"A slow-burner that may come to astound you"
I am currently on The Confusion, books 4/5 of the series and looking back I can see that this was a bit of a difficult start with so many characters and ideas being thrown at you. I didn't try and follow every twist but just soaked up the atmosphere. As the series progresses, characters keep returning and you will get to know some of them very well so don't be put off. It only lost a star for me for this reason, 5 stars for everything from now on :)
"Oh my , thank god that's over"
There's little point in adding to many comments regarding the phenomenal length of this story. Stephenson obviously knew what he wanted. But I just can't take it any more. In parts fascinating, funny, clever and engaging , but often a tedious trawl - especially towards the end with Leibnitz when the story drags to no seeming end point. Now even though I've read ahead with reviews - and it appears the story picks up dramatically it is going to eat away another 1000 hours of my life to get to what I am sure with be a brilliant last minute. My main criticisms are that there is little seeming narrative drive, (a disputation about the originator of calculus doesn't do it for me) and the principal character, Waterhouse, is not the most engaging of heroes to follow. I can't I just can't go on with it. I'm sure it's very clever in the end but life is too short and there are snappier works to engage with. It has encouraged me to pick up a history book and review the period.
I just cannot trawl down endless metaphorical and physical byways with this author. I'm getting off the bus
"Warmed up towards the end"
Now I loved Cryptomonicron. I LOVED it! (see my review on same)
I've read a few other of Neal Stephenson's books and I was looking forward to another daft romp through history with this one. But it took a long time to get going. There were times when I felt like giving in. The sense of humour wasn't so prominent during the first bit, and it merely seemed like an exercise in showing off how much he knew about the late 17th Century.
The second half of the book seemed to get back on track, however. The style relaxed a bit and unlikely scenarios with an infectious disregard for shame and taste became evident. It was definitely (for me) a book that saved itself in the second half. I'll probably try book 2, but the series is on a warning!
"Good but plodding"
I've basically given up with this book, after about 6 hours very little has happened and I just don't feel engaged enough to continue. I know Neal Stephenson novels are very rewarding and you sometimes have to persist but whether it was the narrator or the pace of the story this one just didn't do it for me.
"What audio books are all about"
I simply cannot recommend Quicksilver and the whole of the Baroque cycle more. The characters are rich and full and the dialogue natural whilst maintaining a keen sense of the setting and brilliantly narrated throughout.
I would not say that this collection has a plot but rather it is a journey filled with adventure and emotion and a total delight from start to end.
I keep a copy on my device permanently and each time I come back to these books I find myself completely engrossed once again.
Of all the books in my audible library (130 at the time of this review) it is The Baroque Cycle that I urge my friends towards when they question if audio books can ever be as good as printed literature.
"Instantly engaging, adventure ."
For all those fans of Treasure island. This story features all the characters sons and daughters to continue in a follow on adventure. Suitable for teenagers and upward. The quality of writing evokes real imagery of the people and places described. The tale picks up the pace quickly, making you want to know what happens next.
David Tennant, has a melodic voice, wonderful to listen to, he adopts different voices for different characters making the dialogue easy to follow.
"Excellent book, well narrated"
Stephenson departs from his usual Cyberpunk/Futurist theme with this, the first book in his Baroque Cycle. His bold use of some of the more famous occupants of the golden age of Science could have backfired in the hands of a less meticulous author, but fortunately this book adheres to Stephenson's usual eye for detail and subtlety woven narrative. It is apparent from the beginning that the Author has carried out his research, the use of language as well as a liberal smattering of contemporaneous ideas (Vitalism and Humours to name but a few), helped to transport me to 17th century Europe and beyond. The characters are complex and full of depth and the picture painted is one of a society thriving with intrigue and mystery. The book is excellently narrated by Simon Prebble and Kevin Pariseau, with Neal Stephenson himself making the odd appearance. Overall I found this book to have been a highly enjoyable experience. I am now working my way though the second book in the cycle, which I am also thoroughly enjoying.
This book is advertised on a UK site as "Quicksilver." This in in fact not the case, instead it only includes 335 pages (equivalent) of a 950 page book.
This in in fact the US version which has been split into 3 seperate books. At no point is this mentioned and it is an utter scam that attempts to trick you into buying part 1 of a 7 book series, rather than 1 of 3 as it should be in the UK.
got this book on a recommendation from my brother but i CANT get past the 2nd hour! every time i start from there (which was every night for 2 weeks) it seems like a completely new book! i have no idea who the new characters are, WHERE these people are at and what time frame we're looking at!
"Informative but not compelling"
I have tried my best to listen to the book but have still to finish it.
The book is informative in detail but is not as gripping as I thought it would be after reading the review.
Sorry only two stars awarded.