A political thriller that delves into the underworld of politics and US Middle Eastern relations with Iraq and Iran.
There are occasional touches of Stephenson, but on the whole, "The Cobweb" is much less like Stephenson's work than "Interface" was. Although there are some nerdy characters -- a Stephenson staple -- there is much less emphasis on science than in his own works, or even "Interface." That is, unless you count political science.
In that regard, "The Cobweb" seems more like the fiction of Ross Thomas and his political thrillers than Neal Stephenson's works.
On its own, "The Cobweb" is a fine read. It is essentially a revisionist tale of the Gulf War. While the book begins in early 1990 before the war, and ends in February 1991, before the end of the war, the war takes on tremendous significance. What if Iraqi terrorists were creating biological weapons at U.S. universities? On the whole, this is a more successful revision of history than "American Hero" (the basis for "Wag the Dog") was.
The narrative builds momentum until every page DEMANDS to be turned.
I decided to read a few pages before bed and now I'm looking at the sunrise.