The Confusion (The Baroque Cycle, Book 2)

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The links back to the first book in the trilogy, Quicksilver, are very strong, so you'll want to read that first. The whole web of action here is quite complex but Stephenson keeps us well oriented without overdoing it. OK, I am a bit of an armchair philosopher. I think it was buried in this book, some discussion that the puzzle of the continuum and the puzzle of free will are linked somehow. Actually there is a nice discussion of the theory of monads of Leibniz Of course folks have started from a kite string and gradually built up stronger and stronger cables to build a bridge of interstate highway capacity, so We certainly seem set up for a lot more of that kind of action!

It's a big fat book but enough of a page turner! These two books were originally published separately, but when combined in this volume, the "chapters" are alternated so as to maintain chronological order. That is because the two books deal with two completely separate story lines. If you read Volume I, Quicksilver, or the three books that were encompassed therein, then you are familiar with the characters and the historical landscape late 17th, early 18th century.

While the historical fiction contained in these works is highly educational and at times fascinating at others, somewhat confusing , this is not my favorite Stephenson effort. Nevertheless, as in his cyberpunk and sci-fi stories, a certain level of attention and effort is required in order fully grasp the author's work. Some may not want to put forth the effort, but I appreciate it.

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Add to Cart. Product Highlights In this compelling adventure, Stephenson brings to life a cast of unforgettable characters in the late s on the high seas. It is a time of breathtaking genius and discovery for men and women whose exploits define an age known as Baroque. About This Item We aim to show you accurate product information. Manufacturers, suppliers and others provide what you see here, and we have not verified it.

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He is a Royal Society member in the English scientific community but ends up playing a much more political role. The scientific details are rich. Many have found them excessive. I enjoyed them but the first time I read this it was as the volume and not the book and including the stories of Half-cocked Jack and Eliza helps to make Volume holistic. I think if I had read book one initially I am not sure I would have continued. My personal recommendation, if you enjoy large dense books, read the books in the three volumes rather than the 8 book format.

Daniel Waterhouse is a friend and colleague of Isaac Newton. He comes from a deeply religious and puritan background.

The Confusion (Baroque Cycle, book 2) by Neal Stephenson

His father was the infamous Drake and both paves a way for his career in Natural Philosophy as well as is a challenge. Daniel and Isaac meet in Oxford and room together. The price for this is keeping Newton fed, making sure he sleeps, and taking the brunt of his moods and temper. Daniel is perhaps the only person that Isaac trusts and puts Daniel in the position of caretaker and social diplomat for Newton so the world can see his genius. As a result, Waterhouse does not get to pursue his own scientific queries. Instead he becomes steeped in politics and an integral important figure in the Royal Society.

This is what you learn in Quicksilver: Book 1. This man is not a political giant but rather an intelligent street urchin grown into a man.

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Eliza is rescued from a harem by Jack — not on purpose but their relationship is important. She is spy, financial market genius, and rescued white sex slave. If you stop at Book 1 you will miss so much. Stephenson, prior to this series, was known for his science fiction, specifically, Snow Crash and Diamond Age. These are books I love. The Baroque Cycle is purely historical and while it discusses scientific material and how it shaped 17th and 18th century society this is a historical novel.

Baroque Cycle

The book provides a very different view of the scientific giants of this time frame compared to the version taught to you in school. Personal issues and mental illness are evident. Stephenson is known for his level of detail and research. In this series Stephenson is even more diligent than his previous works. Later in his career Stephenson will write Mongoloid and Anathem. I am not a fan of these particular books. I have learned several things in being a fan of his work.

It is not all the same and if you like one of his books it is no guarantee you will like another. You need to pick the books of his that fit in the genres you like.