The list author says: "Most of my favorite novels have been "long" (500 pages or more), except those of Jose Saramago and Murakami's shorter works. And if they are tough going, it just means you get to spend more time with them."
"A plot summary does not do justice to this book, but: A young Japanese man goes looking for his missing cat (and his wife), befriends a strange young girl, ends up in a different world. Horrifying excursion into Japanese invasion of China."
"Next time I read it, I will probably use one of the readers' guides. Hundreds of characters, but the main one has an interesting physiological reaction to the appearance of German V-2s, and both sides want him."
"I had never read a "thriller" before, and only read this because Stephenson wrote it. It involves employees and principals of a "massive multi-player online game," the Russian Mafia, and a Muslim terrorist cell. A good book for those who haven't read the author before; they are likely to move to his more cerebral efforts."
"This, with Dog Years and the slim Cat and Mouse, is a fascinating, terrifying look at WWII from the eyes of a little boy who decides to stop growing at the age of 3, has a scream that breaks windows, and goes around banging on a tin drum. Magic realism at its best."