What was the last novel you read where you went 'Wow' over the amount of research and learning the author used?

I just finished Gore Vidal's "Creation", and was extremely impressed by all the philosophical, historical, and religious information he managed to include without weighing down the narrative, how he made it a book of ideas without ever losing sight of character, humor, or insight. So what was the... show more I just finished Gore Vidal's "Creation", and was extremely impressed by all the philosophical, historical, and religious information he managed to include without weighing down the narrative, how he made it a book of ideas without ever losing sight of character, humor, or insight.

So what was the last novel you read that made you go, "Damn, he/she really knows their stuff"?
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