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The Confusion by Neal Stephenson
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The Confusion (2004)

by Neal Stephenson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Baroque Cycle (Vol. II, Books 4-5)

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5,755721,195 (4.19)66
It is the late 1600s on the high seas. A group of Barbary galley slaves plot as they ply the oars of a pirate ship. These ten men - unfortunates from around the world impressed into servitude - have heard whispers of an enormous cache of Spanish gold. Together, they hatch a daring scheme - escape their chains, seize a ship, and find the treasure. And, amazingly, they succeed - leaving some very unhappy men behind who vow to hunt down the vagabonds and bring them to justice, no matter the cost. Meanwhile, back in France . . . The beautiful Eliza, toast of Versailles and spy extraordinaire, attempts to return to London with her baby, a child whose paternity is shrouded in mystery. As she makes her way home from the Continent, her ship is stopped by a French privateer - and she is returned to the Sun King's court. Thrown back into a web of international intrigue, Eliza must contend with all manner of characters, including buccaneers, poisoners, Jesuits, financial manipulators, and ever the stray cryptographer or two.-In this hugely ambitious, profoundly compelling adventure, Neal Stephenson brings to life a cast of unforgettable characters in a time of breathtaking genius and discovery - men and women whose exploits defined an age known as the Baroque.… (more)
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» See also 66 mentions

English (70)  German (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (72)
Showing 1-5 of 70 (next | show all)
This book (like the entire Baroque Cycle) is going to take sometime to unpack in my brain. First uncooked impression is that it's better than Quicksilver, since it has a single (well two, con-fused) plot from the beginning to the end, which will kink up with the third volume. We'll see, and most importantly we'll see if I can make heads or tails of this whole series at the very end. ( )
  sigma16 | Dec 5, 2019 |
This book (like the entire Baroque Cycle) is going to take sometime to unpack in my brain. First uncooked impression is that it's better than Quicksilver, since it has a single (well two, con-fused) plot from the beginning to the end, which will kink up with the third volume. We'll see, and most importantly we'll see if I can make heads or tails of this whole series at the very end. ( )
  sigma16 | Dec 5, 2019 |
Really good bridge in this trilogy. Much better than most middle books. The book had a completely different tone than the first, much more of a swashbuckler (although the first also had its moments.) I very much look forward to the third. ( )
  nushustu | Aug 5, 2019 |
Two novels are interspersed - the continuing story of Daniel, Jack and Eliza - from Versailles to the Spanish Inquisition in Mexico - non stop adventure... ( )
  cindywho | May 27, 2019 |
The second part of Stephenson's baroque trilogy, historical fiction with a difference. It fuses together (or confuses, to use Stephenson's word), history and adventure, science and philosophy, politics and religion, all told in a tone not usually found in historical fiction, reflecting Stephenson's sci-fi roots. I'm not sure how accurately it reflects the period - probably quite a lot given Stephenson's mastery of a wealth of detail, but the characters have a little too modern a feel so I can't quite shake off a sense of mistrust on that score. I'm sure there will be many who won't like Stephenson's particular mix, but on the whole it works well for me. 27 November 2018. ( )
  alanca | Nov 30, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 70 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stephenson, Nealprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Aquan, RichardCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gräbener-Müller, JulianeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kellgren, KatherineNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pariseau, KevinNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prebble, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stingl, NikolausTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Van De Velde, WillemCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
So great is the dignity and excellency of humane nature, and so active those sparks of heavenly fire it partakes of, that they ought to be look'd upon as very mean, and unworthy the name of men, who thro' pusillanimity, by them call'd prudence, or thro' sloth, which they stile moderation, or else through avarice, to which they give the name frugality, at any rate withdraw themselves from performing great and noble actions.
— Giovanni Francesco Gemelli Careri,
A Voyage Round the World
The Commerce of the World, especially as it now carried on, is an unbounded Ocean of Business; Trackless and unknown, like the Seas it is managed upon; the Merchant is no more to be follow'd in his Adventures, than a Maze or Labyrinth is to be trac'd out without a Clue.

— Daniel Defoe

A Plan of the English Commerce
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He was not merely awakened, but detonated out of an uncommonly long and repetitive dream.
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This is the second volume of the three-volume edition. Please don't combine with the fourth or fifth volume of the eight-volume edition with the same title.
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