The Confusion: Volume Two of The Baroque Cycle

Paperback | June 14, 2005

byNeal Stephenson

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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.

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

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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...

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...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:848 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 1.36 inPublished:June 14, 2005Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0060733357

ISBN - 13:9780060733353

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Customer Reviews of The Confusion: Volume Two of The Baroque Cycle

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Not that original, but still a blast. The Confusion is a typical second book of an atypical trilogy, and that is not at all a criticism. The second book of trilogies always bridge the gap between the first and the last with a focus on character, plot development and building the framework for the payoff. When this is done well, as with The Two Towers, the second installment can hold its own with any installment in the trilogy; when this is done very well, as with Empire Strikes Back (I apologize for the movie reference), it can outshine any installment in the trilogy. When it comes to Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle, I am not sure which of these two models The Confusion follows, but it is, at least, one of them. And now I will digress: I have heard from many that this is one of the most original works they have ever read. I don't doubt that it is the most original work that these folks have read, but that doesn't make it "original." Saying that it is not original is again, however, not a criticism, and it is certainly not a failing in Stephenson's work. I love Stephenson's Cycle, but as a fan of classic literature, particularly the work of Hugo and Dumas, I know that Stephenson is borrowing greatly from his forebears (who were borrowing from theirs, like Cervantes). I cannot stress enough that this is not a bad thing. It is what makes Stephenson's series compulsively readable. Everything old is new again, to borrow an old cliche. Which is precisely what makes The Baroque Cycle so "original" for today's audiences. It is sprawling, larger than any possible life, packed full of historical figures made characters, it is fiction and fact writ together as crazed adventure. What Stephenson does is brilliant, modernizing classic story-telling forms to remind us just how great the classics remain. Anyone who loves a good yarn or just plain loves books should read the Cycle and revel in its sheer audacious brilliance. But don't tell me it has never been done before. Just read it, love it and then start reading everyone who came before.
Date published: 2008-06-05

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Editorial Reviews

“[T]he definitive historical-sci-fi-epic-pirate-comedy-punk-love story. No easy feat, that. A-.”