Neal Stephenson is the bestselling author of the novels Reamde, Anathem, The System of the World, The Confusion, Quicksilver, Cryptonomicon, The Diamond Age, Snow Crash, and Zodiac, and the groundbreaking nonfiction work In the Beginning . . . Was the Command Line. He lives in Seattle, Washington.
The first installment of the best-selling author's multivolume epic. Simultaneous with the HarperPerennial trade paperback. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Adventure, romance, politics, history, theology, magic, science, money and calculus: this audiobook has it all, and it astonishes on several levels. Never mind that it is only the first third of a trilogy or that this massive audiobook consists of "selections approved by the author" (the reading is punctuated with phrases like "here follows a brief summary of pages 167 to 182" or "pages 653 through 677 have been eliminated"). Stephenson's (Snow Crash; Cryptonomicon) masterfully complex and entertaining plot braids the life of Daniel Waterhouse, a colleague of Isaac Newton and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, with that of the "king of the Vagabonds," Half-Cocked Jack Shaftoe, and Eliza, a harem slave turned powerful financier. It is a tale of the pursuit of knowledge in Baroque Europe, peppered with taut action, knee-slapping humor and head-scratching science. BBC announcer/Shakespearean actor Prebble's performance is wonderfully nuanced. His authoritative narration, combined with his chameleon-like facility for character and accent, is nothing short of enchanting. Though he performs both male and female parts, Nielsen reads Eliza's copious letters; initially, this seems like a strange choice, but the shift from storytelling to that of reading merits the transition, and Nielsen's contribution enriches the whole. The experience of listening to this audiobook is something rare, as it's a literary tale that brings history, science and philosophy to life in a heartily entertaining fashion. Based on the Morrow hardcover (Forecasts, Aug. 25, 2003). (Oct.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
"Stephenson's new machine is a wonderment to behold.
"[A]n awe-inspiring book, stuffed with heart-stopping action scenes ... and a treasure trove of forgotten historical lore."--Book
"Genius . . . You'll wish it were longer."--Time magazine
"[QUICKSILVER] explores the philosophical concerns of today . . . through thrillingly clever, suspenseful and amusing plot twists."--New York Times Book Review
"Dense, witty, erudite ... and gripping ... a far more impressive literary endeavor than most so-called "serious" fiction."--Independent
"Sprawling, irreverent, and ultimately profound."--Newsweek
"[QUICKSILVER] is a rare thing: a 1,000-page book that you don't want to end.--San Antonio Express-News
"[O]ften brilliant and occassionally astonishing ...[QUICKSILVER] has wit, ambition and ... moments of real genius."--Book World
"A sprawling, engrossing tale."--Seattle Times
"An astonishing achievement."--Sunday Telegraph