Take Cryptonomicon, my favorite of his. If I was to try to summarize it as I started reading it, I might say it was about an internet startup that was working to help establish a datahaven and nation-free currency. But I would have been wrong. Then a bit further into the book, I might have said it was about a World War 2 marine who got caught up in various secret missions during the war. Oh, and who was addicted to morphine. But I would have been wrong. Then I might have gotten to the part where I realized it was about finding and making use of an enormous trove of Nazi gold. And that would have missed a lot of the point. And on, and on, and on. So when someone asked me to describe REAMDE the other day, I sighed and then floundered around verbally for a few minutes and then said "it's about some high tech thriller type stuff" which is both true and a massive understatement.
So having said that, I'm certainly not going to try to summarize it here. There are people who are paid a lot of money to try to summarize complex novels in dust-jacket size bites, after all. If you want to read one of those blurbs, go to the link above. But I will say that I'm really enjoying it and it has many of the things that I really liked about Cryptonomicon and much less of the things that I really did NOT like about System of the World (which I really, truly, desperately WANT to like, and someday maybe I will, just not yet). Stephenson writes like a true tech guy who knows how to write, which is rare, and his plot this time is moving along briskly. I love that he knows the difference between Linux and Windows, and an EMACS file and a .docx file, and a whole bunch of other stuff that I only sort of understand but don't have to get to know what is happening. I also love that twice tonight while reading I had to use the dictionary feature of my Nook to figure out a word and one meant lesbian (Sapphist). What more can I ask for?
So to sum up, highly recommended unless you want very light reading.