I was tricked into reading this, but I'm glad because why else would I have started in on this 2700 page trilogy? Years ago Neal Stephenson intrigued and thrilled me with his cyber-punk classic "Snowcrash" so that I could see where he was going with "Diamond Age" a neo-victorian culture in an incredibly futuristic world. By the time I read "Cryptonomicon" I had enough trust in him as an author to take me through a lot of reading involving multiple characters and time periods and to know it was going to come together satisfactorily.
He goes through a lot of history and technical details in these books but the main story and the excitement is sustained all the way. I can't put it any better than the inside jacket blurb from Entertainment Weekly "...he might just have created the definitive historical-sci-fi-epic-comedy-punk love story. No easy feat that."