Confusing which characters were talking and who the story was about.
Narrator had a good voice.
Frustration, very difficult to follow who was talking and where the story was going.
I like the honest description of how the time period was, the story was just too jumbled with little or no direction.
Quicksilver, by Neal Stephenson, is a lot of information about the 17th and 18th century and the Baraoque world, but there is no background story to make it worthwhile to listen to.
It’s the worst historical fiction I have ever read . . . especially if I couldn’t waste my time finishing it. Lack of a plot is what killed it for me.
It was read by Simon Prebble who was excellent, and the best part of the story.
Sorry, but I just couldn’t continue to drag myself through it and have to rate it a 2 star story.
There are parts of this book that are fascinating and beautifully written, but it needs trimming. I survived the first few chapters that were little more than an extended history lesson disguised as a conversation. It got tedious, quickly, because I kept wondering what the story was about.
The characters are interesting, the work they are involved in is interesting - but again, there is too much unnecessary description and detail. It's as overdone as Baroque design. For example, in the section where Daniel joins the natural philosophers at the Comstock estate during the plague, we are treated to extensive discussions of every experiment by every one of the people present, an endless (albeit occasionally hilarious) round of dissections, weird concepts that don't turn out well. Not only did most of this not move the plot forward, the level of animal cruelty became gratuitous and disgusting. . If you are a person who is at all squeamish about live animal dissection - you probably want to avoid this book.
The question on my mind after a while was, WHY? Why drag all this out? I kept wanting to know what happened next in the greater context and the book never seemed to get there. I gave up.
I really tried to like this book, but I just could not get into it. Maybe it is one of those stories that is better read then listened too.
I will listen to NO boring book. Old Fav's,Card, King , Hobb. New Fav's, Hill, Scalzi, Sawyer, Interested in Lansdale, Crouch, Konrath
When I first read the first chapter of Snow Crash by NS, I thought I had found a great new writer. The book went way down hill from there. This book never got up the hill. The first two hours of the book is a history lesson. Literary. NS has some of the best prose around and is very intelligent, I just can't get into his style of writing.
This book has Isaac Newton, Ben Franklin and other science greats. It seems that throwing out these names and talking about math formulas is suppose to take the place of a plot. The book bounces around in history, concentrates on one character for a couple of hours and then goes to another character, mentions plagues and kings and wars, but never a plot. NEVER.
I have the book Anthem in my hardback library, I am wondering now if I need to trade it in at the used book store without cracking it open. Out of three books of NS that I have read I can not give him higher then 3 stars on any.
If you like books that name drop science greats or if you like Connie Willis, you may like this. If you have to have a story, don't go here.
I come from Ireland, went to college in the States, and now live and work in Japan.
This book is the first of the Baroque Cycle series ... which seems to go on forever and ever and ever. That is actually a Good Thing because Stephenson draws the reader into the convoluted secret world of the 17th century (with, admittedly, a few lapses and boring bits en route) in such a way that s/he will never quite see it the same way again. The research that must have gone into the writing of this series is nothing short of colossal but Stephenson never quite parades it in our faces -- although coming close from time to time -- but puts it to the service of a rip-roaring tale that seems to gather speed as it moves along. Cabals, codes, cyphers, the adulteration of the money supply, pirates, the Turkish siege of Vienna, Newton, Leibnitz, Louis XIV, the political manoeuvring behind the Hanoverian succession to the British throne (their descendants still occupy the position)... it's all there, with much more besides. This book comprises the overture to a heaving seething gallimaufry of a work which can be totally exhilarating or totally exhausting depending upon the reader's response to the ideas, themes and speculations which it introduces.
This book does a great job of presenting Issac Newton and the royal society as a work of fiction. I am unsure how closely Neal follows actual history, but it is very insteresting regardless. The book does some rambling but manages to build up to plot peaks regularly.
I enjoyed this book immensely, but I have no idea what the plot was supposed to be. As a fictionalized account of the early developments of science and rationalism in 1600s England and America, this book was fascinating and sometimes hilarious. As a novel with protagonists, antagonists, and conflicts--well...I spent the first 2/3 of the book waiting for the story to start, and the rest thinking, "Wait, that's it?" And yet, listening to this book, as I did, as an episodic narrative of 1600s England and America--it was absolutely fascinating.
Very happy to see this trilogy done in the unabridged format, even if it means that Audible gets to sell it as an "octalogy". (I guess LotR will be sold as a hexalogy whenever they finally buy rights to it)
Excellent narration t'boot.
Wow, this is a tough listen. I really wanted to like it, I have really enjoyed the other audio books from Stephenson (I highly recommend Anathem) . I was so happy to see the unabridged Baroque Cycle finally available on Audible I bought the the first two volumes immediately. Now I am not even sure if I have the will power to listen to the second one I already purchased.
I think the problem is that there is just no discernible plot. The story just seems to follow the main characters around documenting whatever they happen to be doing. No matter how boring (long discussions with uninteresting friends) or disgusting (torturing stray dogs).
To make this mess even worse, is how Audible has decided to break the story up into 7 purchases. That is a lot of credits (cash) for what appears to be a fairly boring book. I know the book has received excellent reviews, so maybe it gets better. I just don't know if I can keep listening to find out.