The Confusion (The Baroque Cycle (3 volume) #2)
What have I done? I must have been out of my mind to think that I could write a trilogy set in the late 17th and early 18th century that used three main fictional characters to explore the political and religious intrigue of the time as well as the development of the first stages of modern science and economics. If that wasn’t enough of a challenge, I had to incorporate a bit of science fiction by including my ageless character Enoch Root and hints tha ...more
book. I should have been warned when I picked it up the first time after having finished reading a novel written by somebody with a more poetic sense of language and thinking, "Wow, this is ugly writing." I was continually frustrated by the long passages where plot points are explained by the characters to each other (and clunky dialog for that matter), where characters seem to have no inner life (for all the alleged intell ...more
At the end of the last book, Half Cocked Jack was a Galley Slave off the Barbary Coast, Eliza was making a run with her baby from the continent to London, and Daniel Waterhouse had Joined the Royal Court and taken a Mistress.
This book picks up several years later. Eliza is captured and brought back to France, Daniel's Mistress died of small pox, and Jack has been cured of the Syph by some sort of extraordinarily high fever, although it has ...more
My main problem with The Confu ...more
The appeal of play. . . . novels conceived as grand games.
The appeal of dream. . . . the fusion of dream and reality.
The appeal of thought. . . . to marshal around the story all the means ― rational and irrational, narrative and contemplative ― that could illuminate man’s being.
The appeal of time. . . . to broaden the time issue beyond the Proustian problem of personal memory to the enigma of collective time.
― Milan Kunder ...more
In a discussion of being political/diplomatic:
"It is precisely because it is true, that you must not come out and state it."
"Very well then, monsieur, I vow not to say anything true for the remainder of this conversation" (p. 69).
Simple little joke, but it cracked me up. The coversation goes on for some time afterwords, and I haven't yet decided if the second character broke the vow...
Ok, so apparently I didn't end up blogging this one live as I read it. Apolo ...more
I have read Stephenson's books in the order he wrote them: The Diamond Age, Cryptonomicon, Quicksilver. The only glitch is that his books are so long and take me ...more
It's not that the story's not entertaining—it is. It's amusingly written, too, with an omniscient narrator who breaks the authorial third wall with snarky commentary on fashion choices in the 1600s. And as always, you'll learn a great deal with Stephenson. The birth of m ...more
It took me way too long, as so much time had passed ...more
Superb sequel to Quicksilver. Continues the (mis) adventures of Jack Shaftoe and an assorted odd group of Pirate slaves that conceive a crazy plan to get freedom and a treasure, plan that develops a hitch when one of Jack's noble sworn enemies turns out to be involved deeply in.
In the other main thread Elisa is still looking to establish herself in high society and revenge on the unknown noble that led to her and her mother's enslavement.
On the way we have tragedy, joy, action and lots of dig ...more
In the year 1689, a cabal of Barbary galley slaves -- including one Jack Shaftoe, a.k.a. King of the Vagabonds, a.k.a. Half-Cocked Jack, lately and miraculously cured of the pox -- devises a daring plan to win freedom and fortune. A great adventure ensues, rife with battles, chases, hairbreadth escapes, swashbuckling, bloodletting, and danger -- a perilous race for an enormous prize of silver ... nay, gold ... nay, legendary gold that will place the intrepid band at odds with the mighty and the...more
The two books are companions to each other by flashi ...more