- Hardcover: 816 pages
- Publisher: William Morrow & Company; Limited edition (Feb. 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060599340
- ISBN-13: 978-0060599348
- Product Dimensions: 31.7 x 19.8 x 7.5 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,944,123 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Confusion Ltd (Baroque Cycle) Hardcover – 1 Feb 2005
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"Vast, splendid and absorbing." -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"[T]he definitive historical-sci-fi-epic-pirate-comedy-punk-love story. No easy feat, that. A-."--Entertainment Weekly
"Vast, splendid and absorbing."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Vast, splendid and absorbing. --Publishers Weekly (starred review)"
[T]he definitive historical-sci-fi-epic-pirate-comedy-punk-love story. No easy feat, that. A-. --Entertainment Weekly"
Neal Stephenson follows his acclaimed historical novel, Quicksilver, with the extraordinary second volume of the Baroque Cycle. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
Top Customer Reviews
Enough - I'm coming across like a trailer for The Princess Bride.
This volume is made up of two parallel novels, fused, or confused, by alternating chapters between the two. One volume follows (mostly) Jack Shaftoe, and his attempts to return to England from slavery in the East. That he accomplishes this as the only predictable part of his journey. The other tells Eliza's story, through palaces and... well, mostly through palaces.
I hope you read it, and enjoy it's elegance, intelligence and occasional low wit as much as I did.
I am in awe of how many themes are woven together in this book, and of the amount of research it must have taken. I have never had any sense of what the rennaisance was like, and suddenly the 1600's seem real and present to me. I've done some fact-checking in Wikipedia, and it only serves to expand and deepen the picture that Stephenson paints of that period.
The ending is just about the funniest, saddest, most satisfying, most intriguing and most annoying thing I've ever read. And I can't wait to read the final book in the series which is The System of the World.
A word of caution: These books are subtle. Much of the actions is hinted at rather than described explicitly. Once you get the hang of it, it is immensely satisfying to read.
This book is of a similar nature in that it tries to combine several books in one and each book contains many additional stories and characters with their full family life histories, in many cases. I am reading it in installments with other more terse and exciting books in between to keep my interest and renew my enjoyment of reading.
Bonanza regales the adventures of Jack Shaftoe after he left Amsterdam and Eliza. We follow him through his ordeal as a galley slave to the Turks. With his wits returning to him, he forms a collaboration with several other slaves to free themselves and capture the contents of a certain ship from a Spanish harbour. This leads to them travelling around the Mediterranean before venturing further east to an area then known as Hindoostan. Eventually they even cross the Pacific and end up in Mexico, before making the trip across the Atlantic, back to Europe.
Juncta covers a similar time period, but focuses mainly on Eliza and her interactions at various European courts and with scientists. Through a series of events, Eliza finds herself on the receiving end of the affections of Etienne de Lavardac, son of de Duc d’Arcachon. Using her cunning wits and tempting looks, Eliza manages to advance herself in society, obtaining the services of various men when they are of use to her. She is a strong, independent personality, who recognizes her worth but also realizes that, as a woman, she will sometimes need the assistance of a man.
The result is an intricate weaving of storylines which are all interconnected. Backgrounds and settings are described quite elaborately, but they do serve the story, so do not become tiresome. Effects of prolonged sea travel are explained in vivid detail, adding realism to the sometimes fantastic tale.
Due to the complexity of the narrative, I recommend reading this with a clear and attentive mind, so as to not become confused yourself.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The whole cycle was entertaining, revealing and I loved the language.Published on 26 May 2015 by Ceh
This is a truely great trilogy. Would make a wonderful HBO series.Published on 19 Jan. 2015 by Victor Serge
I love the Baroque Cycle. Fully engrossed. Character's so believable, story twists and turns and ties up beautifully. Read morePublished on 16 July 2014 by micksramblings