The System of the World : Baroque Cycle

  • by Neal Stephenson
  • Narrated by Kevin Pariseau, Neal Stephenson (introduction), Simon Prebble
  • Series: Baroque Cycle
  • 11 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In this concluding volume of Neal Stephenson’s epic work, “Half-Cocked Jack” Shaftoe must escape the noose of Jack Ketch; the rivalry between Newton and Leibniz comes to a head; and Daniel Waterhouse pursues his dream to build the Logic Mill.
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.


What the Critics Say

“Learned, violent, sarcastic and profound: a glorious finish to one of the most ambitious epics of recent years.” ( Kirkus Reviews)
The sort of work that quickly becomes an obsession.” ( Toronto Star)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

The road to Tyburn

This final part is a satisfying completion of the Baroque Cycle and a fitting climax to its ingenious narrative. The last three parts stand together and are I think the best parts of the book for the unrelenting pace of narration and depth of historical detail; but the final part is darker- much of it set in prisons, madhouses or sewers. Jack, our much loved hero, is caught, tried for treason and condemned to the ultimate penalty of being hanged, drawn and quartered. We take a final guided tour of the streets of London with the condemned on the route to Tyburn Hill and the gallows tree. There seems to be no hope of escape as time runs out and every possibility is exhausted. Stephenson turns the screw and keeps us guessing to the very end.
I bid a sad farewell to Jack, to Eliza, Daniel, and all the others who now seem so real to me. After this magnificent feast for the mind, where do I go now to feed my imagination? Perhaps I will assay Stephenson?s Cryptonomicon, another suitably roomy tome in which I can expect to renew my acquaintance with an old friend.
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- Christopher

What a journey!

Having listened to all eight books now, I must say a hearty thanks for this experience. Most of the history is accurate, some fanciful but the story works in such a way as to pull you through the cauldron of late 17th century Europe, around the world and back to the beginning of the modern period and the first stirrings of industry.

Fantastic performance.
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- mrmalaya

Book Details

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