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O Rei dos Vagabundos (The Baroque Cycle (8 volume) #2)

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4.15  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,519 Ratings  ·  91 Reviews
«Nesta segunda parte do Ciclo Barroco (a continuação de Argento-Vivo), o romance centra-se no vagabundo Jack Shaftoe e em Eliza (uma jovem da ilha de Qwghlm, onde não existem vogais), que ele resgata de um harém depois da derrota dos turcos em Viena, em 1683.

Os dois formarão uma parelha invulgar, criando-se uma simbiose entre a coragem e o espírito impulsivo dele e a astúc
...more
Paperback, 1ªed, 422 pages
Published March 2008 by Tinta da China (first published 2004)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,259)
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Lindsay
Feb 25, 2012 Lindsay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of colorful characters who aren't afraid of A LOT of period detail
A couple years went by between my reading the first book in this series and getting my hands on the second, but given how little the characters and events in this book overlap with the first, it really doesn't matter.

Where the first book followed Daniel Waterhouse, Natural Philosopher and scion of a staunch, politically active Puritan family, and took place mostly in England, this book follows "Half-Cocked" Jack Shaftoe (whose nickname refers as much to an anatomical peculiarity of his as it doe
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Banner
Aug 11, 2013 Banner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, fiction
I wasn't for sure what to expect from this book after the first in the series was such a well written historical fiction of early science. According to the reviews I read, this was nothing like the first (with the exception of the setting being the same time period). So while I wasn't for sure what to expect, I didn't think I would laugh so much. This book was so enjoyable. The characters were real people, living in a hard world. They knew the world was hard, but they didn't know it could be any ...more
Mark
Jun 18, 2011 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: beach-read
To do justice to Neal Stephenson at his best is inevitably doomed to some form of stylistic copying or more ponderously yet, outright quotation. This book is very well written, in a tone I'll describe as Pratchett-Wallaceian, with humor you'll laugh over, poetic description you'll admire and innumerable sly historical tie-ins you'll catch delightfully, but only you're a nerd and that makes it even better.

Yes history: it's historical fiction, although the emphasis is on the fiction. Suffice it to
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Dale
Jun 24, 2008 Dale rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The second book of Quicksilver, which it itself a three-book volume in the three-volume "Baroque Cycle" series.

Shifting gears somewhat from Quicksilver (the first book, not the first volume), Stephenson follows the adventures of Jack Shaftoe, a seventeenth-century adventurer-hobo ("vagabond") on the Continent. Where the first book concerned itself mostly with science, King of the Vagabonds is a Picaresque novel rife with the spirit of Rabbelais and Shakespere-- bawdy, improbable adventures inter
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Ben De Bono
I'd rank this a little lower than the first book though they're mostly on par with one another. The story is alright, but I don't find Jack or Eliza particularly likable characters. 2.5 stars
Turkish
Время продолжает свое неспешное течение,а я продолжаю свое спешное чтение. Как я уже говорил в предыдущем очерке: это не более, чем мое отношение к главам большой книги огромного Барочного цикла. Соответственно, перво наперво необходимо прочесть пару слов о моем отношении к первой книге тома( или первого тома книги) "Ртуть" Нила Стивенсона.
Продолжим относительно Короля бродяг. Дело в том, что большая часть относительно стиля повествования Нила Стивенсона уже сказана, точнее сказано будто бы в
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Oscar
’El rey de los vagabundos’ es el segundo libro de los tres en que se dividió en castellano ‘Quicksilver’, el primer macro volumen del Ciclo Barroco. Neal Stephenson continúa narrándonos las peripecias de los antepasados de los principales protagonistas de ‘Criptonomicón’, centrándose esta vez en Jack Shaftoe, el rey de los vagabundos del título. De nuevo, Stephenson se centra en acontecimientos históricos del siglo XVII, aderezados con hechos ficticios. Y todo ello de la mano de este peculiar pí ...more
manuti
Sep 05, 2011 manuti rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A ver si voy cogiendo ritmo y me pongo al día de las reseñas de los libros que he leído.

Este volumen es la continuación del libro que comenté anteriormente y que como su propio nombre indica, está dedicado al "rey de los vagabundos" Jack Shaftoe, miembro de una de las sagas familiares claves de Neal Stephenson junto a la familia Waterhouse.

