Odalisque (The Baroque Cycle, Vol. 1, Book 3)

ISBN: 0060833181
ISBN 13: 9780060833183
By: Neal Stephenson

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About this book

The trials of Dr. Daniel Waterhouse and the Natural Philosophers increase one hundredfold in an England plagued by the impending war and royal insecurities -- as the beautiful and ambitious Eliza plays a most dangerous game as double agent and confidante of enemy kings.

Reader's Thoughts

Matt

A great book. Really getting into the in-depth history of court intrigues and warfare. I liked King of the Vagabonds (part 2 of the Baroque Series) even more, and just started books 4-5!

Kevin

As with all books so far in this series, interesting reading, not sure where it is going. Traces a time period in the late 1600s when the world was quite a bit different. Royalty lived in their own world of power, seduction, and intrique. This book covers events in France related to taking the Alsace-Loraine area and expand their territory to the Rhine while the Netherlands had their eyes set on England. The characters are interesting and the audio book was great. Overall though, I felt the story line just is not quite there yet.

Dale

A continuation of the story begun in Quicksilver and King of the Vagabonds; this book brings together the fortunes of Eliza, Jack, and Daniel and sets the stage for System of the World.

Naomi

Enjoyable, although the epistolary format of a significant part of the book isn't my favorite mode (it is certainly period-appropriate, though). Not a stand-alone, this one requires readers to have completed the first two volumes to comprehend the characters and action.

Gary Greenwood

Continues Neal Stephenson's excellent narrative of the turbulent 17th century.

Piotr

Absolutne arcydzieło... co jak co, ale jednak Neal Stephenson potrafi stworzyć książki kompletne, bohaterów idealnych i historie tak prawdziwe jak tylko potrafi być prawdziwa fikcja literacka. W postaci cyklu barokowego (w tym przypadku pierwszego tomu [lub pierwszych trzech ksiąg)) dostajemy powieść historyczną w której znajdziemy oblężenie Wwiednia, piratów (z port royale i Turcji) rozważania filozoficzno-naukowe, rozwój nowoczesnej fizyki, biologii, astronomii, zegarmistrzów, chirurgów (nie mylić z lekarzami którzy w tamtych czasach zajmowali się głównie upuszczaniem humorów z ciał pacjentów. Poznajemy zasady rządzące gospodarką i handlem, dworami królewskimi, genealogią i dziedziczeniem. Mamy także bardzo obrazowy opis porodu oraz usuwania kamieni moczowych... książkę czyta mi się o tyle ciekawiej, że wcześniej przeczytałem "okalające książki Stephenopsna - czyli wcześniejszy Cryptonomicon i późniejszą Peanatemę. Od razy widzimy tu jasne nawiązania do Cryptonomiconu oraz wątki które zostały rozinięte w Peanatemie. Takie podejście do literatury możemy znaleźć chyba tylko u Stephensona...

Lauren Wise

This one is a little dense, full of political intrigue and further exploits of half-cocked Jack. I found it a little harder to get through. Still, a great conclusion to the series.

Todd

Overall, Baroque Cycle vol. 1 was very good. I liked Cryptonomicon better, I think, though there's much yet to experience with Baroque Cycle. We shall see, I'll be interested to find out what happens with the characters left in....peculiar situations.

Theresident

Nothing compares to the Baroque Cycle, except maybe "Lost," and that is cheating because it has a huge budget and moving pictures. I prefer Neal's Jack at any rate.

William P.

The pace gets a little weird in this book. The style changes drastically from book to book and this one didn't really hold up as well as the first two. I'd like to see where it's going, but I'm beginning to doubt that it's "going" anywhere in particular. Also, the audiobook version, for some ungodly reason, switches to second reader for sections written as letters by Eliza. She's not good. Not only is her voicing of the character different from Prebble's (which I love, and he still narrates her in the main, third-person stretches), but it really doesn't match the character. It's just... wrong. And these letters are not an insignificant part of the book. If it weren't for Prebble, I'd say give the audio a miss and read it, but... Prebble...

T.L. Evans

Odalisque is a solid, enjoyable addition to Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle, but as that it is the third entry in the series (and also marketed as both its own volume (at least in audio format) and part a collected volume called Quicksilver, which is also the title of the first installment in the book/series), it really does require the reader to already be invested in the tale. Not to say that one could not read this without having read the rest of the book, but one's enjoyment of it will be more limited. What is more, I feel that this series is getting a bit long in the tooth by this stage. Even so, I did enjoy reading it despite the fact that I don't feel the need to go out at once and pick up the next volume.For my full review go to www.sophyempire.wordpress.com or shortlink straight to the articles reviewing the whole of the Quicksilver Volumes at:Quick Silver - The Baroque Cycle #1 - http://wp.me/pWa2h-8TKing of the Vagabonds - The Baroque Cycle #2 - http://wp.me/pWa2h-glOdalisque: The Baroque Cycle #3 - http://wp.me/pWa2h-A0

Andrew

Why do I keep reading these?If I could just have a few hundred pages of Neal Stephenson talking about the history of science and currency without these characters I would be thrilled. Likewise if he could tell me a story about these characters in which I actually believe they have some agency, rather than just being pulled along by historical events that already happened.

