The NVIDIA Forceware update released yesterday seemed to solve the worst of the problems, even though I still get a bad disc read error the first time I try to launch the game (the second attempt always works).
Until I got the Blue Screen of Death.
This game is doing everything it can to halt my forward progress. At this point I feel like maybe if I don't finish this game the world will end, that a malevolent force is ensuring my frustration by casting error incantations at my processor and video cards.
I will gather my strength by playing something that works, like Team Fortress 2.
Then once more into the breach.