Daniel Waterhouse finds himself embroiled in a dark conflict that has been raging in the shadows for decades. It is a secret war between the brilliant, enigmatic Master of the Mint (and closet alchemist) Isaac Newton and his archnemesis, the insidious counterfeiter Jack the Coiner, a.k.a. Jack Shaftoe, King of the Vagabonds. Hostilities are suddenly moving to a new and more volatile level, as Jack plots a daring assault on the Tower of London itself, aiming for nothing less than the total corruption of Britain’s newborn monetary system.
The Baroque Cycle, Neal Stephenson’s award-winning series, spans the late 17th and early 18th centuries, combining history, adventure, science, invention, piracy, and alchemy into one sweeping tale. It is a gloriously rich, entertaining, and endlessly inventive historical epic populated by the likes of Isaac Newton, William of Orange, Benjamin Franklin, and King Louis XIV, along with some of the most inventive literary characters in modern fiction.
Audible’s complete and unabridged presentation of The Baroque Cycle was produced in cooperation with Neal Stephenson. Each volume includes an exclusive introduction read by the author.
“[Stephenson is] a know-it-all and a show-off, no doubt about it, but he gets away with the lectures, digressions and excruciatingly cataloged details because he is so damn funny and inventive.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
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Fact or Fiction?
Fact and fiction seamlessly interwoven
The Baroque Cycle is excellent from start to finish but this particular book is my favourite because of the way so many characters and plot strands are brought together. Don't worry if you haven't listened to all the other books in the series - you can start with this one and enjoy it as the stand-alone masterpiece it is.
The interaction between fictional character of Daniel Waterhouse and real characters like Sir Isaac Newton make this story feel well-grounded in the period. The detailed descriptions of London life are intriguing too, especially as many of the places referenced are still present in the London of today.
The narrator clearly separates the many characters with excellent voicing that helps make this complex story easy to follow. It's the best narration of all the many books I've listened to on Audible.
Whilst taking a long series of flights I came close to listening to this book in a single sitting.