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The Confusion [Format Kindle]

Neal Stephenson
5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)

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Descriptions du produit

From Publishers Weekly

The title of Stephenson's vast, splendid and absorbing sequel to Quicksilver (2003) suggests the state of mind that even devoted fans may face on occasion as they follow the glorious and exceedingly complex parallel stories of Jack Shaftoe, amiable criminal mastermind, and Eliza, Countess de la Zeur, courageous secret agent and former prisoner in a Turkish harem. In 1689, Jack recovers his memory in Algiers, evades galley slavery and joins a quest for the lost treasure of a Spanish pirate named Carlos Olancho Macho y Macho. This leads to adventures at sea worthy of Patrick O'Brian, and hairbreadth escapes from the jaws of the Inquisition. Meanwhile, Eliza is captured by the historical (and distinguished) French privateer Jean Bart while trying to escape to England with her baby. She must then navigate the intrigues of the court of Louis XIV, which are less lethal than those of the Inquisition by a small margin, but still make for uneasy sleep for a friendless female spy. Her correspondence with such scientific minds as Wilhelm Leibniz helps propel the saga's chronicling of the roots of modern science at a respectable clip. Of course, one can't call anything about the Baroque Cycle "brisk," but the richness of detail and language lending verisimilitude t? the setting and depth to the characters should be reward enough for most readers.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


*Starred Review* This guy really likes to write long books. Cyptonomicon, his 1999 epic, was roughly the same length as the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy. Quicksilver (2003), the first volume of his Baroque Cycle, was well over 900 pages, and this second installment is in the same ballpark. It picks up the story in 1689. Jack Shaftoe, self-proclaimed king of the vagabonds, is a galley slave, but that's soon going to change: he and nine of his fellow slaves engineer an escape. Their plan, to steal a cache of Spanish silver, turns out better (and also worse) than they could have imagined. Meanwhile, Eliza, a notorious spy whom Jack once rescued from a Turkish harem, is trying to get to London with her newborn baby. Set during one of history's most exciting times, from 1600 to 1750, this series brilliantly captures the intellectual excitement and cultural revolution of the era. With real-life supporting characters such as Isaac Newton and Wilhelm Leibnitz, the series blends fact and fiction so cleverly that it is virtually impossible to separate one from the other. Stephenson is a graceful writer, never getting bogged down in detail, keeping the story moving, dazzling us with his technique. The concluding volume of the trilogy is scheduled to appear in October 2004, and it's fair to say anyone who reads this one will spend the intervening months waiting with breathless anticipation. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1396 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 842 pages
  • Editeur : Cornerstone Digital; Édition : New Ed (31 mai 2012)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B007W1BO6O
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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  • Word Wise: Activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°79.991 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Le tour du monde des alchimistes vagabonds 16 mai 2005
Le deuxième volume du cycle baroque nous mène d'Alger à Paris en passant par Sanlúcar de Barrameda, le Caire, l'Inde, le Japon, les Philippines et le Mexique dans un con-fondant tour du monde. L'humour dévastateur de Neal Stephenson n'a d'égale que dans son talent à nous faire découvrir un monde de pensées émergeant des ténèbres. Une entreprenante cabale se compose et se recompose sous nos yeux avec la vivacité du mercure. Du cyberpunk pré-moderne!
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.5 étoiles sur 5  130 commentaires
49 internautes sur 50 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Delivers on Quicksilver's promise 30 mai 2004
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur
I am a huge fan of Neal Stephenson's book "Cryptonomicon", which now serves as a sort of introduction to the Baroque Cycle. That being said, I was a bit disappointed in Quicksilver, Volume One of the Baroque Cycle. The tome resembled Cryptonomicon so closely (same author, same size, same character families) that I could not help but get my hopes up for another such read. Instead I found it dry and difficult to finish, where Cryptonomicon had been a fantastic page turner.
Then I read The Confusion. Now I think I understand. Quicksilver is not to be compared to Cryptonomicon, but to the first third of Cryptonomicon, which (I seem to remember) was a little hard to get through. It is the beginning of the story where the author is planting the seeds for later developments.
The Baroque Cycle is twelve books, or three volumes (of which The Confusion is the second), or countless stories, but it is one read. The Confusion is the part of the read where things start getting really, really good, and if I know Neal Stephenson, the satisfaction will only continue to escalate in volume three.
If you have already made it through Quicksilver, then you have arrived. Treat yourself and read this book... er.. volume.
24 internautes sur 24 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 If you've got the attention span, it's worth your attention 31 mai 2004
Par Un client - Publié sur
If Daniel Boorstin, Tom Clancy and C. S. Forester had decided to collaborate on an epic novel, this would have been it, except they wouldn't have written one as racy as this one is.
As made clear in "Cryptonomicon," Stephenson loves parallelism. This volume of "The Baroque Cycle" is two parallel but intertwined tales:
- one of The Cabal, a polyglot group of a group of one-time galley slaves who risk everything as they transport a cargo of gold literally around the world
- the other of The Junto, a pan-European collection of royalty, savants and merchants who accidentally devise the modern banking system in order to transport money without moving metal.
Don't read these books if you're looking for subtle character studies (though there are some subtle and witty conversations to decode). However, if you've the kind of mind that's interested in everything and how it got that way, if you enjoy a hell-for-leather tale (or two) set in exotic locales and times, or if you like to watch a brilliant literary stylist construct a story as carefully structured as a well-done sonnet, then buy this book and set aside enough time to savor it.
22 internautes sur 22 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Yet Again 17 août 2004
Par Existential Amazonaholic - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
After reading Quicksilver, though I already had my copy of The Confusion, I had to take a bit of a breather and I read The Bourne Supremacy, though once I was a few pages into it I couldn't help myself looking forward to The Confusion. That's not to say that Ludlum is not enjoyable to read, but there's so much lacking in his work compared to Stephenson's.