A pesar de que me ha parecido muy entretenido, creo que en su mayor parte es relleno de la historia principal y que sirve de introducción al personaje clave d
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Piotr
Jun 30, 2012 Piotr rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutne arcydzieło... co jak co, ale jednak Neal Stephenson potrafi stworzyć książki kompletne, bohaterów idealnych i historie tak prawdziwe jak tylko potrafi być prawdziwa fikcja literacka. W postaci cyklu barokowego (w tym przypadku pierwszego tomu [lub pierwszych trzech ksiąg)) dostajemy powieść historyczną w której znajdziemy oblężenie Wwiednia, piratów (z port royale i Turcji) rozważania filozoficzno-naukowe, rozwój nowoczesnej fizyki, biologii, astronomii, zegarmistrzów, chirurgów (nie m ...more
Clif Hostetler
Jun 18, 2011 Clif Hostetler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book of the eight book Baroque Cycle. Most of this story takes place on mainland Europe in the 1680s. I find this time period interesting because it was the beginning of the modern world. The previous book in the series, Quicksilver, described the birth of modern science. This book describes the beginning development of modern business and commerce.

This book is somewhat unique among historical novels in that it's main characters, Jack Shaftoe and Eliza, are lowborn and not fro
...more
Kat  Hooper
Oct 29, 2010 Kat Hooper rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

King of the Vagabonds is the second installment of Neal Stephenson’s ambitious and epic Baroque Cycle. I was disappointed with Quicksilver, the first book, because, though it was a thorough and realistic historical fiction, it had neither a compelling main character nor a cohesive plot. Thus, it felt like a textbook, except that I wasn’t sure which anecdotes about the real historical figures were factual and which were fictional. In other words, if we’re g
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Tim Jin
Feb 20, 2014 Tim Jin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In "Quicksilver" it was all about learning the elitist and the upper class, but in "King of the Vagabonds" it's all about understanding the have nots. I will keep this review short just because I cannot wait to continue with the series. In this book there is a lot more action than intellectual conversation between the classes. The best way to describe the Baroque Cycle series so far, think Ken Folliet and historical fiction, but from a cyber punk, Neal Stephenson.
Adam Sprague
After the first initial 50 pages or so this book trails off in a hurry.

Cryptonomicon was successful despite its length because of the layering of story lines and overall fast pace and interlocking stories.

Here we don't even read one mentioning of the characters from Book 1; which isn't a problem in itself but the other characters don't have enough to carry such length.

Most of this book is spent detailing plot and scenery and pages upon pages are spent highlighting otherwise trivial things that
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Kevin
Jul 15, 2014 Kevin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The characters are interesting in this book - I like Eliza and Jack. It tells of a different perspective during the same time period as the first book - but there are no connections (well limited connections) between characters in the first book and this one. I listened to this as an audio book and it was a great performance. The story is sort of lacking a purpose other then to trace the time of a couple of characters. While entertaining, you are left sort of wondering what the purpose of the st ...more
T.L. Evans
Apr 25, 2013 T.L. Evans rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The King of the Vagabonds by Neal Stephenson, is the highly enjoyable second installment in the Baroque Cycle. Though it annoyingly does not pick up at the end of the cliff-hanger that serves as the ‘conclusion’ of its predecessor, Quicksilver, it is a brilliant read in its own right, chronicling the life of “Half-Cocked Jack” Shaftoe, a syphilitic vagabond and Eliza, a beautiful woman of questionable background. It proves a fun, if improbable alternate history with brilliant descriptions that s ...more
Twoscrewsloose
Oct 24, 2012 Twoscrewsloose rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Where Quicksilver was about about taking one step forward in the name of science, King of the Vagabonds was about taking two steps back because you're a moron.

