|The Baroque Cycle - monday 2005-10-24 0532||last modified 2005-11-03 0724|
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Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle trilogy is about 2700 pages long. I managed to make it all the way through, though I confess to some skimming.
Once again, his endings do not satisfy. The second book is probably the best, but the first is foundational for enjoying it. The third frequently loses momentum because the protagonist doesn't lend himself to develop the same kind of pathos as his counterparts in the preceding works. By the time the epilogue arrives, the minimal satisfaction derived from the conclusion is further diluted by the struggle to make it to that point.
It was enough to inspire completing the series, though, which is an admirable task for any modern day fiction writer whose volumes reach nearly a treble thousand sheets of words. If you'll be flying a lot or otherwise given over to much sedated down time for a few months and you enjoy both history and science, take a look. Others should tread with more caution.