stephenson’s characters are interesting – quirky and well-developed. There’s an undercurrent of just slightly more advanced than current tech in everything, and that doesn’t hurt either. 800 pages in, I should finish it tomorrow.


UK plays basketball again tonight. Can’t wait.

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