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In the second book, Stephenson introduces Jack Shaftoe and Eliza. "Half-Cocked" Jack (also know as the "King of the Vagabonds") recovers the English Eliza from a Turkish harem. Fleeing the siege of Vienna, the two journey across Europe driven by Eliza's lust for fame, fortune, and nobility. Gradually, their circle intertwines with that of Daniel in the third book of the novel.
The book courses with Stephenson's scholarship but is rarely bogged down in its historical detail. Stephenson is especially impressive in his ability to represent dialogue over the evolving worldview of seventeenth-century scientists and enliven the most abstruse explanation of theory. Though replete with science, the novel is as much about the complex struggles for political ascendancy and the workings of financial markets. Further, the novel's literary ambitions match its physical size. Stephenson narrates through epistolary chapters, fragments of plays and poems, journal entries, maps, drawings, genealogic tables, and copious contemporary epigrams. But, caught in this richness, the prose is occasionally neglected and wants editing. Further, anticipating a cycle, the book does not provide a satisfying conclusion to its 900 pages. These are minor quibbles, though. Stephenson has matched ambition to execution, and his faithful, durable readers will be both entertained and richly rewarded with a practicum in Baroque science, cypher, culture, and politics. --Patrick O'Kelley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Stepehnson has a way with words, no denying that. Among many other examples of evocative imagery, Minette's womb comes leaping to mind. But I've made my way to p. Read morePublished 21 hours ago by wiredweird
Unnecessarily burdened with the author's love of his own words. After 200 pages, I am still wondering when the story will begin. Read morePublished 7 days ago by R. Dewey
Stephenson's writing is a feast; lots of great stuff to gorge yourself and each line is an explosion of taste. You want to savor each morsel and reflect upon all his ideas. Read morePublished 9 days ago by ArtefaxDan
I loved Cryptonomicon, but this book ... I heaved it into the trash halfway through because I became so annoyed with it. I can't imagine suffering through the trilogy. Read morePublished 25 days ago by Ingersoll1969
This particular copy that I purchased is 1/3 of the original complete book Quicksilver. When it was published in small format, the original book was divided into three parts,... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Brian
I totally enjoyed reading this book, what I could understand of it. Some references like inverse square root needed explanation from my mathematically educated spouse. Read morePublished 1 month ago by JSR
This was for my nephew. It was requested by him. He is a fan of the author.Published 1 month ago by Betty L. Justus
I fell in love w/ Cryptonomicon because of the research that went into it & Neal`s ability to tie multiple complex plot lines together.
However. Read more