Recurring Decimals…..

Everything here is irrelevant

The joys of reading a 3000 page novel….

with 3 comments

….are immense, especially if the subject matter happens to be as diverse and fascinating as the birth (and growing pains) of science in the mid-17th century, contemporary intrigues in the royal corridors of European monarchies, the gradual evolution of money and stocks-markets as we know it today and not the least, swashbuckling adventures in lands stretching from the American coasts, through Europe and Africa to India ! But to describe Neal Stephenson‘s Baroque Cycle simply as a sweeping historical novel would be both clinched and a grave understatement.

The work is in three volumes – Quicksilver, The Confusion and The System of the World. Each volume consists of two to three novellas and is spread over 900 pages. And, the 3000-odd paged behemoth was all hand-written ! I am at the 700th page or so of Quicksilver – so some ways to go yet. So far, in spite of a few perhaps unnecessary diversions and some excruciating details of the period, it has been a compelling read. Will attempt to write a full review when I am through.

In addition, the following books are also in possession for future reading:

1. Vikram Chandra’s Sacred Games (another 900-pager!) which Tyler Cowen has already anointed as the novel of the year 2007!

2. Richard Dawkin’s God Delusional. I read the preface and have followed the buzz on the blogosphere – should be another engaging read.

3. Two of Stephenson’s earlier sci-fi novels – Diamond Age (which apparently is slated to be made into a mini-series) and Snow Crash.

Fun times ahead. Although one wishes that the days could be stretched beyond the 24 ticks or that one could return to the responsibility-free times of school/college vacations, when the majority of the day was given to perusing the written works.

Written by BongoP'o'ndit

January 22, 2007 at 10:47 pm

Posted in Books

3 Responses

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  1. I’m not sure how I missed it, but this was the first I read about a Diamond Age miniseries. Stephenson is writing it, so I guess that is probably a good sign. However, I keep thinking about the SciFi Dune miniseries (which I hated).


    January 23, 2007 at 2:16 pm

  2. Dawkin’s has tried to explain a lot of stuff in that novel. I think a lot of it would have or rather should have been left out.
    I would recommend it to a person who is on the fence about existence of God, but personally it is not one of my Dawkin’s pick.


    January 23, 2007 at 8:27 pm

  3. Brian: Never saw the Dune miniseries. Hopefully, this will be good (and hopefully I will have read the book by then !)

    Sakshi: Well I guess I am not really on the fence – but I would like to see his reasonings.


    January 24, 2007 at 8:58 pm

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