Townhouse Books

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Quicksilver: Neal Stephenson

So everyone knows that I hate science, right? My excitement level about the the forces driving natural phenomena existing around me = so low it's barely measurable. Well, I just finished a novel about the Scientific Revolution in three days. I never would have finished it if I hadn't gotten stuck in an airport for four hours - it was long enough for me to resign myself to the science and get involved in the story.

Daniel Waterhouse is brilliant, but since he runs with a crowd that includes Isaac Newton and Robert Hooke he ends up being more of a chronicler of rapidly changing times. The novel shifts back and forth between Waterhouse as an old man and flashbacks to his youth and middle age. Halfway through, Stephenson leaves Waterhouse mid-Atlantic and introduces two new main characters. Their story wanders across Europe, eventually uniting with Waterhouse's flashback. The chronology takes a bit of effort, but the story is engrossing. It's a lovely re-realization at the end of the book that there are two more installments, already written. Next time I have a miraculous block of time open to me I'll pick up the next one!


Search Worldcat


  • When you get to System of the World let me know how it is. I don't quite have it in me yet to tackle that one.

    By Blogger Jason, at 8:15 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home