I just finished reading Neil Stephenson's Baroque Cycle. I comfortably give it five out of five stars, or 100% of whatever units you chose to designate a good read.
The books are a "prequel" to Stephenson's earlier work, "The Cryptonomicon", which I just ordered.
The series is composed of three volumes of multiple "books". I found them used in the local non-profit thrift store (proceeds to spaying and neutering pets), the first volume in three books "Quicksilver" and "King of the Vagabonds", and "Odalisque" and the second two volumes "The Confusion" and "The System of the World" as two huge soft cover books.
The scope covers the genres of Historical Fiction, Science Fiction, and Romance, with perhaps a dash of Fantasy thrown in for good measure. In time it spans from 1655 to 1714, the time of Oliver Cromwell, to the reign of George I of England, and Louis the XIV, the Sun King in France, all of whom appear as characters, or at least bit players in the book, as do Issac Newton, and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, the dueling inventors of calculus. In space, much of the action occurs in Europe, but America, Africa, India, the Philippines, South America and Japan all have their place.
A smashing yarn; I heartily recommend it.
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