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

ISBN: 0060833181
ISBN 13: 9780060833183
By: Neal Stephenson

Check Price Now


Audible Audiobook Audiobooks Currently Reading Fantasy Fiction Historical Fiction Sci Fi Science Fiction To Read

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

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

Michael Nash

A lovely series about a part of history that rarely gets the historical fiction treatment. Stephenson has a marvelous knack for sardonic prose. The characters are vital and engaging. Still thrown off by the weird disjointed narrative though.


Like the others in this series, the plot and characters, don't really grab my attention, but the writing style is so entertaining, I read it anyway!


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.


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...

Gary Greenwood

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


Continues the stories of Daniel Waterhouse and Eliza through the historical events at the end of the 17th century.


Suspense and intrigue make a fresh appearance in book three of the series. This book primarily deals with events leading up to and surrounding the overthrow of James II of England by William of Orange.


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!


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.


Good enough - the plot thickens to the point of involving a large number of historical figures, which is a risky proposition and lends some inevitability to the proceedings. Otherwise, though, a reasonably engaging narrative.


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.

Tim Jin

"Odalisque" is the last book in the first volume and there are two more volumes to go. I'm not too sure why Audible decided to split up the three volumes into eight books, but so far, the third book is my favorite. The story is finally moving along in Baroque Cycle. Unlike Quicksilver, which was basically the premise, and King of the Vagabonds, which was explaining the day wagers, Odalisque goes back at exams the hierarchy of the monarch. The story between of Daniel and Eliza makes it more compelling to read. The best part of this chapter in the series is the science and astronomy from Newton and his peers. In any series that I listens to, at certain point I need to read something else because after the third book, I loose interest. Maybe because I'm a fan of Stephenson or been waiting to read Baroque Cycle, I'm powering through these books and can't wait for more.

William Showalter

This story gets back to following Daniel Waterhouse's tale, while following Eliza and if I recall correctly (I've read all the Baroque cycle back to back, so my borders may be bleeding together) introduces us to Jack's brother Bob as a prominent character.While maybe the closest thing one of these books can be to being described as a "filler" (it only gets 4 stars where as the rest of the books have received 5), fans of the epoch will not be let down.


Great end to the "Quicksilver" trilogy. Stephenson seemed as if he didn't really know how to move the story along quicker because there were alot of letters between characters in this one. This didn't take away from the book at all though. A great (if funny) cliff-hanger ending too. Looking forward to reading "The Confusion" soon.

Share your thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *