End of an era

I reached the end of a long and winding road this week. I finished my proof copy of the third and final volume of Neal Stephenson’s astonishing Baroque Cycle, The System of the World (published soon). That’s nearly three thousand pages of Stephenson I’ve read in these last twelve months and I have been so utterly entranced and absorbed by these books that now it is all done I feel like I just saw some good friends off to another country where I won’t get to see them again. I’ve read a hell of a lot of books of every conceivable type over the last three decades. I’ve reviewed many of them and I have sold many more in my eleven years in the book trade. So when I tell you that these books are some of the most remarkable I have ever read, that’s saying a lot. Don’t let the vast size of each volume put you off – this is a trilogy that anyone who loves books should look at. Not to read it would be like saying you are a book lover but you have never read Dickens, or Cervantes or Homer. There simply are some books that those who enter the wondrous realm of words must read.