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Another book down on the reread-Neal-Stephenson project. And this was a real doorstop; the dead-trees version of REAMDE runs 1055 pages, according to Amazon. My previous report from when I read the just-published book back in 2011 is here.

But Goodreads expects more than just links back to my blog, so: this time around, I marvelled at Stephenson's choreography, setting up his characters and their situations just right before plopping them into suspense-filled action sequences that continue for many dozens of pages, yet never seem tiresome.

I'm sure Mrs. Salad got kind of tired of me commenting out loud that this book would make a fantastic miniseries for one of those streaming services, hopefully one I to which I have a subscription.

This time around, I Kindle-highlighted some Stephenson prose I particularly enjoyed. One, describing an unfortunate motorcycle accident:

The corn, which was eight feet tall at that time of the year, had brought him to a reasonably gentle stop, and so he had sustained surprisingly few injuries. The long, tough fibrous stalks had split and splintered as he tore through them, but his leathers had deflected most of it. Unfortunately, he had not been wearing a helmet, and one splinter had gone straight up his left nostril into his brain.

Two, the hard-boiled reality of dealing with life-threatening stress:

Pants pissing was completely unproductive and suggested a total breakdown of elemental control. Pants shitting, on the other hand, voided the bowels and thereby made blood available to the brain and the large muscle groups that otherwise would have gone to the lower-priority activity of digestion. Sokolov could have forgiven Peter for shitting his pants, but if he had pissed his pants, then it really would have been necessary to get rid of him. In any case, Peter had done neither of these things yet.

And finally, advice on picking a good lair for your black-hat hacking activity:

Until the high-velocity rounds began to pass down into their apartment from above, Marlon had never troubled himself to think about the possible drawbacks of having neighbors who shared his attitude about what constituted suitable real estate.