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Quicksilver
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Neal Stephenson follows his international bestseller, the WWII thriller Cryptonomicon, with a novel set in the 16th and 17th centuries, in a world of war, scientific, religious and political turmoil. With a cast of characters that includes Newton, Leibniz, Christopher Wren, Charles II, Cromwell and the young Benjamin Franklin, Stephenson again shows his extraordinary ability to get inside a place and time; as he did for the futures of his science fiction (Snowcrash, The Diamond Age) and for WWII (Cryptonomicon), here he does for the England of the Civil War and the Europe of the Wars of Religion and the Scientific Revolution. Quicksilver is yet another tour-de-force from a writer who is simply unique.
Product Details

Promotional Information

The first novel in Neal Stephenson's acclaimed Baroque Cycle.

About the Author

Neal Stephenson is the author of five previous novels and co-author (with Frederick George) of two more. He lives in Seattle.

Reviews

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.

This follow-up to the best-selling Cryptonomicon features Daniel, who's overshadowed by pal Isaac Newton; Jack, King of the Vagabonds; and Eliza, who has escaped from a Turkish harem. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

"[A] massive tour-de-force- Dense, witty, erudite, packed with fascinating characters, and gripping despite a distended length, Quicksilver is both a worthy prequel to Cryptonomicon, and an indication that Stephenson's Baroque Cycle is shaping up to be a far more impressive literary endeavour than most so-called "serious" fiction - No scholarly, and intellectually provocative, historical novel has been this much fun since The Name of the Rose." -- Charles Shaar Murray * Independent * "Staggering diversity and detail ... An astonishing achievement." * Sunday Telegraph * "A great, heaving countryside of a book...consistently funny...fluent and elusive, while retaining just the right hint of poison" * Telegraph * "Stephenson mixes a library's worth of ideas with compulsive derring-do ... its scope and inventiveness become addictive." * Time Out * "A breathless ride...the writing gives an immersive sense of time and place" * Face *

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