Ok but not great!,
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This review is from: Cobweb (Paperback)
This is described on the front cover as "A wickedly satirical thriller of modern America". I didn't see much satire in it: appropriate cynicism, yes, but satire, no.
The story is about the problems of bureaucracies and how demarcation lines and internal politics driven by personal ambition can lead to major mess-ups and the failure of the entire system to accomplish its primary objective.
Set during the run up to the first Gulf war the novel deals with events in the US involving the CIA, the FBI and the NSA. Published in 1997 the tale describes a situation where the various elements of the US security establishment are more involved in fulfilling their individual missions and activities than in sharing intelligence about the activities of foreign operatives in Continental United States, something that was to be highlighted by investigations held after the events of the nine-eleven attacks in the US.
One element of this book that worked well was its portrayal of the impact on people remaining at home while their loved ones in the military go off to war. This was made all the more poignant in Cobweb as it involved a reservist who is called up to serve.
This book is not a regular Stephenson novel. It is an easy to read thriller but it is not a book I would recommend strongly.