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Quicksilver

av Neal Stephenson

Andra författare: Lisa Gold (Family Trees), Jane S. Kim (Illustratör)

Andra författare: Se under Andra författare.

Serier: The Baroque Cycle (Vol. I, Books 1-3)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
8,406150753 (3.9)230
Quicksilver is the story of Daniel Waterhouse, fearless thinker and conflicted Puritan, pursuing knowledge in the company of the greatest minds of Baroque-era Europe, in a chaotic world where reason wars with the bloody ambitions of the mighty, and where catastrophe, natural or otherwise, can alter the political landscape overnight. It is a chronicle of the breathtaking exploits of "Half-Cocked Jack" Shaftoe -- London street urchin turned swashbuckling adventurer and legendary King of the Vagabonds -- risking life and limb for fortune and love while slowly maddening from the pox. And it is the tale of Eliza, rescued by Jack from a Turkish harem to become spy, confidante, and pawn of royals in order to reinvent Europe through the newborn power of finance. A gloriously rich, entertaining, and endlessly inventive novel that brings a remarkable age and its momentous events to vivid life, Quicksilver is an extraordinary achievement from one of the most original and important literary talents of our time. And it's just the beginning ... Performed by Simon Prebble and Stina Nielsen.… (mer)
  1. 40
    Foucaults pendel av Umberto Eco (ateolf)
  2. 10
    Water Music av T. C. Boyle (lyzadanger)
    lyzadanger: Similar buffoonish, humorous treatment of English historical figures.
  3. 00
    Den fjärde sanningen av Iain Pears (ehines)
    ehines: Both interesting contemporary books set amidst the scientific enlightenment, Pears is a bit more historical where Stephenson is more flashily contemporary, but fans of one certainly should look at the other.
  4. 00
    The Mongoliad: Book One av Neal Stephenson (Mind_Booster_Noori)
    Mind_Booster_Noori: Neal Stephenson retelling History with his excellent writing skills...
  5. 00
    Boilerplate: History's Mechanical Marvel av Paul Guinan (Othemts)
  6. 00
    Mason & Dixon av Thomas Pynchon (uncultured)
    uncultured: Quicksilver is to Mason & Dixon as Agatha Christie is to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
  7. 01
    Ficktjuven av Sarah Waters (YossarianXeno)
    YossarianXeno: Both are compellingly written historical novels
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» Se även 230 omnämnanden

engelska (144)  tyska (4)  Alla språk (148)
Visa 1-5 av 148 (nästa | visa alla)
The first time I tried it, I bogged down partway ... this time, though, fresh off a re-read of Cryptonomicon, I got right into and through it. I sighed a little at Stephenson being cute by having it be about still more forebears of the families he introduced in Cryptonomicon, but okay, whatever. He's an author who's occasionally too clever, and I knew that going in.

The plot's as Baroque as the title would imply, and the amount of fictitious history threaded through what's obviously obsessively-studied real history makes for a book that requires an investment of attention ... but it's Stephenson, so it's funny and smart-alecky in enough places to keep it lively, over all. ( )
  qBaz | May 28, 2021 |
Returning to Quicksilver to finally put the Baroque Cycle to bed once and for all, I have to admit that it's a lot better than I remember. I'd probably throw four and a half stars at it if I could.

The first third of the book, also entitled Quicksilver, is a great ride through both 1600s London and 1700s ocean travel (the 1700s bit being a frame story for the rest). Daniel Waterhouse, reluctant Puritan and nascent scientist, is a bit hard to get a read on at first, but quickly grows into an interesting character. This section probably has the most "fictional character was present for a historical event/coined a modern idea" to it of the entire book, but Stephenson handles these well and they tended to get more of a smile from me than a groan.

The second third, King of the Vagabonds, is almost entirely an adventure/road, following Jack Shaftoe, Vagabond extraordinaire, and Eliza, a woman he rescues from certain death. This has the infamous Stephenson ending (i.e. things just drop), but it does feel somewhat earned and not just poorly written.

Finally, Odalisque ("a female slave or concubine in a harem, esp. one in the seraglio of a sultan of Turkey" - a title choice I'm still ruminating over) drops Jack to switch between Daniel (now something of an advisor to the king) and Eliza (now something of a financial guru/spy). This is the part of the book where the wheels start to come off, I think. Stephenson doesn't convey a lot of the action happening in Eliza's story very well, despite inserting a map of central Europe right there in the book, and his decision to skip over parts of the run-up to the Glorious Revolution makes Daniel's story feel really disjointed.

