Volume One of The Baroque Cycle
William Morrow, Hardcover, 9780380977420, 944pp.
Publication Date: September 23, 2003
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 ...
“A sprawling, engrossing tale.”
“Stephenson’s new machine is a wonderment to behold. A-”
“[A]n awe-inspiring book, stuffed with heart-stopping action scenes ... and a treasure trove of forgotten historical lore.”
“Sprawling, irreverent, and ultimately profound.”
“Dense, witty, erudite ... and gripping ... a far more impressive literary endeavor than most so-called “serious” fiction.”
“An astonishing achievement.”
“[QUICKSILVER] explores the philosophical concerns of today . . . through thrillingly clever, suspenseful and amusing plot twists.”
-New York Times Book Review
“[O]ften brilliant and occassionally astonishing ...[QUICKSILVER] has wit, ambition and ... moments of real genius.”
“Genius . . . You’ll wish it were longer.”
“[QUICKSILVER] is a rare thing: a 1,000-page book that you don’t want to end.
-San Antonio Express-News