22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Confusion (The Baroque Cycle, Vol. 2) (Hardcover)
After reading Quicksilver, though I already had my copy of The Confusion, I had to take a bit of a breather and I read The Bourne Supremacy, though once I was a few pages into it I couldn't help myself looking forward to The Confusion. That's not to say that Ludlum is not enjoyable to read, but there's so much lacking in his work compared to Stephenson's.
The Confusion, as many have mentioned, is a combination of two books, one following Jack Shaftoe in his literally round-the-world exploits, the other following Eliza, Duchess of Qwhglm, etc., as she continues to rise in Europe's aristocracy. It's an ingenious device to combine the two novels in one, as the reader is left with a cliffhanger in one chapter of the first novel and spurred on in reading the other so he can learn the outcome of the first.
At it's heart, so far, the Baroque Cycle is a love story. Jack and Eliza are a classic couple, torn apart by forces (for the most part) beyond their control. Around them the world of the 16th century continues to swirl, a storm of political, economic and social change, which in reality left no life untouched. Jack and Eliza seem to somehow be caught in many of the pivotal locations and events of the age, and as readers, we get swept along with them. Along the way, of course, we get a dose of the science that Stephenson loves to explain, as well as a good chunk of geography, social satire, and humor.
Stephenson, while he may be getting more long winded, is getting better and better. I hate to pick favorites, because there are so many incredible authors out there, but he is certainly near the top in my book. Can't wait for The System of the World!