Overall, really, that's probably the worst thing I can say about the book is that it feels like Stephenson had 3 really good books in him but there's just a little bit of connective tissue missing that would elevate this entire thing and make it really great. On my first pass, I was really unsure of how I felt about the fact that so much of the book was returning to territory from Cryptonomicon (Waterhouse, Shaftoe, Eliza, Qwglhm, etc) -- I don't really mind most of it, although I'm really sick of Stephenson's pet character Enoch Root. It's a really fascinating, really fun ride with some memorable characters, and I guess that's all I really ask for. ( )
  skolastic | Feb 2, 2021 |
This is how you do historical fiction! A wide-ranging tale covering the history of royal families, court intrigue, early espionage and cryptography, scientific invention, finance, etc. Epic in every way. ( )
  donblanco | Jan 4, 2021 |
tried 2x and couldn't finish
  steveportigal | Dec 31, 2020 |
Great historical fiction of Europe during the Age of Enlightenment. It was a little tough to get into at the start due to all of the characters and background that needed to be established, but it picks up quite a bit in the last two thirds. I also like that I learned something about the people and events of the time period, which is something I don't get from the usual sci-fi/fantasy books I read. It was fun looking up some of the characters and events and finding that they really did exist or happen.

I'll probably take a short break to read some shorter books that I have been putting off, but I am looking forward to reading the other two ~1000 page books in the series! ( )
  cypher2048 | Dec 28, 2020 |
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» Lägg till fler författare (4 möjliga)

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Stephenson, Nealprimär författarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Gold, LisaFamily Treesmedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Kim, Jane S.Illustratörmedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Aquan, RichardOmslagsformgivaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Gräbener-Müller, JulianeÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Sarkar, ShubhaniFormgivaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Springer, NickCartographermedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Stingl, NikolausÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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Those who assume hypotheses as first principles of their speculations ... may indeed form an ingenious romance, but a romance it will still be.

— Roger Cotes,

Preface to Sir Isaac Newton's

Principia Mathematica,

second edition, 1713
There is, doubtless, as much skill in pourtraying a Dunghill, as in describing the finest Palace, since the Excellence of Things lyes in the Performance; and Art as well as Nature must have some extraordinary Shape or Quality if it come up to the pitch of Human Fancy, especially to please in this Fickle, Uncertain Age.
Memoirs of the Right Villanous John Hall, 1708
In all times kings, and persons of sovereign authority, because of their independency, are in continual jealosies, and in the state and posture of gladiators; having their weapons pointing, and their eyes fixed on one another; that is, their forts, garrisons, and guns upon the frontiers of their kingdoms; and continual spies upon their neighbors; which is a posture of war.
— Hobbes, Leviathan
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To the woman upstairs
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Enoch rounds the corner just as the executioner raises the noose above the woman's head.
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"Crying loudly is childish, in that it reflects a belief, on the crier's part, that someone is around to hear the noise, and come a-running to make it all better. Crying in silence, as Daniel does this morning, is the mark of the mature sufferer who no longer nurses, nor is nursed by, any such comfortable delusions."
"'As I'm now beginning to understand–you are something of a virtuoso when it comes to manipulating men's mental states,' Monmouth said.
'You make it sound ever so much more difficult than it really is,' Eliza answered. 'Mostly I just sit quietly and let the men manipulate themselves.'"
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This is the first volume of the three-volume edition. Please don't combine with the first volume of the eight-volume edition with the same title.
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Wikipedia på engelska (1)

Quicksilver is the story of Daniel Waterhouse, fearless thinker and conflicted Puritan, pursuing knowledge in the company of the greatest minds of Baroque-era Europe, in a chaotic world where reason wars with the bloody ambitions of the mighty, and where catastrophe, natural or otherwise, can alter the political landscape overnight. It is a chronicle of the breathtaking exploits of "Half-Cocked Jack" Shaftoe -- London street urchin turned swashbuckling adventurer and legendary King of the Vagabonds -- risking life and limb for fortune and love while slowly maddening from the pox. And it is the tale of Eliza, rescued by Jack from a Turkish harem to become spy, confidante, and pawn of royals in order to reinvent Europe through the newborn power of finance. A gloriously rich, entertaining, and endlessly inventive novel that brings a remarkable age and its momentous events to vivid life, Quicksilver is an extraordinary achievement from one of the most original and important literary talents of our time. And it's just the beginning ... Performed by Simon Prebble and Stina Nielsen.

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