Quicksilver (The Baroque Cycle, Vol. 1)

3.92 avg rating
( 32,760 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780380977420: Quicksilver (The Baroque Cycle, Vol. 1)
View all copies of this ISBN edition:
 
 

Neal Stephenson's Quicksilver is here. A monumental literary feat that follows the author's critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller Cryptonomicon, it is history, adventure, science, truth, invention, sex, absurdity, piracy, madness, death, and alchemy. It sweeps across continents and decades with the power of a roaring tornado, upending kings, armies, religious beliefs, and all expectations.

It 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 Eliza, rescued by Jack from a Turkish harem to become spy, confidante, and pawn of royals in order to reinvent a contentious continent 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 -- a historical epic populated by the likes of Samuel Pepys, Isaac Newton, William of Orange, Benjamin Franklin, and King Louis XIV -- Quicksilver is an extraordinary achievement from one of the most original and important literary talents of our time.

And it's just the beginning ...

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

In Quicksilver, the first volume of the "Baroque Cycle," Neal Stephenson launches his most ambitious work to date. The novel, divided into three books, opens in 1713 with the ageless Enoch Root seeking Daniel Waterhouse on the campus of what passes for MIT in eighteenth-century Massachusetts. Daniel, Enoch's message conveys, is key to resolving an explosive scientific battle of preeminence between Isaac Newton and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz over the development of calculus. As Daniel returns to London aboard the Minerva, readers are catapulted back half a century to recall his years at Cambridge with young Isaac. Daniel is a perfect historical witness. Privy to Robert Hooke's early drawings of microscope images and with associates among the English nobility, religious radicals, and the Royal Society, he also befriends Samuel Pepys, risks a cup of coffee, and enjoys a lecture on Belgian waffles and cleavage-—all before the year 1700.

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

From the Back Cover:

In which Daniel Waterhouse, fearless thinker and courageous Puritan, pursues 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.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780060593087: Quicksilver (The Baroque Cycle, Vol. 1)

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0060593083 ISBN 13:  9780060593087
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks, 2004
Softcover

9780099410683: Quicksilver

Arrow ..., 2004
Softcover

9780060833169: Quicksilver (The Baroque Cycle No. 1)

Harper..., 2006
Softcover

9780434008179: Quicksilver (Baroque Cycle 1)

Willia..., 2003
Hardcover

9780060599331: Quicksilver (The Baroque Cycle, Vol. 1)

Willia..., 2004
Hardcover

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Stephenson, Neal
Published by William Morrow, U.S.A. (2003)
ISBN 10: 0380977427 ISBN 13: 9780380977420
New Hardcover First Edition Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
BC BOOKS
(RUSKIN, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description William Morrow, U.S.A., 2003. Hardcover. Condition: NEW CONDITION. First Edition, First Printing.. //NO REMAINDER MARK//NO PREVIOUS OWNER MARKS OF ANY KIND (no names or inscriptions, no bookplate, no underlining, etc) //NOT PRICECLIPPED// NEW MYLAR COVER//. Seller Inventory # 0029464

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 35.00
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

2.

Stephenson, Neal
Published by William Morrow & Co, New York (2003)
ISBN 10: 0380977427 ISBN 13: 9780380977420
New Hardcover First Edition Signed Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Brillig Books
(Wilkinsburg, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description William Morrow & Co, New York, 2003. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Edition. Thick octavo, grey cloth spine over pale blue paper covered boards. Map endpapers. 926 pp. including Dramatis Personae. The first book in Stephenson's Baroque Trilogy. SIGNED BY STEPHENSON on title page. A very tight, clean, fresh, bright, unmarked and unread volume in a crisp, sharp, tight, sparkling dust jacket. Fine in fine dust jacket. Pristine. BRAND NEW. Signed by Author(s). Seller Inventory # 08195

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 50.00
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

3.

Neal Stephenson
Published by William Morrow (2003)
ISBN 10: 0380977427 ISBN 13: 9780380977420
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Irish Booksellers
(Portland, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description William Morrow, 2003. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0380977427

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 48.56
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.27
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

4.

Neal Stephenson
Published by William Morrow (2003)
ISBN 10: 0380977427 ISBN 13: 9780380977420
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Ergodebooks
(RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description William Morrow, 2003. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0380977427

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 49.13
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

5.

Stephenson, Neal
ISBN 10: 0380977427 ISBN 13: 9780380977420
New Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
SPHINX BOOKSTORE
(OTTAWA, ON, Canada)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Condition: New. NEW. Seller Inventory # LE 63

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 40.66
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 16.00
From Canada to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

6.

Stephenson, Neal
Published by Morrow, NY (2003)
ISBN 10: 0380977427 ISBN 13: 9780380977420
New Hardcover First Edition Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Crowfly Books
(South Portland, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Morrow, NY, 2003. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. This is a New and Unread copy of the first edition (1st printing). Seller Inventory # 039545

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 70.00
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.75
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

7.

Stephenson, Neal
Published by William Morrow (2003)
ISBN 10: 0380977427 ISBN 13: 9780380977420
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Murray Media
(NORTH MIAMI BEACH, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description William Morrow, 2003. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110380977427

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 78.70
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

8.

Neal Stephenson
Published by William Morrow (2003)
ISBN 10: 0380977427 ISBN 13: 9780380977420
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Books Express
(Portsmouth, NH, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description William Morrow, 2003. Hardcover. Condition: New. 1st - may be Reissue. Ships with Tracking Number! INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE Shipping available. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Seller Inventory # 0380977427n

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 136.68
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds