The Confusion (kindle) ↠ Neal Stephenson

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The Confusion

R immense personal fortune by France's most dashing privateer Penniless and at risk from those who desire either her or her head or both she is caught up in a web of international intrigue even as she desperately seeks the return of her most precious possessionMeanwhile Newton and Leibniz continue to propound their grand theories as their infamous rival. The Confusion is a typical second book of an atypical trilogy and that is not at all a criticism The second book of trilogies always bridge the gap between the first and the last with a focus on character plot development and building the framework for the payoff When this is done well as with The Two Towers the second installment can hold its own with any installment in the trilogy when this is done very well as with Empire Strikes Back I apologize for the movie reference it can outshine any installment in the trilogy When it comes to Neal Stephenson s Baroue Cycle I am not sure which of these two models The Confusion follows but it is at least one of them And now I will digress I have heard from many that this is one of the most original works they have ever read I don t doubt that it is the most original work that these folks have read but that doesn t make it original Saying that it is not original is again however not a criticism and it is certainly not a failing in Stephenson s work I love Stephenson s Cycle but as a fan of classic literature particularly the work of Hugo and Dumas I know that Stephenson is borrowing greatly from his forebears who were borrowing from theirs like Cervantes I cannot stress enough that this is not a bad thing It is what makes Stephenson s series compulsively readable Everything old is new again to borrow an old cliche Which is precisely what makes The Baroue Cycle so original for today s audiences It is sprawling larger than any possible life packed full of historical figures made characters it is fiction and fact writ together as crazed adventure What Stephenson does is brilliant modernizing classic story telling forms to remind us just how great the classics remain Anyone who loves a good yarn or just plain loves books should read the Cycle and revel in its sheer audacious brillianceBut don t tell me it has never been done before Just read it love it and then start reading everyone who came before

Free read The Confusion

Ry intensifies stubborn alchemy does battle with the natural sciences dastardly plots are set in motion and Daniel Waterhouse seeks passage to the Massachusetts colony in hopes of escaping the madness into which his world has descendedThis PS edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book including author interviews recommended reading and. I couldn t finish this and I am not one who is daunted by the size of a book I should have been warned when I picked it up the first time after having finished reading a novel written by somebody with a poetic sense of language and thinking Wow this is ugly writing I was continually frustrated by the long passages where plot points are explained by the characters to each other and clunky dialog for that matter where characters seem to have no inner life for all the alleged intelligence of the characters you never see somebody wondering or imagining or experimenting or figuring things out for themselves not even the ones who end up explaining things to others and where there is no passion expressed for anything not sex nor research nor discoveryAs a discussion of some interesting concepts about math or financial dealing it s not bad As a novel though it s dreadful Reading it felt like trying to put together a moderately intricate jigsaw puzzle whose creator hadn t sanded or polished the pieces nor used any color in the picture itself Stephenson has always had this problem to some degree but usually there s enough story and character to make it worthwhile Sometimes I get the feeling that because he is a smart guy that editors and some readers feel like whatever they find tedious or verbose must just be because they don t understand For this book I don t think it s the case In uicksilver I half hoped that the length of the book was because it was written in the kind of coding discussed in the book and I found the intersecting stories interesting In The Confusion I no longer cared and uit even though I was most of the way through

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In the year 1689 a cabal of Barbary galley slaves including one Jack Shaftoe aka King of the Vagabonds aka Half Cocked Jack devises a daring plan to win freedom and fortune A great adventure ensues a perilous race for an enormous prize of silver nay gold nay legendary goldIn Europe the exuisite and resourceful Eliza Countess de la Zeur is stripped of he. When a thing such as wax or gold or silver turns liuid from heat we say that it has fused Eliza said to her son and when such liuids run together and mix we say they are con fused Neal Stephenson The ConfusionPart Two of Stephenson s massive Baroue Cycle consists of Books 4 and 5 Part One if it isn t obvious consisted of Books 1 3 Since both books 4 Bonanza and 5 Juncto are concurrent Stephenson threadsinterleaves the two books together hence Con Fusion This volume continues with the major characters Daniel Waterhouse Eliza Bob Shaftoe Jack Shaftoe along with a host of other fantastic characters both real Newton Leibniz Louis IV Pepys and imagined Like the previous volume The Confusion takes place during the end of the Nine Years War and the period shortly after and explores the beginning of the Enlightenment complete with politics war modern economics science and the scientific method currency information technology trade religion and cryptography Usually when Newton or Leibniz are discoursing Stephenson is waxing philosophic about atoms thinking machines or currency Fundamentally these books are historical fiction for geeks He pushes some people and events to the point of soft SFmysticism I m thinking of Enoch Root a man who appears and disappears and acts as a catalyst for change throughout time It wasn t perfect and there were some points where I was a turned off by the jocular humor but these were minor issues It isn t close to high art but it is a fascinating read


About the Author: Neal Stephenson

Neal Stephenson is the author of Reamde Anathem and the three volume historical epic the Baroue Cycle uicksilver The Confusion and The System of the World as well as Cryptonomicon The Diamond Age Snow Crash and Zodiac He lives in Seattle Washington



10 thoughts on “The Confusion

  1. says:

    Excerpt from the journal of Neal StephensonWhat have I done? I must have been out of my mind to think that I could write a trilogy set in the late 17th and early 18th century that used three main fictional characters to expl

  2. says:

    “When a thing such as wax or gold or silver turns liuid from heat we say that it has fused” Eliza said to her son “a

  3. says:

    Wow I can't even remember when I started this book 800 pages as the second book in the 2400 page The Baroue Cycle trilogy I feel like a water sk

  4. says:

    The Confusion is a typical second book of an atypical trilogy and that is not at all a criticism The second book of trilogies always bridge the gap between the first and the last with a focus on character plot development and building the framework for the payoff When this is done well as with The Two Towers the second installment can hold its own with any installment in the trilogy; when this is done very well

  5. says:

    finished the reread of Confusion and while the short review I wrote on the original read is still relevant the book like the whole Baroue cycle benefits so much on the reread as now I can appreciate the little details too; this being said The C

  6. says:

    The Confusion is Book Two of the Baroue Cycle While it is an excellent book it did not strike me as profoundly as the first book uicksilver But even a mediocre NS book tends to tower over any rivals and this book by no means is to be considered mediocreIf you are familiar with the Baroue cycle you know that the story cente

  7. says:

    The jig is up the news is outThey finally found meThe renegade who had it madeRetrieved for a bounty—From Renegade on the 1978 album Pieces of Eight by StyxIf you have been reading my reviews with the close attention that I hope and pray you have then you saw me mention upon rereading uicksilver the first volume of Neal Stephenson's Baroue Cycle that the most fun was to be had during the swashbuckling and adv

  8. says:

    I couldn't finish this and I am not one who is daunted by the size of a book I should have been warned when I picked it up the first time after having finished reading a novel written by somebody with a poetic sense of language and thinking

  9. says:

    The Confusion is Captain Jack to uicksilver's Old Jack This is adventure much in the mould of Wilbur Smith heaps of fun as my Aussie relatives say It's still got that twisty turny rambling Stephenson plot that's as much of a world tour as it is a narrative arc but where I thought uicksilver was utterly fascinat

  10. says:

    Fantastic book As long as uicksilver this book feels shorter There is less natural philosophy and swashbuckling including a complete circumnavigation of the globe There's a bit about the alchemical properties of King Solomon's gold and some pre Enlightenment chemical engineering Additionally there is a significant amoun

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