Top critical review
19 people found this helpful
Alright I suppose
on 3 December 2008
Having become a fan of Stephenson, first through the excellent, written for nerds by a nerd, Cryptonomicon, and then the Baroque Cycle, tomes so dense as to detectably curve space-time, it was great to see that Neal had a new one out. So I got it and read it. Throughout I was waiting for the stunningly big ideas to surface, or maybe just one big idea, but I got to the end and none arrived. I realised I had just read a well-written enough political thriller, with just maybe a bit of a satirical edge that you wouldn't get in a Robert Ludlum or a Tom Clancy page-turner but nonetheless that's all it was. Nothing more and nothing less. Exactly the sort of book I wouldn't have bothered reading if I had known. It's not a bad book, but in a finite lifetime in which only so many books can read this would not be on my list.
Another reviewer states that this is in fact a re-release of an earlier book written under a pseudonym, to cash in on Stephenson's new found popularity. I wish this had been made clear on the tin.