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Quicksilver Audiobook

Quicksilver: Book One of The Baroque Cycle

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Publisher's Summary

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.

Listen to more titles in the Baroque Cycle.

©2003 Neal Stephenson (P)2010 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“[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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (2621 )
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3.8 (1826 )
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4.2 (1795 )
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Performance
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  •  
    waterrose Tempe, AZ, United States 06-27-12
    waterrose Tempe, AZ, United States 06-27-12 Member Since 2011

    R Marie

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Love History Love Science"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend it to any friend who loves science and history


    What did you like best about this story?

    The details the author provides and how he sets the scenes


    What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

    The narrator is good


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    One of my favorite parts was in the first half when the main character is in Massachusetts.


    Any additional comments?

    It took me a long time to listen to this book...which provides value. There is a lot of detail and period changes, but it is so worth the listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 06-04-12 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    18
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    Story
    "More Stephenson Brilliance"
    Would you listen to Quicksilver again? Why?

    I've listened to it multiple times and find more layers of meaning and literary craft'smanship with each listening (and reading).


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Enoch Root is always my "favorite" character, starting with my reading of the Cryptonomicon. He is Stephenson's Gandalf. I am always left wanting more with him.


    What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn???t experience if you just read the book?

    Simon Prebble is simply brilliant in his pacing, inflection and occasionaly and appropriately used "other character" voices.


    Who was the most memorable character of Quicksilver and why?

    Enoch Root, for the reasons listed above.... he is the bridge across the old alchemical world, into the new scientific age. He is enigmatic and there is enough mystery in his longevity that we want more.


    Any additional comments?

    Stop what you are doing right now, and down load this work. Your life will never be the same.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anna Bailey, Colorado, United States 05-15-12
    Anna Bailey, Colorado, United States 05-15-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A slower plot."
    Would you recommend Quicksilver to your friends? Why or why not?

    The Baroque Cycle doesn't compare to other Neal Stephenson books. Instead of being enhanced by the interweaving of many side plots, this trilogy just seems to bog down.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Johnnie57 03-29-12
    Johnnie57 03-29-12 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
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    115
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    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Just couldn't get through it"
    Any additional comments?

    I tried on two separate occasions. The first time I only got a couple of hours into it. Then a few months later, I thought that since I really liked the idea of the book, I should really give it a better try. This time I got about 3/4 of the way through it and I reallized that I would not buy the rest of the series.. so that was it. I found the story too slow and it hopped around too much and I just kept drifting off.

    Who knows maybe I will try again some time.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bob Livingston, MT, United States 02-02-12
    Bob Livingston, MT, United States 02-02-12 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    88
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    "Couldn't finish it"
    What disappointed you about Quicksilver?

    Nothing happened, very, very slow.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Neal Stephenson again?

    I've listened to other Stevenson books and really enjoyed them.


    Did the narrators do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    The narration was fine. The story wasn't


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 12-02-11 Member Since 2013

    Regolith

    ratings
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    1
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    "Always good"

    I've read the Baroque Cycle trilogy twice since publication - it is extraordinary fiction. The very things that make it enjoyable to me - finely-grained, dense story telling - also seem to be the very things that many of the reviewers here don't like about it.

    The plot is rich, particularly if you know your history - Stephenson's story telling and characters come through with developments that are pure kick, intriguing, complex, humane, and understandable.

    Simon Prebble's narration is perfectly fitting and well done - masterful acting, really. The many characters are all distinct to the ear and the imagination. If you liked the read, you shouldn't be dissappointed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cheryl Belle Ewart, Ontario, Canada 11-26-10
    Cheryl Belle Ewart, Ontario, Canada 11-26-10 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    9
    5
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    "What can I say"

    I gave up on this book about 3 1/2 hours into it. The narration was putting me to sleep & the story!!!!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jtm3 10-26-10
    Jtm3 10-26-10 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    14
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    "I just couldn't do it."

    I like historical fiction a lot and have listened to scores of books since joining audible.com but this is one of only a couple of books that I simply could not finish. I had high hopes for the book and the series after reading the publisher's summary but the book never develops. I like long detailed books, but this one rambles aimlessly, sometimes providing exhaustive lists which drone on until the point at which I wished for an accident on the freeway to take my mind off the book. Here is an example. At one point, about 5 ?? hours into the book the topic of ???punishments??? is discussed. The list which follows for the next five minutes is laborious and mind numbing but when it ends, it simply ends and the author goes on to another topic without tying the last five minutes to anything before or after (at least as long as I continued to listen). Which brings me to the biggest problem I had with the book; even where there is an occasionally interesting section it is all too quickly gone without advancing the story line.

    After reading some of the glowing reviews here I can???t help but wonder if they were really listening to the same book or if they were related to the author.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wendy Robinson 10-21-10 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Quite disappointed"

    I almost never stop part-way through a book but I did not find this stoy engaging enough to keep me going.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Simon svendborg, Denmark 10-21-10
    Simon svendborg, Denmark 10-21-10 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    43
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    Overall
    "Gave up."

    Neal Stephenson wrote one of my favorite books (cryptonomicon) and Simon Prebble is my all time favorite narrator. So when I found this series it could not be a better match.
    But this book just does not go anywhere! I know I had high expectations, but I really wanted this book to be good, and because of this I kept on listening, but had to give up 2/3 into the book.
    I cannot recommend this book. But I can fully recommend Cryptonomicon by Stepenson.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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