Ellen Russell, October 21, 2014 (view all comments by Ellen Russell)
I'm over halfway through the audiobook version of this, and I'm still waiting to see the point. What happens? Why are we dutifully following one young man around? Since this is the first of a trilogy, it seems like one (very) long introduction. Still waiting to get to the good stuff.
rosemariewatkins, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by rosemariewatkins)
I didn't read this book until this year, 2012. I'm sorry I waited so long. The beginnings of science and the personalities involved have always interested me, and Neal Stephensons's fictitious (but fact filled!) account is addictive reading.
Aimee Cardwell, January 2, 2010 (view all comments by Aimee Cardwell)
This book and series has inspired more conversations and Wikipedia search sessions than any other book I've ever read. And yet, it's a romping, bawdy, ridiculously entertaining trip through history and science. Stephenson does amazingly detailed research, and then presents that wealth of information to you in a way that's so enjoyable, you don't even believe that those things really happened. For instance, did you know that Sir Isaac Newton was the warden of the Royal Mint in 1696? If you like science, especially steampunk Royal Society style science, you'll read this book once for the fun, and again for the knowledge. It inspired me to take a trip to London to see all of the places I read about. Give it a try, you'll like it!
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pazyluz, January 3, 2008 (view all comments by pazyluz)
I have read everything this guy has published, and I think this is his masterwork (so far). Yes, the book is long, the plot is complicated, and there are lots of characters to keep track of, but it's well worth the effort. It's just a huge subject and requires the length and the depth of characterization it displays. I, personally, am fascinated by the history of science and the people who do it, and I think Stephenson does an excellent job of bringing these people to life and placing them in the larger context. I also love the sense of humor and the way he seems to care about his characters. This series is Important to anyone who cares about the way the world works, and I wholeheartedly recommend it.
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by Roland Green, Booklist,
"As rich in character sketches as it is in well-developed scenes, Quicksilver will have readers — especially the history buffs among them — happily turning all its many pages."
by Ken Tucker, Entertainment Weekly,
"[T]he great trick of Quicksilver is that it makes you ponder concepts and theories you initially think you'll never understand, and its greatest pleasure is that Stephenson is such an enthralling explainer....[A] wonderment to behold. (Grade: A-)"
by Kirkus Reviews,
"The meandering, dense narrative...proves one thing: he needs an editor....An incorrigible showoff, Stephenson doesn't know when to stop, but that's a trifle compared to his awe-inspiring ambition and cheeky sense of humor."
by Library Journal,
"Sparkling prose, subtle humor, and a superb knowledge of the period make this grand feast of a novel a mandatory choice....Highly recommended."
by Alan Burchardt, Kansas City Star,
"At more than 900 pages, it is a mighty tome. But it is a tremendous gift to his fans, who will delve into a richly imagined world of intrigue, science and plenty of name-dropping."
by Polly Shulman, The New York Times Book Review,
"At its best, the novel [explores the philosophical concerns of today] through thrillingly clever, suspenseful and amusing plot twists."
by Elizabeth Hand, The Washington Post Book World,
"A book of immense ambition, learning and scope, Quicksilver is often brilliant and occasionally astonishing in its evocation of a remarkable time and place....[It] has wit, ambition and, despite its considerable longueurs, moments of real genius."
by Eric S. Elkins, The Denver Post,
"The characters are compelling and draw the reader into the arcana as they muddle their way through a pivotal era in human existence....It's geek literature of the highest order."
by Steve Bennett, San Antonio Express-News,
"With exuberant, intoxicating prose, [Stephenson] has written a lusty adventure tale that also seems to be scientifically accurate. At the very least, it is meticulously researched."
by Elizabeth Wiese, The New York Times,
"Though the novel is intriguing, there's precious little plot....I doubt Quicksilver will captivate the audience that its predecessor did, but it's still an enjoyable read."
by Frank Mundo, San Diego Union-Tribune,
"Stephenson...manages a more than equitable balance of hallowed history and hearty histrionics....If anything, it's Neal Stephenson who stands out the most in Quicksilver. At 927 pages, it's not a page longer than it needs to be."
by John R. Alden, Cleveland Plain Dealer,
"Unfortunately, entire chapters are filled with droning conversations about natural philosophy and alchemy....After 700 pages of plot tangles and caricatured characters, I was tired, too."
by Jay Pawlowski, Rocky Mountain News,
"Quicksilver captures the spirit of discovery with Stephenson's relentlessly dry sense of humor....With its insights into our modern world, the book should appeal to everyone who wonders where technology is taking us..."
Set against the backdrop of the late 17th and early 18th centuries, Quicksilver brings to life a cast of unforgettable characters in a time of breathtaking genius and discovery, men and women whose exploits defined an age.
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