While the book was no less brilliantly written (and maddeningly detailed - I probably would understand a lot more if I knew all about, say, William of Orange and the history of various sects of Christianity and a few other religions), book 2 of book 1 (really?) of the Baroque Cycle is all about the gritty underbelly of old England - and Fr
...more
Joe Labriola
Dec 02, 2014 Joe Labriola rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While not quite as exquisitely written as its predecessor, Quicksilver, book two of Neal Stephenson's The Baroque Cycle, King of the Vagabonds, is much more adventuresome - a candid and Candidesque account of the exploits of the legendary vagabond, Jack Shaftoe, and his cunning counterpart, the beautiful former harem slave girl, Eliza, as they journey across the European continent seeking wealth and prosperity through cunning, intrigue, and sometimes just good old fashioned sword slashing.
S5618jim
Very good, a continuation of the Baroque cycle. Easier to follow than the previous, as it mainly focuses on two characters in their adventures across the wars and courts of Europe. The origins of stock and commodities trading are interesting, and also easier to follow than natural philosophy.
Kate Sherrod
Again, this time around I'm enjoying the audio version, except for this: Prebble, voicing Eliza's dialogue, gives her a farcically throaty, husky voice that drives me right up the wall. since I really don't like this character anyway, that's a problem. But Jack is so good I mostly forgive.
William P.
Sep 24, 2012 William P. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
The problem I'm having here isn't really this book's fault. It's not a novel. I'm reviewing one section of a larger narrative and it showed. I can see why the publishers split it up, but it doesn't entirely work to do so. And that's why it doesn't get five stars. Other than that? Oh it gets all the stars. I'm digging everything about the Baroque Cycle. The writing style, the story, the interweaving with historical events and characters, and all the... I don't know... Stuff. It's hard to put into ...more
Simon
Jun 05, 2014 Simon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Særpræget og noget spøjs roman (som jeg virkeligt godt kunne lide). Umiddelbart hænger den ikke meget sammen med Quicksilver, men jeg gætter på at resten af serien nok skal få bundet en fin sløjfe på det forhold.
Michael Johas teener
I read "Quicksilver", the first in this series a few months ago .. and it was an interesting "almost historical" novel, with the Newton/Leibniz rivalry as a background with bits of the English Civil War and the Restoration thrown in along with a completely fictional Daniel Waterhouse and his fictional pre-MIT workshop where he's building a pre-Babbage difference engine. Cool stuff. Anyway, this book starts a parallel thread that is much more adventuresome, with sword fights, galloping horses, co ...more
Elissa
Dec 02, 2014 Elissa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
There are many impressively refreshing and incisive one-liners , but ultimately I could not bring myself to care for the characters nor the plot.
Maitrey
Apr 01, 2013 Maitrey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in 17th Century Europe, the same as the first third of Quicksilver, KoV uses a different set of characters.

While Quicksilver focussed on nobles and aristocrats, KoV uses the eponymous King of Vagabonds: Jack Shaftoe and a European girl Eliza, he rescues from a Turkish harem at the siege of Vienna. What follows is rip roaring adventure through Eastern and Central Europe ending in the newly created Amsterdam stock exchange.

Complete with trademark Stephenson wit with an eye for all kinds of jui
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Jonathan
Oct 26, 2014 Jonathan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Feels a bit more real than its predecessor as it doesn't almost entirely focus on academics or the elite.
Halle Lieu
Jan 30, 2016 Halle Lieu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Godspeed? Godspeed! What kind of a thing is that to say to a fucking galley-slave?"
Thaddeus Dannar
Jan 28, 2015 Thaddeus Dannar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I liked this one more than the first, the character of Jack was more relatable to me.
Seth Kaplan
Sep 11, 2012 Seth Kaplan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition


Absolutely loved this! Once I figured out that it was really the middle third of the first book in the original trilogy, things fell into place better. The first third was pretty difficult to great through, but this was a hilarious romp that read like a thriller. Stephenson's writing is brilliant and his mixing of historical fact and fantasy was so much fun to keep up with. If I had to put this in a category, I'd dub it hysterical fiction. So good that I'm ready to jump right into Odalisque to
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William Showalter
Jul 16, 2012 William Showalter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
I was thrown off and surprised when the second volume declined to pick up where the first novel left off, and instead started a completely separate story.

I didn't stay disgruntled for long however, because the story told in King of the Vagabonds is action packed fun and very entertaining. It begins the stories of Jack Shaftoe and Eliza, building the foundation of their tales, which In Jack's case will clime to infamous proportions by the end of this volume.

Like the rest of the Baroque cycle, it
...more
Mark Terry
Apr 10, 2016 Mark Terry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Code and history mixed as only Stephenson can deliver.
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Neal Stephenson is the author of Reamde, Anathem, and the three-volume historical epic the Baroque Cycle (Quicksilver, The Confusion, and The System of the World), as well as Cryptonomicon, The Diamond Age, Snow Crash, and Zodiac. He lives in Seattle, Washington.
More about Neal Stephenson...

Other Books in the Series

The Baroque Cycle (8 volume) (8 books)
  • Quicksilver (The Baroque Cycle, #1)
  • Odalisque (The Baroque Cycle, Vol. 1, Book 3)
  • The Confusion, Part I (The Baroque Cycle, Vol. 2, Book 1)
  • The Confusion, Part II (The Baroque Cycle, Vol. 2, Book 2)
  • Solomon's Gold (The Baroque Cycle, Vol. 3, Book 1)
  • Currency (The Baroque Cycle, Vol. 3, Book 2)
  • The System of the World (The Baroque Cycle, Vol. 3, Book 3)

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