The Confusion (Baroque Cycle)

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9780060523862: The Confusion (Baroque Cycle)

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.

This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Product Description:

Neal Stephenson continues his extraordinary Baroque Cycle in this sequel to his bestselling Quicksilver, bringing to life a cast of unforgettable characters in a time of breathtaking genius and discovery.

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, hatching a daring scheme to find an enormous cache of Spanish gold. 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. Making her way home, 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 even a stray cryptographer or two...

Review:

"Ideas about currency and calculus become thrilling because of the way Stephenson incorporates them into his story... Huge in scope - rich in detail... This weird, wonderful collision of scholarship and storytelling has no peer" ( Time Out)

"A rip-roaring, swashbuckling Romance with a capital R ... A blood-soaked, silver-plated depiction of 17th-century life from both ends of the economic scale, and with enough headlong, balls-to-the-wall buccaneering and Machiavellian plotting to satiate the most jaded of palates" ( Ink)

"Stephenson excels in marrying geekspeak wtih riotous action. When he describes a battle or a duel, his prose acquires thrilling panache... Jack Shaftoe is magnificent, a swashbuckling hero with a foul mouth and few morals, and his adventures are most appealing" ( Guardian)

"The definitive historical-sci-fi-epic-pirate-comedy-punk-love story. No easy feat, that" ( Entertainment Weekly)

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