logorrhea... logorrhea... how many words does it take to explain one minor attempt at ciphering a letter. how many minor counts, baronets and aristotrash attending a single german prince's minor meeting about a small business venture does it take to complete a neal stephenson book...
oh god, NS, Diamond Age was good stuff; can't complain about Crypt or Snow Crash... but aside from your rabid fan base, why oh why can't this be a brilliant 600 pages rather than minutely recorded 930
well aside from this issue, arguably Stephenson`s detail oriented, techno-optimistic prose works a little better in far-future or near future cyberpunk-glam settings than the historical drama. this book is just packed with very tiny descriptions of "this courtier takes this stance; this courtier is eating this; this courtier has a minor hobby in cryptology that will one day earn the respect of true 20th century cryptologists", very very micro-level of detail recording that under a less skilled author would be completely unreadable, under Stephenson`s expertise, is as least a 3 or high 2 work.
rather preferred the speculative technobreakthrough of Diamond Age and Snow Crash or even the at least speculative nature of 'Cryptonomicon' (the best of Neal Stephenson's three star works); call this a weaker 3, a weaker NS novel, although the fan base is huge, and in many ways unstoppable.