Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I'm re-reading this wonderful Historical revolving Daniel Waterhouse because I'm a huge fan of Stephenson and I have to admit that I never continued further than this first book of the first Cycle. I don't know why! Perhaps I just wanted more SF or Fantasy in my life at the time and it just fell away from me, but I feel like an idiot now. :)
SO. Rereading this brought me back fully into the world of post-Cromwell England, so full of details and concerned mostly with the heart of modern science... from Newton, Leibwitz, Hook, and Comstock. The stories themselves are endlessly fascinating, actually, and the man who ties them all together, Daniel Waterhouse, is equally so. His getting into the Invisible College at its inception and working closely with all these fantastic persons was great for both story, history and, more specifically, the history of science.
It's hugely detailed and interconnected, and if that wasn't enough, Stephenson throws in a huge discourse on the economics, political issues, the wars, the plague, and of coruse religion. This is a fantastically intelligent, broad, and detailed look at England, late 17th century and early 18th.
I remember being flabbergasted at the amount of research the first time and now that I know more the second time, I'm still flabbergasted at the amount of research. The fact that he can weave a cool tale and have everything hold together as one of the best historicals I've ever read is a testament to Stephenson. :)
A note, however. There's two sets of books or book collections out here that have gone a great way to confusing me as to what to read where and how. I'll just make a note to everyone else who might also be confused.
The Quicksilver novel shows up both as the first book in the first cycle, also called Quicksilver.
So I'm reviewing the individual first novel in the Cycle here, with this, and then reviewing King of Vagabonds as part two (a full novel as well) of the Quicksilver Cycle, followed with Odalesque.
The two conventions would have us believe that there are either three Cycles bound together as three enormous books, or Eight Books altogether, separate. :) I'm going to review all eight, separately, because a lot happens everywhere. :)
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