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Quicksilver: Volume One of The Baroque Cycle
by Neal Stephenson

Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson is a difficult book to briefly summarize. Set during the Baroque Era of Europe, when scientific and mathematical advancements were making quantum leaps and huge historical events materialized almost overnight, Quicksilver contains three main protagonists. The first is Daniel Waterhouse, a contemporary of Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz, who is drawn into scientific and historical controversy of the time. Then there is Jack Shaftoe, King of the Vagabonds, leading swashbuckling adventures in search of his fortune. Finally there is Eliza, a harem girl that Jack saves and who infiltrates the court of Louis XIV. Neal Stephenson has been characterized as a cyber-punk author, and he delights in the explorations and ramifications of science, technology, and history. The Seattle Times says of Quicksilver, "Because of his subject matter, Stephenson won't lose his usual science-lovers. He'll pick up some history buffs as well, and his quirky characters, zestful pace and wrily humorous tone will charm almost everyone else."
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January Magazine review
by David Abrams

USA Today review
by Elizabeth Wiese

New York Times review
by Edward Rothstein

Mostlyfiction.com review
by Cindy Lynn Speer

The Telegraph review
by Patrick Ness

CNN review
by Porter Anderson

Salon.com review
by Andrew Leonard

New York Times review
by Polly Shulman

The Guardian review
by Steven Poole

The Telegraph review
by Mark Sanderson

Village Voice review
by John Giuffo

Neal Stephenson
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