If this had been a mystery, I'd have thrown it at a wall (and given it's enormous size, probably hurt myself in the process). I despise it when a mystery author gives up on logic and relies on coincidence. It's more acceptable
Up to about pg. 300, it was going great. I loved the basic premise of a gaming world optimized for, and encouraging, Chinese gold farmers; where the ultimate gold farmer hits on a way to extort money from other players.
But then the mafiyeh
get involved, which seems slightly contrived, until the global terrorists become accidentally tied up in the plot — which makes Russian mobsters in Seattle seem perfectly normal. Then three separate parties end up at the same place on US/Canada border, arriving from different directions for different reasons!
. At least we could have called it fine deduction and make it a logical conclusion. The homicidal (but discerning) cougar is the finishing touch.
My wife (who loved Snow Crash) asked me, while I was still in the good part of the book, if it had a massive number of separate plot-lines. I answered honestly that there were just two. Unfortunately, they multiplied. Eventually there were at least five significant threads, and I was losing track (and I suspect Stephenson was, too) of exactly which of the characters should know each other.
Please, Neal, stick to the SF you do so well, and leave thrillers to people who understand them.