Some early reviews of The Confusion, the next round in Neal Stephenson’s interminable prize fight, have started hitting the wires. The boys over at The Complete Review are generous, giving Stephenson props for erudition. The Guardian‘s Josh Lacey is less forgiving, noting that “pages read as if they have been copied directly from history books.” Both reviews confirm that, aside from a few action sequences, The Confusion looks to continue Quicksilver‘s tedium. It’s too bad. Thomas Pynchon, John Barth and David Mitchell all mined detailed historical territory, but at least they had the good sense to make it rewarding. This could very well make the Baroque Cycle the Matrix trilogy of literature.