I enjoy Stephenson's writing, when he's hot he's hot, but he's still working hard to learn how to piece together his inspired moments. Despite the floppy ending I think Cryptonomicon is his best book, but Confusion is second. Unlike quicksilver, which was a bit of a slog at times, I remained interested for the duration of this book. The descriptions were richer and more involving, perhaps more visual.
The historic times and places of this novel are captivating, and I strongly recommend it as an unchallanging historic cavort.