The Confusion, as many have mentioned, is a combination of two books, one following Jack Shaftoe in his literally round-the-world exploits, the other following Eliza, Duchess of Qwhglm, etc., as she continues to rise in Europe's aristocracy. It's an ingenious device to combine the two novels in one, as the reader is left with a cliffhanger in one chapter of the first novel and spurred on in reading the other so he can learn the outcome of the first.

At it's heart, so far, the Baroque Cycle is a love story. Jack and Eliza are a classic couple, torn apart by forces (for the most part) beyond their control. Around them the world of the 16th century continues to swirl, a storm of political, economic and social change, which in reality left no life untouched. Jack and Eliza seem to somehow be caught in many of the pivotal locations and events of the age, and as readers, we get swept along with them. Along the way, of course, we get a dose of the science that Stephenson loves to explain, as well as a good chunk of geography, social satire, and humor.

Stephenson, while he may be getting more long winded, is getting better and better. I hate to pick favorites, because there are so many incredible authors out there, but he is certainly near the top in my book. Can't wait for The System of the World!
14 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Viva_La_Revolucion!! Viva Stephenson!! 28 août 2004
Par M. Collins - Publié sur
The revolution of the western mind continues in Stephenson's second volume of his Baroque Cycle.

By "con-fusing" (this is a Stephensonism, not mine) the fictitious lives & passions of the epic's main characters, Jack Shaftoe & Eliza, with real events and equally real/colorful characters of the late 17th century, Stephenson has accomplished something which no teacher before him has...

THE CONFUSION con-currently conquers the following subjects (among many, many others):

- the dawn of a truly global economy

- the pre-teen years of the commodities & futures markets

- the minting of hard currency

- the injection of fiat

- the role of the New World in revitalizing and further confusing international relations

- the pioneering minds of the Utilitarian Enlightenment (not of the artistic sort that has come to dominate discussions of the Enlightenment).

- the conflicting motives of the Roman Catholic Church, the various Protestant denominations, and the Oligarchy of the European nations/principalities of the latter 17th Century

- the boundless nature of the human spirit

- the nature of love itself

Needless to say, in order to envelop all the above while con-fusing it with a story of such enthralling intrigue, the Confusion is a megolith of a novel... but it is truly as awe-full (full of awe) as it is awesome!

Can't hardly wait for the third volume.
9 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The Foundation Series for the new millenium 4 septembre 2007
Par Christopher Wanko - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy/Series is considered one of the great science-fiction collections ever written, forming the basis of countless derivative and inspired works over the past fifty years. The Baroque Cycle will not, unfortunately, inspire fifty years of copycats, for a unique reason: it would be far too difficult to undertake with even moderate effort. This is a nine-book/ three-volume masterpiece of historical fiction that really has no peer in my experience (and please comment if you find any!)

As an aside, I could, at length, review each of the nine books and prattle on endlessly about this or that, but that's far too many reviews for what I intend to say about the Cycle as a whole. My comments apply to all books equally.

The cycle begins in the mid 17th century and spans the adulthood of one Daniel Waterhouse, a fictional contemporary of Isaac Newton. Of course, it also traces the life of one Jack Shaftoe, a fictional hero with his roots in every pirate story ever written or filmed. And then there's the mysterious Enoch Root, popping up again from the Cryptonomicon to move things along as the deux ex machina of certain story elements.

The number of interleaved story lines would be an impressive enough feat of writing, but the historical references were simply amazing. The sheer amount of research Mr. Stephenson invested for the Cycle must have been enormous. In short, Mr. Stephenson describes London before, during, and after the Great Fire of 1666 politically, sociologically, geographically, architecturally, and economically; he performs the same rigor of place-setting with Hanover and present-day Germany, Paris and present-day France, diverse parts of Egypt, Algeria, India, Mexico, South America, and Boston. This is the kind of book series that would inspire high-school students to PAY ATTENTION. For, if the students really do their homework and have a teacher partnered with them to put the book details into their proper context, you could quite possible craft an entire school year around the nine books, such is the depth and breadth of scholastic research involved in putting together such a series. It's no small achievement or idle boast: Mr. Stephenson has in some way taken his education and put it to its greatest use, as an inspiration to students.

All of this would be for naught if the stories weren't truly excellent at their core, and they are. You could boil down the Shaftoe story line to "pirate story" but that sells it short after the first book -- and there are eight more to go. What starts as a pirate story quickly become something of a precursor to spycraft and terrorism/counter-terrorism in the 17th and 18th centuries: currency manipulation, political scandals, and assassinations. I haven't even mentioned Isaac Newton versus Gottfried Leibniz in the battle for Calculus, or Isaac Newton's Alchemy, the reconstruction of London post-fire, the gold trade, the silver trade, piracy in the Atlantic and Pacific, the timber economy, the commodities exchange of northern Europe, the court at Versailles, and so on. I'm astonished as I write this.

This is well-worth the time invested to read, as a Cycle. If Mr. Stephenson ever posted his complete bibliography, or if some doctoral student ever decided to craft that two-semester, eight-course class tracing the book's scholarship, I would be among the first to delve deeply into it and re-learn my forgotten history, mathematics, and economics. Simply, this is one of the finest fiction series ever written.

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