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The Confusion (The Baroque Cycle, Vol. 2) by…
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The Confusion (The Baroque Cycle, Vol. 2) (edition 2004)

by Neal Stephenson (Author)

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

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,252771,361 (4.19)67
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 gold.In Europe, the exquisite and resourceful Eliza, Countess de la Zeur, is stripped of her 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 possession.Meanwhile, Newton and Leibniz continue to propound their grand theories as their infamous rivalry 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 descended."Vast, splendid, and absorbing." --Publishers Weekly… (more)
Member:kmbeutel
Title:The Confusion (The Baroque Cycle, Vol. 2)
Authors:Neal Stephenson (Author)
Info:William Morrow (2004), 832 pages
Collections:eBook
Rating:
Tags:eBook, Calibre

Work Information

The Confusion by Neal Stephenson

Recently added byprivate library, ecamarca, BrendaSullivan, mrdan, rmcmahon22, LenihanLimerick, CriticalHit
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» See also 67 mentions

English (75)  German (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (77)
Showing 1-5 of 75 (next | show all)
Great book. ( )
  NachoSeco | Oct 10, 2022 |
Long but amusing.
  eri_kars | Jul 10, 2022 |
The title says it all. ( )
  shushokan | May 3, 2022 |
A rollicking, faster-paced sequel to Quicksilver -- more REAMDE than Cryptonomicon. We've got a handle on the cast of characters, and now it's mostly action. Fun stuff, and more substantive on its own than most "Book 2 of 3" entries. Still with some trademark Stephenson-isms, though: a very faint whiff of the vaguely supernatural, some clever (but jolting) anachronisms, and a whiplash-inducing crash stop ending. I'm looking forward to The System of the World, though. ( )
1 vote qBaz | May 28, 2021 |
Neal Stephenson is clearly having the time of his life writing these books, and The Confusion continues on nicely.

It drops the "three books, each about a single character or pair of characters" structure from Quicksilver in favor of two books intermingled: Bonanza, following Jack's adventures following his being sold into slavery at the end of Quicksilver, and The Juncto, following Daniel and Eliza navigating European politics.

Bonanza is a tremendously fun adventure tale that stretches the boundaries of belief just enough to be consistently amusing. If I were to dock it any points, it would be that it suffers too much from -- as the last part of Quicksilver did -- Stephenson eliding large stretches of time in order to move the plot along. The ending is a little pat, but makes for a hell of a Stephensonian "slam cut to black" while also neatly answering the question of where Jack is at the beginning of Quicksilver.

The Juncto, like Odalisque before it, is choppy, but manages to improve on its predecessor. Daniel ends up being absent, or just glimpsed through his letters, for much of the story (reasonable, considering his surgery at the end of Quicksilver), and most of the focus goes to Eliza, who is shaping up into an interesting character.

Overall, I'm really pleased with this -- I actually think I'll bump Quicksilver to a 5 -- and I'm looking forward to finishing off The System of the World this fall. ( )
  skolastic | Feb 2, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 75 (next | show all)
"Packed with more derring-do than a dozen pirate films and with smarter, sparklier dialogue than a handful of Pulitzer winners, this is run-and-gun adventure fiction of the most literate kind."
added by bookfitz | editKirkus Reviews (Feb 1, 2004)
 

» 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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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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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 gold.In Europe, the exquisite and resourceful Eliza, Countess de la Zeur, is stripped of her 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 possession.Meanwhile, Newton and Leibniz continue to propound their grand theories as their infamous rivalry 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 descended."Vast, splendid, and absorbing." --Publishers Weekly

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