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5.0 out of 5 starsGreat audiobook
Reviewed in the United States on December 11, 2013
Love this series, and love Simon Prebble as the reader. Have already read the hard copy twice, but I really like having it read to me while I'm doing other things.
Reviewed in the United States on December 28, 2013
This book suffers only from its truncation, leaving suspended the final book of Stephenson's masterpiece The Baroque Cycle, which should be packaged in a single volume to avoid automobile accidents caused by genius interruptus, and the driver's panicked search for missing narrative as he cruises the snowy summits of the Massachusetts turnpike.
4.0 out of 5 starsIn which the greatest scientist in history runs a mint!
Reviewed in the United States on October 25, 2014
Stephenson's extraordinary ability to take the driest of subject matter and invest it with all the heart-pumping excitement of a thriller is again on display in this second-last book of his magisterial blending of science, philosophy, religion, politics, history, and those insights into human nature only great novelists can reveal. I have no idea how much of Currency is historical (I suspect a great deal of it is) but it hardly seems to matter as the genius of this writer lies in making you believe these gobsmacking events actually happened. (And that you are learning a great deal about the origins of so much of the modern world in the process.) In such a surprisingly-swashbuckling tale we actually get to learn the etymological origin of the word "swashbuckling"! Chief swashbuckler is the King of the Vagabonds, recast as Jack the Coiner, whose counterfeiting is done in the service of his love for Eliza and on the orders of the Sun King, and whose opponent in this political as much as economic game is none other than Sir Isaac Newton, recast as Master of the Mint (who is motivated by his love of alchemy). As the Cycle hurtles towards its conclusion in The System of the World (itself the title of an at-this-stage-unpublished third book of Newton's Principia Mathematica) you have the sense of the myriad plot threads woven throughout this astonishing work being deftly drawn together.