Currency : Baroque Cycle

  • by Neal Stephenson
  • Narrated by Simon Prebble, Neal Stephenson (introduction), Kevin Pariseau
  • Series: Baroque Cycle
  • 14 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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.

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What the Critics Say

“[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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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Fact or Fiction?

In this part of Stephenson's epic we continue our tour of historic London, visiting places as diverse as Parliament, Newgate Prison, Bedlam and the Bank of England; while a complex plot of mystery and intrigue unfolds. A sort of Conan Doyle meets Alexander Dumas.
I've taken to going on long walks in Richmond Park with my audio player. This way I can listen for hours on end without any loss of concentration. A really long novel, full of local colour and historical detail, with a complex and exciting plot, is what I require for this. Forget HD 3D movies on TV- this is the true immersive experience because the spoken novel engages the imagination on another level entirely.
For six months now I have been suspended between two worlds and at times I feel unsure as to where I am- I have to remind myself that the year is 2010 and not 1714, and that this is a work of fiction and not history. Now I am unsure- was the long anticipated meeting of Newton and Leibniz cut short by the passage of a harpoon thrown at Peter the Great, Tzar of Russia, in a tavern in Hockley?
Probably not.
Is the Bank of England build on the site of a Roman temple dedicted to Mithras?
Apparently
And is there really a secret passage from the cellars of the Bank to the Church of St Stephen Walbrook?
Not sure.
And did Daniel Waterhouse build the logic machine (aka computer) with the help of whores in Newgate Prison, and to drive it, finance the first steam engine?
Pass.
And on the streets of London, was a civil war narrowly averted with the help of Jack's gold?

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- Christopher

Fact and fiction seamlessly interwoven

Would you listen to Currency again? Why?

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.


What did you like best about this story?

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.


What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

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.


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Whilst taking a long series of flights I came close to listening to this book in a single sitting.


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- deltavee

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-08-2010
  • Publisher: Audible Studios