The System of the World - Neal Stephenson

Mwahahaha! I have finally finished Mr. Stephenson's epically epic epic. And a very enjoyable read it has been too. I've been joking that the reason why he's made such an insanely long trilogy is that he's no good at endings, and this maximises the content to ending ratio. However, I actually quite liked the ending to this one! The whole series is such a set of wandering, interleaved stories that it's pretty much a shaggy dog story, so that the ending becomes quite a different proposal to most books. Much of the book appears to be a slow careful preparation for the conclusion, over a period that other novels would spend on the entire story. At the same time, the other threads of plot don't suffer hideously, so the whole thing becomes a pretty satisfying read. Can't wait for his next novel (and am hoping it'll be somewhat briefer).

Posted 2006-05-23.