Dukes and Bagg talk scruffiness and the virtues of whiskers more broadly. Then they complain about Stephenson’s propensity to want to write three books into every book, his tendency to orphan MacGuffin’s and the challenge of sorting out whether the reader’s disorientation is intended, or the result of sloppiness. But for it all, the UMBs agree this is Stephenson’s most ambitious and thoughtful work of this career thus far.
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