Clif Hostetler

This book 3 of the Baroque Cycle follows the paths of the two fictional characters, Dr. Daniel Waterhouse and Eliza. Readers of the Baroque Cycle were previously introduced to Waterhouse in book 1 and Eliza in book 2. In this story they manage to encounter most of the leading historical figures of the day. The story begins in 1685 with Dr. Waterhouse present at the death of King Charles II. Tension in England then rises because the new King, James II, has Catholic preferences and the core of English sentiments are Protestant. Meanwhile on the Continent, Eliza is deep in the world of spies, counter spies and finance. She is a confidante of William of Orange (Holland) and Louie IV (France). Her adventures included witnessing the attempted kidnapping of William of Orange. Her travels also witnessed the beginning of French preparations for the invasion of Lorraine that signaled reduced pressure on the Netherlands. This allowed William of Orange to make his move on England that resulted in the so called Glorious Revolution of England.The story includes descriptions of the advances in natural philosophy. Included are descriptions of the tensions between Leibnetz and Newton, development of calculus, development of the laws of gravity, and the development of the field of dynamics in physics. The following quotation is an example of colorful and descriptive writing that caught my eye:...he was one of those blokes who used peripheral vision for everything. Give him a spyglass, he'd raise it to his ear, and see as much as Galileo. His nose had been broken at least twice and he'd endured a blowout fracture of the left eye-socket, which made it seem as if his face were a clay effigy squirting out between the fingers of a clenching fist.LINK TO Wikipedia article about the Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson.LINK TO my review of Quick Silver (Bk. 1) by Neal Stephenson.LINK TO my review of King of the Vagabonds (Bk. 2) by Neal Stephenson.LINK TO my review of The Confusion (Bks. 4 & 5) by Neal Stephenson.LINK TO my review of Solomon's Gold (Bk. 6) by Neal Stephenson.LINK TO my review of Currency (Bk. 7) by Neal Stephenson.LINK TO my review of System of the World (Bk. 8) by Neal Stephenson.

Liz C

#3 returns again to some of the characters from #1, and I appreciated that but I'm not a big fan of Eliza and I still found the prose very long-winded. I decided to take a break from the series after this one and have yet to start book #4.

Oscar

Con ’Odalisca’ concluye el primer macrovolumen del Ciclo Barroco, que empezó con ‘Azogue’ y ‘El rey de los vagabundos’, y que en inglés se publicó en un único volumen, ‘Quicksilver’, que ganó el Premio Arthur C. Clarke en 2004. (Nunca entenderé la política de ciertas editoriales a la hora de publicar ciertos títulos. Hay veces que publican libros de 1000 páginas sin problemas, y otras te dividen libros de 700, aprovechándose del pobre lector.) En este último volumen, Neal Stephenson nos sigue narrando los encuentros de Daniel Waterhouse con personajes famosos del siglo XVII, así como las intrigas de Eliza en la corte de Luis XIV en Versalles, sobre todo a través de su correspondencia cifrada.Una vez completado este primer macrovolumen, ya se tiene una visión más de conjunto y se pueden sacar ciertas conclusiones. Decir que Stephenson se va por las ramas sería el eufemismo del año. Porque la verdad es que el autor abusa de la trama política y se pierde entre los vericuetos de la genealogía de la realeza. A mí personalmente me gustan los aderezos en una trama, la paja vamos, siempre que esta paja sea entretenida. Y este no es el caso. Stephenson tendría que haber aplicado la tijera sin ambages, sobre todo en ciertos pasajes realmente farragosos e innecesarios.Me gustaron más las dos primeras partes de esta historia que esta última, sobre todo ‘Azogue’, donde Stephenson se extiende más sobre la ciencia de la época, algo que sigue existiendo en ‘El rey de los vagabundos’, pero que se pierde en ‘Odalisca’. A este último libro le falta vitalidad, esperaba un crescendo por parte del escritor, y lo que hace es dejarlo todo para el siguiente macrovolumen del ciclo, La confusión, otras 1000, que a su vez finaliza con El sistema del mundo. Es decir, que estamos hablando de casi 3000 páginas. Sin duda un proyecto ambicioso por parte de Stephenson.

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