In this first volume of Neal Stephenson’s genre-defying epic, Daniel Waterhouse, fearless thinker and courageous Puritan, pursues knowledge in the company of the greatest minds of Baroque-era Europe in a chaotic world where reason wars with the bloody ambitions of the mighty, and where catastrophe, natural or otherwise, can alter the political landscape overnight.
The Baroque Cycle, Neal Stephenson’s award-winning series, spans the late 17th and early 18th centuries, combining history, adventure, science, invention, piracy, and alchemy into one sweeping tale. It is a gloriously rich, entertaining, and endlessly inventive historical epic populated by the likes of Isaac Newton, William of Orange, Benjamin Franklin, and King Louis XIV, along with some of the most inventive literary characters in modern fiction.
Audible’s complete and unabridged presentation of The Baroque Cycle was produced in cooperation with Neal Stephenson. Each volume includes an exclusive introduction read by the author.
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©2003 Neal Stephenson (P)2010 Audible, Inc.
“[The “Baroque Cycle”] will defy any category, genre, precedent, or label – except genius….Stephenson has a once-in-a-generation gift: he makes complex ideas clear, and he makes them funny, heartbreaking, and thrilling.” (Time)
“A book of immense ambition, learning, and scope, Quicksilver is often brilliant and occasionally astonishing in its evocation of a remarkable time and place.” (Washington Post Book World)
My feelings are mixed. On one hand, the writing style is fairly clever, but there is nothing to move the story forward. As a reader, a vision of an alternate pre-enlightenment era is entirely insufficient in itself to warrant so much reading. This book reads like a late-era European history textbook with a narrative structure. I was never enthralled by the lives and doings of boring rich gentlemen the first time around, and adding a bit of sci-fi to their lives does not, in itself, nudge them into being interesting. Even still, I'm sure I'd have probably enjoyed the book if it had had an interesting plot, (environment and characters being already dismissed to my mind,) but alas, the plot, again, reads like a historical account. The tides of history aren't an interesting plot in and of themselves. For me, there needs to be some serious degree of human drama to propel the story, and there mostly isn't. For readers who enjoy the style, the victorian language, and period, and love the idea of combining something magical with it, I recommend Clarke's "Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell" instead.
I agree with all the other reviewers on this one. There is one reason you might want to get this. It helps you get to sleep at night!
In truth the narration is great, bringing life into what is possibly the most disjointed and uninteresting story I have come across. Even the science history is poor. At one point it mentions he meets I think it was Newton as a boy, next minute he was recommending that someone reads his book.
The overdescription is just annoying too. The author seems to think that it is good if he can say something in a paragraph he could have said in a word! What actually happens is you know what he is rabbiting on about at the start of the paragraph but you have to wait for a minute or so to get some petty detail you don't want to know anyway.
Avoid this book like the plague....unless you have insomnia!
An unsocial freak living his life around audiobooks, the next best thing to under water blowdryers.
I was hoping this would be something diffirent since i am a history fanatic. I usually listen to books while working, but several times the book dissapeared among the hundred thoughts i have which never happens on any other audio book. It is complex and the main character is extremely boring. It is very technical yet it will have an audience with those who find toothpicks and pebbles more interesting than the end of the world or some alien invasion. Did i forget to say YAAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWNNNN!!!
Reasonable narrator (but not in the league of Patrick Tull or Davina Porter) but relatively boring story. I am four hours in and ready to abandon an audio book for the first time (after many). I would pass on this selection.
I will wait for reviews of book two before I give up on the whole series. Puratins with moral delimmas was not a real good attention grabber for the first book. I listened for 7-8 hour before giving up.
Yes, I did, darn it. I never made it through this one. I love historical fiction, and long, drawn-out rambling series--fiction, but this was just really boring to me. It's the first book I haven't been able to finish. Won't be getting the rest of the series.
Out of the 200 audio books I have downloaded over I dont know how many years as a member this without doubt is the worst.
Im reluctant to even give a star it's more a twinkle of a point...
Please Neal Stephen dont write any more in the series or at the very least read a Ken Follett or Steve Berry to get a better idea of weaving a story through your facts.
It is slow listening, boring, and the narration monotonous.
Once again I was fooled into buying a book based on an authors previous books. While I greatly enjoyed Neal Stephenson's other books this one was as dry as a popcorn fart. I couldn't even get through it. Hey Neal...send me a refund!
Wading through all the great things the author discovered while researching this book became too tedious. Until I sat down to write my review of Forsyth's "The Cobra" I had forgotten that I had not finished listening to this one. That's what it is—forgettable. You could probably find something better on which to spend your money.
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