Neal Stephenson is brilliant.
Now, this novel is not nearly as mindbending as Stephenson's other stuff, like Snow Crash, or Cryptonomicon. Don't let that discourage you from reading it, though. It is thoroughly entertaining. As always, there is wicked character development, and well researched tech stuff, but unfortunately, it suffers from Neal Stephenson's "Where the fuck was the ending" syndrome (though to a lesser degree than Snow Crash). Also, it features the infamous Sangamon's Principle.
This book is an eco-thriller. Sangamon Taylor, our fearless protagonist, goes about making life inconvenient for large corporations who would overrun the world with carcinogenic chemicals. He does this, primarily, from his Zodiac raft (hence the title). The preferred way to do this, of course, is in front of television cameras. During a routine inspection of the harbour, he discovers some very unusual things which should not have been there, things that certain people want to remain secret. In the interest of not spoiling it, I'm not going to tell you any more. Go find it and read it.
Stop reading now if you haven't read the book...
One thing that resonates very clearly in this book is the way that the media can be bent to destroy lives. I think he describes this expertly, when Sangamon is branded a terrorist. That it took so little to incriminate Sangamon in the eyes of the people as compared to the evidence that he accumulates against various corporations is truly frightening.